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#748796 - 05/04/12 03:15 PM Visitation & taking children out of state
jsmith12 Offline

recently joined

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 4
My wife and I are going through a contested divorce. We originally attempted to file uncontested but things have unfortunately gone far beyond that. The contested divorce has not been filed with the court yet, but should be filed next week. We share two small children and currently we have no visitation agreement in place. One of the many issues that has led to the contested divorce is the fact that we own a summer house in Maine. My wife will not agree to sell the house and split the dividends, so thus we are at a standoff. She has just notified me yesterday via email that she intends to reside for the entire summer in Maine. Our current visitation schedule that we have been following since our separation is that I see the children two nights a week for a few hours, and I have them every other weekend; Friday thru Sunday. Again, this is a schedule we have worked out on our own, there is no formal agreement in place. She wanted to make me aware that during the 3-4 months she will be living in Maine, I will only be able to see the children every other weekend. And at that, she would require me to drive an hour away (which in the summer time traffic will undoubtedly turn into 2 hours each way) to meet her for pick up and drop off. I am very close with my children and don't feel that it is in anyone's best interest, especially the children's, for us to only see each other twice a month. Since there is no formal visitation agreement in place, I am wondering if she can really do this? From what I understand she could not remove the children from the state for 3-4 months without my permission via an order of the court. My question though is since the divorce is not even filed with the court yet, it would seem to me there is no official visitation agreement to enforce. I am wondering what exactly I need to do to prevent this from happening. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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#748797 - 05/05/12 03:18 AM Re: Visitation & taking children out of state [Re: jsmith12]
annieo Offline

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Registered: 07/07/10
Posts: 1499
Either one of you could presumably take the children where ever for how ever long you want to since there is no parenting plan in place and the divorce is not filed with a temporary plan.

You could have custody determined without the summer house being determined.

Why are you not doing a 50/50 split custody? You have set yourself up for status-quo by having a few hours in the week and the EOW schedule currently.

The answer to your question is yes she can do that but you also could keep the children if there is no parenting plan filed with the court (I don't recommend having a constant fight regarding the issue because it can get really ugly really fast) you should at least get a temporary one in place and you should strive for 50/50 if that works for you and the children.

Good Luck

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#748798 - 05/05/12 12:21 PM Re: Visitation & taking children out of state [Re: jsmith12]
SRS Offline

Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 2585
You must do 50/50 custody. You are setting up status quo with your curent visitation.

You also need to file a temp parenting plan with the court asap.

At this point, she's doing nothing wrong.

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#748799 - 05/08/12 05:05 PM Re: Visitation & taking children out of state [Re: annieo]
jsmith12 Offline

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Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 4
My children are very young, and I honestly don't want them shuffling back and forth residing half the time at my house, and half the time at hers. I feel that's a lot to put upon small children and I don't necessarily think that would be in their best interest either. They should have a home base, I want that for them. I am fine as long as I get to continue seeing them on our agreed upon schedule. I am not however ok with only seeing them twice a month.

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#748800 - 05/08/12 05:06 PM Re: Visitation & taking children out of state [Re: SRS]
jsmith12 Offline

recently joined

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 4
My children are very young, and I honestly don't want them shuffling back and forth residing half the time at my house, and half the time at hers. I feel that's a lot to put upon small children and I don't necessarily think that would be in their best interest either. They should have a home base, I want that for them. I am fine as long as I get to continue seeing them on our agreed upon schedule. I am not however ok with only seeing them twice a month.

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#748801 - 05/08/12 07:26 PM Re: Visitation & taking children out of state [Re: jsmith12]
annieo Offline

veteran

Registered: 07/07/10
Posts: 1499
Unless the children are infants 50/50 works if both parents can co-parent and children are very adaptable and will take to whatever plan as long as the adults have a positive attitude. There are all types of 50/50 schedules with younger children you could do something different then just every other week.

If you think you want 50/50 down the road as the children get older it will be an UP HILL BATTLE to make it happen as you will need to have a MAJOR change in circumstances the court will accept and with a status quo of EOW you will be hard pressed to have the change required.

If she is limiting time now....

Good Luck - hope it all works out the best way possible for the children. Children need both parents equally...

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#748802 - 05/08/12 07:41 PM Re: Visitation & taking children out of state [Re: annieo]
jsmith12 Offline

recently joined

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 4
My ex is turning out to be an absolute nightmare to deal with. She is doing some truly awful things to punish me for leaving and is dragging our children into the middle of things. I am not so sure 50/50 co-parenting will ever be an option, for her anyway.

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#748803 - 05/09/12 02:09 PM Re: Visitation & taking children out of state [Re: jsmith12]
SRS Offline

Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 2585
It isn't about you and her. It is about your children. If you don't go for 50/50 now and make sure you are involved as much as possible, you will have a hard time making custody changes in the future.

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