Change of Circumstance not granted....Now What?!


According to the separation agreement ordered by the court as part of my divorce from my ex-husband, we share both physical and legal custody with each of us having the kids on a week on/week off basis. Since our divorce, I have gotten engaged, remarried, moved my permanent residence to a different county (where my current husband has employment that supports the family), had a child, and lost access to the house located in the county where I lived formerly that I/we (my new husband and I) were using in order to maintain the week on/week off schedule so that we did not have to worry about relocating the children mid-school term. We were previously given access to the house rent free; it has since been sold. It has become impossible for us to maintain the week on/week off schedule without access to that house. We took our case to court to try to get the kids in school in the county where we live, and the judge in this small rural county determined that there had been no “change in circumstance” because, at that time, the house had not yet sold - he upheld the previous order. The house sold just days later. Now, without access to a residence there, along with the impracticality of “moving” every week with a newborn, I have no way to see my kids except every other weekend-and their father is threatening to not meet me halfway (required by the previous order) in order for me to spend even that time with them. He says he will “follow the agreement” and is trying to force me into being there every other week when I have nowhere to live while there. He is also talking about the ordeal in front of them so that they are blaming me for our lack of time together. What course of action should I take next? What recourse do I have?


Did you originally have a separation agreement and then later get a court order on custody? I’m confused by the statement about having “a separation agreement ordered by the court.” If you had a separation agreement and then later the judge issued an order on custody, you need to read the provisions of your custody order. Does the order state that he has to meet you halfway? Or was that part of your separation agreement that later got replaced by the court order?

Regardless, if the judge cited that his failure to modify was based on the house not being sold, and now it is, I would file another motion to modify. Ultimately it is up to the judge to decide whether a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. Also, the legal document controlling custody (whether it be a court order or separation agreement) should have a clause that prevents either parent from making disparaging remarks in front of the children. Poisoning the children agains you is grounds for filing a motion for contempt.