Blended Families

Would you move 3hrs away (i.e. take DD 3 hrs from BF)??

Hi!  This is my first post, so I'll give a quick background on my situation - I had DD when I was 19 and never married the BF.  I get along fine with him and SM.  DD is 11 yrs old and we haven't been in court since she was 2.  The schedule that works for us is every other weekend with 1-2 weeknight visits at her dads per week.  He lives about 5 minutes away and in the same school district so DD can ride the bus to his house after school.  

My husband was just offered a job 3 hours away.  He is in a very specialized field and his current position is really the only one available in our area.  Due to recent management changes he is unhappy at his current position and does worry that within the next couple years his position might be eliminated or the company might even go under.  This new position is a slight promotion and slight pay increase, but more importantly it is with a more stable company.  I am not opposed to moving, but I just can't see how this all would work out with DD.  She is getting to the age where she is very involved with activities which would prevent her from doing many weekend visits during the school year if we moved away.  The only feasible schedule I can see is for her to live with us during the school year and her dad during the summer.  

So now my questions... 1) Who do I put first - my husband or my daughter?  2)  Do you think my daughter would adjust ok to a new city, new school, new custody arrangement, not seeing her dad on a frequent basis, etc.  3) Anyone know what the protocol is on this?  Am I even allowed to move 3 hours away?  We live in Pennsylvania and the move would be to Ohio.

Thanks so much!    

Re: Would you move 3hrs away (i.e. take DD 3 hrs from BF)??

  • You are not the only parent in this situation, so you need to talk with BF.  He can help answer all those questions about DD adjusting and his visitation schedule.
    Stay at home mom to a house of boys: two amazing stepsons, 12 and 9, and our 4 year old.
  • I could be way wrong (and if I am someone feel free to jump in and let me know) but I was under the impression you could not move out of state unless the other parent, and/or a judge signed off on it? So I would think that would be your first step, is even finding out if its possible.

    ?

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  • I agree with PPs. And I think it's wrong of you to assume that BF would become the summer parent when you are the one moving. BF would have  valid arguement in court to get primary care. If it meant you had to become the summer parent, would you consider moving then?

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  • Agree with all PP's. hterry brings up a great point! This didn't cross my mind at all... I still have the mentality that mom's get the kid. No matter what. I forget that a lot has changed over the years. I would definitely talk to BF, and speak with a lawyer. If BF is an involved parent (which he sounds to be) I don't think he will just roll over and let you take DD with you 3 hours away and him become a summer parent. I know if this happened with us my husband would be in court ASAP. Just my 2cents.
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  • I hate this for you because you really are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Also you all sound like good parents.

    When you went to court when your DD was two was visitation COrd?  If so I believe you will need your ex permission to move that far away with his DD.  I do believe that if he challenges it, he might very well get primary custody with you being the summer parent.

    You really need to dig out that CO, contact an attorney for advice and talk to your ex.

    From a board perspective I will say that, while this is not ideal and sad for your DD, she will adjust eventually. 

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  • In order to move out of the state, you will likely have to go to court. Also, PPs make valid points. There is absolutely no guarantee that you will be allowed to move your daughter out of state and if her father wants primary custody, this is exactly the type of change in circumstances that would give him the opportunity to pursue it. 

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  • You do need to talk with your daughter's father. I think you should schedule a time that you all can talk, and explain the situation.

    A new job--and the potential possibility of a lay off--affects both families. 

    When you talk to your ex I think you should have some suggestions but also come prepared with a really open mind and be willing to hear his ideas. Don't assume that he'll be a summers & every-other-holiday dad.

    Have you done much research about where you would be living in Ohio? Do you know about schools? Houses? Details about things like that could impact how your ex would feel about the move.

    I hope that your H has some time to address all of this before accepting or declining. 

    Oh, and even if your ex does agree to allow you all to leave the state, you need to talk with a lawyer and make sure you get appropriate paperwork in place. You will likely want to create a new CO, anyway, but make sure that you have everything in place legally for a move.

