I am relocating to Texas in January, but my ex-husband refuses to move along with me (though I've offered to pay any moving expenses). This leaves our two daughters (7 & 8) split between Oregon and Texas. I don't want to pull them out of school before June, but I'm not sure a judge would give me physical custody after my ex had full physical custody for six months. Help!
Most custody judgments issued by Oregon courts require that each parent give the other a certain amount of advance notice (60 days is typical) prior to making any more to a new location more than 60 miles further distant from the other parent. Such a move (either giving notice, or moving without giving notice) constitutes a 'substantial change of circumstances' that justifies a modification of custody - generally, in favor of the non-moving parent. If a parent wants to move - and to move their children away from the other parent - then the burden is on that parent to prove to the Court that the move would be in the children's, and not merely the parent's, best interests. There is case law that explicitly states that a move for the benefit of the parent's work, without more, is in the parent's, not the child's, best interests.
Oregon law favors stability and continuity for children; it also favors an ongoing relationship between a child and both of their parents. There's an implicit assumption that a parent who moves their children away from their co-parent may be doing it to keep the children away from that parent; we don't want to encourage that.
The bottom line is: You have a heavy burden to bear, if you want to move with your children away from their father. Your offer to pay his moving expenses to move with you is generous, but possibly somewhat fatuous; presumably he has a life of his own that he can't casually relocate to suit your needs. He has the right to seek a change in custody based on your intention to move. If he does, and you want to oppose that, you need to be prepared to show a court why this move is specifically in your children's best interests, even if it takes them away from their father. This is a very fact-based inquiry so it's hard to say much more in general about it. You should consult with an attorney in private for assistance if you mean to pursue this.
Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and are not intended to constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or solicit business. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. Information not contained in these posts may create significant exceptions to the advice provided in any response. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br>
Well, if father has custody and you relocating, then the children would stay here with father and you would need to develop a long distance parenting time plan. Relocation is different than custody. If you want a custody change, then you have a major legal issue on which you should consult a lawyer.
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