my ex and i have joint legal and physical custody with him/her receiving 60% parent time and I receive 40% (146 overnights a year). with the term joint legal custody defined as "the sharing of the rights, privileges, duties, and powers of a parent by both parents."
this was decided back in September. we included a provision that says, "if either party relocates, each party shall make reasonable efforts to keep the parent-time as close to 60-40 as possible" but that while we were living in the same state I would have the kids every Thursday overnight and every other Friday, Saturday, and Sunday overnight through Monday evening.
after the divorce was finalized the animosity and mean and spiteful behavior from my ex and my ex-inlaws toward me did not cool down or stop. they constantly tried to twist the wording of the decree against me. called the police on me almost every other day. despite our parenting plan, there remained a HIGH degree of conflict and an unwillingness to co-parent from my ex toward me.
I received a job offer in a state that is a 5 hour plane ride away, and assumed (mistakenly) that the relocation clause in our decree would be honored by my ex. i accepted the job in an effort to reduce the conflict between my ex and I and to put distance between me and my ex-inlaws for the sake of our children.
i proposed that I have our children with me for the majority of the summer, spring, fall, and winter breaks giving the ex access to the kids on all the holidays afforded to him/her by statute. to use all 146 days I offered to fly in to the state that I was moving from on a monthly basis for 3-4 day extended weekends during the non-summer months. this schedule put me at roughly 135-140 days a year.
this was absolutely unacceptable to my ex who insisted that by moving away I was abandoning my kids, and that if I wanted parent time I could fly back in to the state on a weekly basis and continue receiving my parent time in the every thursday and every other friday-monday schedule we established while I was living in state.
I didn't/don't feel that this was a very "reasonable" expectation or effort made by him/her to keep the parent-time as close to 60/40 as possible in light of my relocation. We weren't able to work anything out and we went to mediation last month as required by our decree. Mediation was scheduled for 4 hours, and after approx 60-90 mins in a completely separate room from me, the ex walked out after telling the mediator that he/she was only willing to agree to full custody for him/her, and standard visitation for me if I am living out of state at all.
i determined to make arrangements (and did) with my out of state employer to be able to work remotely for the majority of the time and to live out of state from our main office so I could move back to the home state where our children were living with my ex and attending school.
the ex met someone online in november some time, eloped to vegas and re-married in early January. On Jan 31 I received an email from him/her telling me that he/she planned to relocate with our children to by the end of february to a neighboring state in a city approximately 250 miles away from where he/she has been living, where the ex's new spouse resides.
The email did not meet statuatory relocation notification requirements in any way shape or form, the least of which is the minimum 60 day advance notice requirement. He/she scoffed this off and basically told me to take him/her to court about it if I wanted to.
I informed the ex that I had been finalizing arrangements to move back to the state where we divorced, because I did not wish to litigate the parent time issue, and because he/she was insisting I be in state to receive my 40% parent time. I asked him/her not to relocate, and remove our children from their schools and communities, and asked for exact dates when they were planning to relocate. i was ignored for the last three weeks.
I relocated back to the state of our divorce last Wednesday. I exercised parent for the holiday from last Thursday through Monday evening. The ex insisted that I have our children returned by 7PM several times to me, and when I asked him/her if it was his/her intention to take the children to Idaho that evening (two days ago) I was ignored.
Yesterday our children did not show up for school here in the state of our divorce. The ex did not respond to text messages or emails about why the children were absent from school, or where they were so I asked city police to do a welfare check at his/her residence here in the state of the divorce. no one answered the door.
at 3pm yesterday I received a text from him/her notifying me that the ex had in fact relocated 250 miles away, and that our children would be starting in their new school the following day (today), and that I am now invited to make weekly trips to the new state or move there if I want to exercise any parent time.
he/she claims to have spoken with his/her attorney and that the attorney and the police have both confirmed his/her right to relocate as he/she sees fit.
my attorney has prepared a TRO to enjoin the ex from removing the kids from the state until an expedited hearing on relocation can be held, as well as a motion for pickup order to recover the children from out of state with the assistance of law enforcement. we are also filing a motion for an order to show cause hearing with about 40-50 pages of documented violations of the divorce decree on my ex's part including denying me parent time when I have come to the state of the divorce, interfering in my communication with our children, disparaging me in front of the children and to the public in a blog and upcoming book he/she is writing about our marriage, etc... etc...
Can anyone based on their own past experiences wager a guess as to how things are going to go in court for me today?
Do you believe the TRO and pickup order will issue?
Will my ex be held in contempt?
Will he/she be ordered to return the children to the home state to live with me to at least finish out the school year for the sake of stability in their lives?