Court Requires Us to Follow "Ex" Out of State!

Updated on April 10, 2008
H.P. asks from South Hadley, MA
4 answers

The judge in my husband's child custody case is mandating that he travel to another state to facilitate his two kids' time with their mother. He and his ex split the drive (she comes to our state to get them for the weekend, he drives there to bring them back in time for school). It is a 10-hour roundtrip drive (not including traffic delays, construction, weather, etc). We have full custody and she gets them every other weekend and for 2 months in the summer. We don't understand why we have to follow her wherever she goes apparently when she's the one who left the state. Why are we paying a penalty? We have two babies together as well, so it's a huge burden on me and our little ones to have him gone every other Sunday. My question is: can the judge MAKE us do this drive? Enforce it? We feel if she wants to see them, she should make the arrangements for travel, since she left the state. You should also know that my husband has 5 herniated discs in his back and the drive kills him. Also, she left the state to pursue a married man, not for a job. Any advice would be appreciated.

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answers from Boise on

YES! The judge will enforce the driving and your best bet is to go back to court and see if you can have it changed. You will be found in contempt of court if you break the visitation agreement. This will also make her case better if she decides to take you to court for the children.

I would go to court and state that having children in the car 20 hours a week-end is CRAZY!!! They will not care about your being unpleased, your husbands back or your other children, but they will most likely find it nuts to spend 20 hours in a car for the children in question for just one week-end.




answers from Salt Lake City on

I hear ya sista :) I have a step son in Kentucky. And my husband and I have a 10 month old here in Utah. It is a pain in the rear but there is really no getting around it. Children need to see both parents. It's not their fault nor their choice to be in this situation. We all have no choice but to pull up the old boot straps and do what we have to do.Believe me, I like it no more than the next person in this situation. I just try to remember it isn't forever. We just have to do what is best for the children even if it is a pain for us.
Hang in there.



answers from Denver on

In my case, where my ex moved out of state during our separation the court mandated that he can have all the visitation he wants (within reason) in our state with prior notifiaction. As far as visitation outside the state it is to be decided by the children as to what they want to do. I now at some point have to pay for them to travel to see him but am fighting right now as my daughter at 6 (no experience flying) is too young to travel alone. My ex said he cannot afford to fly here and back with her. My son is only 3 and cannot fly alone without a parent until he is five.

I made it a choice for our kids as I don't think a child should be forced out of their comfort zone to travel. If they want to go then I have to let them.

I don't know why you all would have to follow her, I would say what is fair is you alternate paying for her to fly in to see the kids to make it easier on everyone. A plane ticket gets her there faster, less money and not time wasted in driving. I am very accomodating to my ex, only for the children's sake, as far as picking him up at the airport, allowing him visitation here at the house with them or to take them wherever while he is here, providing him use of the mini van so he has carseats. I would go back to court, with your husbands medical conditions documented. Try and go to mediation so it costs less but devise a parenting plan. You do not have full custody if she has visitation, you have primary, there is a huge difference.

I would say if she moves over 200 miles that she is to arrange coming to see the kids, or a reasonable distance.
It isn't fair you all have to accomodate her moving. I certainly won't for my ex. I encourage visits and when the kids are older allow them to go there alternating holidays and in the summer. I made it a huge deal since kids are settled here, he left and the kids are in school that he has to make the effort to come here during the school year if he wants to see them. At some point I will have to put them on a plane to see him and split the cost of traveling with him. I am sure he will see to that, it isn't fair since he is the one that left, but that is how it is sometimes. The main goal overall should be making sure the kids get fair visitation with both parents and their needs are put first.

Hugs, it sucks! I know firsthand.



answers from Boise on

I know most courts (at least w/ friends in similar situations) that each parent is responsible for their end of it, meaning when they are to go to moms she is responsible for air fare/gas ect and when it is time for dad to get them he is responsible the same. I know it seems unfair but it keeps it balanced regardless of who has custody, and each parent is entitled to visitation with there children/child. Is there no one else who would be able to help out at least once a month to do the driving for your husband? Or, and this may be hard, see if the mom can spend one of her visitations with the kids at your place or a friend who could put her up? I don't really have any more advice then that and i feel for you I hope things can work out!

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