One of the most difficult aspects of family law concerns relocation of one, or maybe both, of the parents. Fast forward to after the initial court proceedings, past the child support hearings and signing of documents, to the point where the mother or father want to move to a different place. In some cases this could only be a county over but it’s not uncommon for someone to take a job in another state that pays better or the housing market is more accessible. Whatever the reason for this move is, sharing custody of a child in a situation like this makes things more difficult. The logistical factors involved could put strain on your pocket book. The psychological factors are equally as, if not more than, important than monetary or geographical concerns; easier said than done of course but the point remains.
If a judge is making a decision on this issue, meaning mediation didn’t work outside of the court room, the decision is always going to be in the best interests of the child. Making a judgment on who the child should go with if one of you is moving farther away, will not necessarily work out in your favor. Even if you feel that you’re the more sensible option. For example, if you’re a father moving more than a hundred miles away from your child for a job and you believe they should come live with you primarily, the judge will take into account the distance between the two of you (the parents), how often you would be able to make the drive back to your ex’s house, will the child have to be enrolled in another school etc. You can see how complicated it can get when everything is taken into account. Like an engine all the parts need to be able to move freely and in unison in order for it to run. If something would cause the child to feel alienated or if the distance from school or their mother adds stress to their life, the following court order might not be in your favor. Alienation is a problem if one of the parents is moving to another town or state. The distance between you and your children requires increased efforts on your part to be a part of their lives. Being there when it counts is what it’s all about; most of life is simply showing up on time.
In this golden age of communication you can connect with anyone at any time anywhere on the globe. For parents separated by long distances, the internet is a great way to stay connected to your child’s life. There are tons of free services you can use to have video chats and send information back and forth for potentially helping them with their homework over the internet. This might take a little self teaching on your end if you’re not familiar with the technology but making the effort is not only worth it in the long run, it also shows your kids that you really do want to be part of their lives. Having a Skype date on Wednesday nights might sound hokey but its things like that maintain the bonds that we crave with our families. Communication is ninety percent of any relationship, whether if it’s between your kids or your friends. Talking to your kids about you or the other parent moving goes a long way here. It’s easy for a child’s mind to misinterpret your move as a negative thing, make sure they’re on the same page.