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  • Thank you everyone for your feedback.  I really appreciate it.  BF and SM are both very involved in DD's life - they come to every single one of her activities and like I said before, she has regular visitation with them.  I know there is no way he would just go along with me taking her 3 hours away and I don't blame him - I wouldn't want them to try and take her 3 hrs away either.  We both want what is best for her and I guess I knew deep down moving away was not in her best interest.  But at the same time I really feel for DH who is trying to do what is best for his career and family.  Like PP said, I am really in a no-win situation here.  I figured there had to be some regulations in place for relocation, so that certaintly makes the decision easier.  Now I just need to figure out how to help my husband come up with a plan B for his career.   
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  • I have seen families live apart.  As in, your DH could get an apartment in Ohio and live/work there during the week and come home to you and your DD on the weekends.  This would afford you the opportunity to stay near the BF.

    OR, move 1 1/2 hours away, smack in the middle.  Your DH's commute would be hell, and your DD wouldn't be able to do weeknight visits with your ex anymore, but visitation would still be do-able.

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  • Whether or not you can legally move depends on your legal custody situation.  If you have joint legal custody, there is likely a moving restriction.  If you have sole legal custody then you can likely move wherever you want (not that I am encouraging this, just giving the legal side). 

    BM in our situation has sole legal custody with DH having visitation (DH thought he would be OK without a lawyer...he got screwed) and she can up and move anywhere she wants and DH couldn't do a thing about it (according to the current CO).  She won't move, but she could.

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  • image thinkpositive:
    Thank you everyone for your feedback.  I really appreciate it.  BF and SM are both very involved in DD's life - they come to every single one of her activities and like I said before, she has regular visitation with them.  I know there is no way he would just go along with me taking her 3 hours away and I don't blame him - I wouldn't want them to try and take her 3 hrs away either.  We both want what is best for her and I guess I knew deep down moving away was not in her best interest.  But at the same time I really feel for DH who is trying to do what is best for his career and family.  Like PP said, I am really in a no-win situation here.  I figured there had to be some regulations in place for relocation, so that certaintly makes the decision easier.  Now I just need to figure out how to help my husband come up with a plan B for his career.   

    I think everyone gave great advice.  You did not say if you have a child with your DH or if he has a child from a previous relationship but honestly I am sure he has good intentions and all but when you say he is trying to do what is best for his family I cannot help but say that I doubt this is best for your family unless you are truly not able to make ends meet without it.  Anything that money can buy is usually way less important than being near those you love and I cannot see how a father can really be involved if he lives 3 hours away, if I was your DD I would be so upset/pissed if you moved me away from my Dad (and friends but she can make new friends.)  And this is not meant as a flame at all, I know you feel stuck and are just looking for advice.

    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • I don't think I'd ever be able to do that.  I am the product of divorced parents and I think that would have a negative impact on the child.  The only circumstance where I think it may be good is if the parents fight too much and drag the child in the middle.  In that case, I think some distance may be beneficial for the child.  Doing summers in one home and academic year in another home would likely endure less "fights" than if the bios are near each other doing exchanges often.

    However I cannot imagine being a position where I may lose my income and have no other option than to move.  I just don't know what I would do then.

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  • image Littlejen22:

    image thinkpositive:
    Thank you everyone for your feedback.  I really appreciate it.  BF and SM are both very involved in DD's life - they come to every single one of her activities and like I said before, she has regular visitation with them.  I know there is no way he would just go along with me taking her 3 hours away and I don't blame him - I wouldn't want them to try and take her 3 hrs away either.  We both want what is best for her and I guess I knew deep down moving away was not in her best interest.  But at the same time I really feel for DH who is trying to do what is best for his career and family.  Like PP said, I am really in a no-win situation here.  I figured there had to be some regulations in place for relocation, so that certaintly makes the decision easier.  Now I just need to figure out how to help my husband come up with a plan B for his career.   

    I think everyone gave great advice.  You did not say if you have a child with your DH or if he has a child from a previous relationship but honestly I am sure he has good intentions and all but when you say he is trying to do what is best for his family I cannot help but say that I doubt this is best for your family unless you are truly not able to make ends meet without it.  Anything that money can buy is usually way less important than being near those you love and I cannot see how a father can really be involved if he lives 3 hours away, if I was your DD I would be so upset/pissed if you moved me away from my Dad (and friends but she can make new friends.)  And this is not meant as a flame at all, I know you feel stuck and are just looking for advice.

