Moving


#1

What happens if a step-parent is in a branch of the military, and is ordered to move?

The non-custodial parent has occasional visits, supervised, as specified with a court order. My partner has not adopted my son, and we’re not yet married, but we’re discussing long-term plans.

My partner is considering re-enlisting in the Coast Guard (he’s currently a reservist), and we’re close enough to one particular base that it won’t interfere with the visitation, but he can be ordered to move (anywhere, even out of state) at any time.

What would happen in this situation? The current court order specifies supervised visits, and also states that I may not move out of the state. I did not seek a change in order to move to a different county (under advice from the attorney who handled the divorce), because it didn’t interfere with the visits.

Is there a motion I can file for permission to move? And if it were denied, would I be required to stay here? Or would the court allow a move out of state but require unsupervised summer visits or something like that? I don’t want to risk unsupervised visits.


#2

You will need to continue to operate according the current order, and make the child available for visitation at the prescribed times.

In the event your partner is ordered to move you would need to seek a modification of the Order based on a substantial change in circumstances. The problem I see here is that you are not married to this person, and therefore in my opinion the court may not see that the move is necessary for you.


#3

Thank you!

So once we are married, the court would consider his situation to have more weight. That makes sense. We just haven’t set a date yet.

My concern is this: once we’re married, if he re-enlists in the Coast Guard and is ordered to move after a few months, and I convince the court that my child and I need to move as well (military benefits are a major factor here, and a step-child in the household is considered a dependent), would that be a reason for the court to change from supervised visits?

The visits are supervised due to violence on the part of the noncustodial parent (and drugs). And I am concerned that he would be given longer unsupervised visits if we live farther away (like summer custody instead of the present brief supervised arrangement). Would we be able to ask for an arrangement whereby the visits were still supervised and for the same duration as they are currently, but less often due to the distance? Or two a week on alternate weeks instead of one? I know that by moving I bear the burden of continuing to make my child available.

I don’t want to enter into a situation where I risk my child’s safety. The supervised visits, when they occur, are going well, and I don’t want to risk long periods without supervision. What is considered when changing visitation schedules?


#4

The court ordered supervised visits for reasons connected to your ex’s personality issues and parenting abilities, not based on your proximity to his residence, and therefore that restriction should not be lifted as a result of your move.