Move kids out of state during separation

My wife has been having an affair with a married man and she is seeking a divorce. I have a lawyer on retainer. She is unaware that I know about the affair and unaware that I have a lawyer, but I plan to confront her and have her sign a separation agreement that gives me physical custody of our children and permission to move them out-of-state. I wish to move out of the state with them during the separation as I feel this is in the children’s best interest. Would this affect jurisdiction over anything, or would it cause any problems for me legally?

Additionally, if she won’t initially sign the agreement (which I believe she won’t because she wants custody) would it be considered coercion or undue influence if I present her with the plethora of evidence I have against her and the paramour, tell her she would never get custody if it was taken to court and that I would have no choice but to present the evidence to her federal government employer, his federal government employer, and his wife?

Just a quick note until Erin is back online - my understanding is that having an affair doesn’t necessarily cause you to lose custody. You have to be able to prove that the children’s best interest is to be with you instead of the other parent. Hope that helps.

My understanding, I hope I am correct. An affair while the proof of can be used as evidence in court, will not cause her to lose custody, so in essence telling her that will cause undo stress and may make matters much worse. As a woman I would be ready for an all out war if that was being used as a way to coerce me into handing over custody of my children.

Also using the threat of her possibly losing her job because you’re going to tell their employer is actually cutting off your nose to spite your face, as if you were to retain custody you would lose out on possible child support amounts because she had lost her job. It may also look very badly on you using such a technique like this to get custody, because she may change her mind after she were to sign and speak to an attorney and then you still have a battle on your hands.

Moving the children out of state, this state still retains jurisdiction and you would have to travel back and forth to go to court. Also you need to really decide if your idea of it being in their best interest is because you are angry and want them away from her, or are the schools better? Is the area you want to move to better? Is their mother unfit due to alcoholism, drugs and so forth or is it because she had an affair that you think she is unfit?

Please consider being the better person and don’t try to use “blackmail, coercion” or anything that would make you look like someone who would possibly alienate your children from their mother. Do things that will show yourself in a good light that will effectively nurture and help your kids and not make the situation worse for them. But this is just my opinion and advice. Since you catch more flies with honey. Because anyone can threaten and try to strong arm someone else, but you will hurt yourself in the long run.

I’m thinking now that I would possibly present her with what I know about the affair, and then present her with the separation agreement. This would make any possible perception of a threat more inconspicuous.

My STBX has been diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder by at least 3 mental health professionals. I also have audio recordings of her getting very angry and cussing and screaming at both our small children and me. She has – self-admittedly – problems controlling her anger. She has also never had to spend an extended amount of time alone with the children. She screams at them and cusses around them in anger when I’m around to help; I cannot imagine what she would be like if she had to spend extended periods of time alone with them without my assistance. I have been a stay-at-home father for 2 years and have gotten very good at dealing with them in a calm, loving fashion, to which they respond positively. On the other hand, when my STBX is with them, and she yells at them or screams at them, they start crying (of course) and this makes my STBX even more angry and flustered. It’s a vicious cycle.

If your wife signs an agreement allowing the move, you may move, and there will be no issue with jurisdiction. You may let her know that you know of the affair, and what your position is regarding how her actions will affect her claim for custody, but it should not be taken any further than that.