    Agreed. The part that particularly stands out when you gave the background is about a possible layoff a "couple years" down the road. To me that is not pressing enough to uproot your daughter and move her that far away from her father, especially as active as both he and his wife are in her life.

    LDNCP is heartbreaking. For us it's all that LO is going to know so it may be easier for her to adjust to as she grows but your daughter knows what it's like to have the other half of her family so close and involved. I'm a child of divorce and even though I don't have the best relationship with my dad now if my mother would have moved us away during our childhood I would have resented her for denying us the opportunity at a relationship that is vitally important. THose are personal opinions please don't take them for flames at all. I'm just trying to be honest about the way I feel.

  • image McNursey:
    image Littlejen22:

    image thinkpositive:
    Thank you everyone for your feedback.  I really appreciate it.  BF and SM are both very involved in DD's life - they come to every single one of her activities and like I said before, she has regular visitation with them.  I know there is no way he would just go along with me taking her 3 hours away and I don't blame him - I wouldn't want them to try and take her 3 hrs away either.  We both want what is best for her and I guess I knew deep down moving away was not in her best interest.  But at the same time I really feel for DH who is trying to do what is best for his career and family.  Like PP said, I am really in a no-win situation here.  I figured there had to be some regulations in place for relocation, so that certaintly makes the decision easier.  Now I just need to figure out how to help my husband come up with a plan B for his career.   

    I think everyone gave great advice.  You did not say if you have a child with your DH or if he has a child from a previous relationship but honestly I am sure he has good intentions and all but when you say he is trying to do what is best for his family I cannot help but say that I doubt this is best for your family unless you are truly not able to make ends meet without it.  Anything that money can buy is usually way less important than being near those you love and I cannot see how a father can really be involved if he lives 3 hours away, if I was your DD I would be so upset/pissed if you moved me away from my Dad (and friends but she can make new friends.)  And this is not meant as a flame at all, I know you feel stuck and are just looking for advice.

    Agreed. The part that particularly stands out when you gave the background is about a possible layoff a "couple years" down the road. To me that is not pressing enough to uproot your daughter and move her that far away from her father, especially as active as both he and his wife are in her life.

    LDNCP is heartbreaking. For us it's all that LO is going to know so it may be easier for her to adjust to as she grows but your daughter knows what it's like to have the other half of her family so close and involved. I'm a child of divorce and even though I don't have the best relationship with my dad now if my mother would have moved us away during our childhood I would have resented her for denying us the opportunity at a relationship that is vitally important. THose are personal opinions please don't take them for flames at all. I'm just trying to be honest about the way I feel.

    Thanks again everyone for the thoughts.  It really does help.  I did not want to move her for all of the reasons that everyone gave, so it helps to realize that my line of thinking was rational and not that I'm trying to "shelter her" or something.  I'm always afraid that I'm over protective of DD because I'm so guilty over the position I've put her in because of my actions (2 home family).

    Husband and I talked about it again last night and decided to not do the move.  My husband is going to talk to the company and explain the situation and see if they can work anything out (like maybe commute out there one week and work from home the next week or something like that - doubt it, but never hurts to ask). 

    And to answer someone elses question - yes, we do have 2 sons together.

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  • image Erin0922:

    I could be way wrong (and if I am someone feel free to jump in and let me know) but I was under the impression you could not move out of state unless the other parent, and/or a judge signed off on it? So I would think that would be your first step, is even finding out if its possible.

     

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  • In my state IN you have to have permission over a 100 miles. I didn't see you mention out of state. 3 hours isn't long so why not just split the drive 1.5 hour each way and keep the weekend thing going and just give him more of the breaks like fall break, spring break longer during xmas etc. I drive an hour and a half to work each day. It is very doable. In fact we visit my brother at least two times a month and it's a 3 hour drive and not a big deal, the longer breaks could make up for the weekly visits and you can also get pre arranged absents from school to make some long weekends. Just my opinion.... I would have a different one if it was like 5-8 hours away.
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