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Is it Selfish to move my children out of state?

I have sole custody of two amazing children. Their father has visitation rights (Sees them Sunday from 2pm until Tuesday 8am). I am originally from Southern California, and the career opportunities, as well as being closer to Family, has had me trying to get back for some time now. Even though the kids would be with their Father for two months during summer, holidays, etc (and I would be more than happy for him to visit anytime he wants (2 hour flight), I still have guilt over feeling "Selfish" or like Im taking the kids away from their Dad. I'd love for the kids to grow up with their cousins! Currently they sleep on the Floor of their Dad's girlfriends house, or at his parents when they are with him for the two nights. I'm really at my whits end over this life changing decision, and want to do what is right for my kids! any advice would be awesome! I'd love to hear from anyone who has been through the same thing???!?!? Thank you!!

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Asked by jennozom at 2:43 PM on Oct. 10, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 2 (10 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • From your profile, you're currently in Portland? I think the first thing I have to ask is whether Dad is on board with the move, and whether the kids are on board with it as well?

    If a move gives you and them better opportunities, then you're not being selfish at all. And really, I don't put "selfish" in the balance when I weigh things out. What's best for the kids is what matters. Sometimes what's best for them is better for you. Sometimes it's not! But THEIR best interest comes first.

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:04 PM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • You do not say how old the children are or what the dad says.
    The other question is what does the custody agreement say?
    If he has a set visitation time, you may not be able to move without the court's consent or his.
    You may also have to provide at least part of the transportation for the children to see him.
    It also depends on the laws of the state you live in. Here you are not allowed to remove them from the state of the divorce without court permission, even if you have sole custody, which may also be written in the decree.

    Obviously , the ability to work is a huge factor in you being able to provide for your children. Cousins are nice but that is not a good enough reason in my book to remove them from the father who loves them.
    People complain about deadbeat fathers (generally with good cause) and you might be setting the stage for that. You will be affecting three lives. Be very careful.

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:08 PM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • I 100% agree with Dardenella ^^^

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 3:10 PM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • It would be selfish if you were motivated to take the kids back to California so you could get them away from their dad. It doesn't sound like that's your thought process. Using the kids as weapons against an ex is selfish. Going where you have family support and better job opportunities is practical and prudent. How old are the kids? Have you spoken to the kids' dad about this?

    Answer by Ballad at 3:10 PM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • Thanks Everyone for your advice so far! Very Helpful!!!

    My daughter is 6 (1st Grade) and Son is 3 years old. I would prefer to move before the youngest starts school, so i'm not uprooting them both from School and Classmates.

    I have not spoken to the father yet, because he tends to be very vindictive and hard to communicate with, he would see this as me trying to take them away from him...which is really not my intention at all. The Custody agreement states that I am supposed to give him and the Courts 60 days Notice before moving. He can fight the move at this point.

    Comment by jennozom (original poster) at 3:18 PM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • If you think this move is good for you and the kids, do it.

    Answer by louise2 at 3:28 PM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • Then I would file with the court and see what they have to say and then make my plans.
    I do not advocate taking kids from the influence of their parents but sometimes it is just necessary.
    Do you have a job in California or is this on a hope and a prayer? That may also make a difference with the courts
    I would als suggest counseling for your 6 year old when you reach your destination.

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:51 PM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • Not if you are trying to provide them a better life. Meaning you will make more money at a new job. The reason for the move has to benefit them, not you.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 12:09 PM on Oct. 11, 2013

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