Ex moving


#1

I have been divorced for 3 years, there is a current visitation and child support order in place. My ex has primary custody. I do the every-other-weekend typical deal.

I am a great dad, I visit all the time, go to baseball and T-ball events, and try to be around as much as possible. I pay my $1,500/mo child support on time, and we all get along great.

My ex-wife got re-married last year, and is now wanting to move from Wilmington, North Carolina to Atlanta, Georgia so that her new husband can be closer to one of his kids. (They also just had a child together last month).

Our visitation agreement says that I get the kids every other Friday 6pm until 6pm on Sunday. Every other Thanksgiving, and every Christmas day from 2pm until January 6th, and two weeks during the summer. It mentions that both parents will behave in front of the kids, allow phone calls during each other’s visitations, etc. Nothing about moving, etc.

She moved from Wilmington to Hampstead (about 40-50 minute drive) last year, and stopped meeting at our pickup/drop off point. She also asks me to get the kids extra days during my non-visitation times, as well as keep them until Monday and take them to school etc, so I am seeing them a lot more than the agreement says, which I absolutely LOVE, even though it’s a drive. I would see them every day if possible.

They recently put their house on the market for $1M (Its a mansion on the water, with a boat slip, etc… neighbor has a Ferrari and Lamborghini in drive way if that tells you about the neighborhood) and expect the house to sell quickly. She told me about on Tuesday of last week and also dropped the kids off with me Wednesday and asked me to watch them until this morning so they could go to Georgia and pick out a new house.

A friend of mine (and neighbor) is a criminal lawyer, he said that he didn’t think there was much I could do since the order didn’t talk about moving etc. He said that she would be in violation and contempt as soon as she missed the first scheduled visitation, but that it would be hard to fight her with her living in Georgia… but he is also a criminal lawyer and isn’t super familiar with family law.

Is there anything that I can do? The ex-wife doesn’t work, and the husband owns 10 auto collision repair places around this area, so he can basically work from home any where. The only reason they are going is to be closer to his son… and in the process tearing me away from mine.

My ex-wife told me that they are definitely going and that “you can have the kids 2 months straight during the summer”. How generous… lol I mean… I am going to miss parent teacher meetings, graduations, birthdays, holidays, christmas, baseball games, etc. My sons (9 and 5) talked to me about it a lot this last week and they HATE Georgia and do not want to go. They are begging me to stop it, because they don’t want to move and they do not want to not see me.


#2

You should file a motion to modify custody based on changed circumstances. Our article on changing custody and visitation is a great resource to look at. It should be able to answer any questions you may have; it discusses both the legal grounds for modification of a custody order and the standards the judge will use. If you are successful in having your custody schedule modified, you should also consider seeking a modification of child support.