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Should kids be allowed (burdened!) with choosing where to live?

Posted by on Apr. 10, 2014 at 1:48 PM
  • 21 Replies

In an intact family, if Mom or Dad get a job out of state or in another town and all things considered, it's what needs to be done, kids just don't get a choice.  They might get to voice their thoughts and those thoughts are taken into consideration, but ultimately, the adults make that decision.

When there's divorce, a move typically would take the kids away from the other parent and require a change in visitation.  Typically, the parent who is moving away has to forfeit their visitation based on the parameters of the CO.

CO aside though, is there an age or a scenario where you think that kids should be more involved in the decision to live here or there ?   I'm not talking about there being issues with parenting, neglect, one house has a nicer car for them to drive. I'm talking about this being based solely on location, changing schools etc.


ETA: 

Now add a twist:

Parent A moves, Parent B stays and kids stay because the CO states that kids can't be moved out of school district without both parents agreeing. Not what Parent A wanted but that's the CO. 

A year later, Parent B notifies Parent A that they are planning to move.

Parent A could (in theory) fight that and insist that the kids stay in the same district.  However, Parent A would prefer that the kids move to Parent A's location. 

Parents A & B have options (and maybe more than I'm listing...I dunno).  Go to court and sort it out.  OR Offer the kids a choice.  Because changing schools has always been the hesitation for the kids as it would for most kids, that is off the table as a deciding factor because either way, they'd be changing schools.

Should kids have a say then?  Or should the parents circumvent the courts and just work it out based on what the kids want to do?

I tend to vote go to court.  I think it's too much pressure on kids, too much potential for guilt, too much potential for back and forth, and too much potential for making plans and then having one parent or the other back out at the last minute and decide that they do want to go through court.

by on Apr. 10, 2014 at 1:48 PM
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Replies (1-10):
whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 1:51 PM
2 moms liked this

I personally think the CP should not move away from the NCP, and if they choose to, custody should revert to the NCP (the one who is not moving). So in a sense, my answer would be no -- the child should not get to choose, they should remain put.

(unless both parents agree that they should move with the moving parent).

oldproatthis
by Silver Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 1:55 PM

I think ultimately it should always be the court's discretion, a third party should play a role when a divorce is involved. I think at some point a kid should be able to voice an opinion. From a medical/psychological standpoint the age of 14 that some states have chosen to allow kids to have input is not exactly arbitrary. By that age many teens have established abstract thinking and can think outside the box to complex scenarios including decisions and consequences. Lives change dramatically, personalities, relaitionships, and opportunities do too. I think A LOT should be factored in: the maturity of the kid, the reasons for choosing one residence over the other, coparenting abilities, conflict between the homes. Taking all this into account, depending on the contribution of the kid, yes they should have a voice and then a third party without vested interest should be looking out for the best interest of the kid...In an ideal world...

oldproatthis
by Silver Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 1:58 PM

IDK, in some cases that scenario just wouldn't work...BM would never be capable of raising my SKs...on so many levels...that's why the judge saw fit to give DH unrestricted ability to move ad lib...she can't fight a thing if he wants to move with the kids...the CO just automatically sets up a LD plan if we move...he has full authority to take the kids as far and wide as he wants to.

Quoting whatIknownow:

I personally think the CP should not move away from the NCP, and if they choose to, custody should revert to the NCP (the one who is not moving). So in a sense, my answer would be no -- the child should not get to choose, they should remain put.

(unless both parents agree that they should move with the moving parent).

 

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 2:01 PM

I agree with you.

Now add a twist:

Parent A moves, Parent B stays and kids stay because the CO states that kids can't be moved out of school district without both parents agreeing. Not what Parent A wanted but that's the CO. 

A year later, Parent B notifies Parent A that they are planning to move.

Parent A could (in theory) fight that and insist that the kids stay in the same district.  However, Parent A would prefer that the kids move to Parent A's location. 

Parents A & B have options (and maybe more than I'm listing...I dunno).  Go to court and sort it out.  OR Offer the kids a choice.  Because changing schools has always been the hesitation for the kids as it would for most kids, that is off the table as a deciding factor because either way, they'd be changing schools.

Should kids have a say then?  Or should the parents circumvent the courts and just work it out based on what the kids want to do?

I tend to vote go to court.  I think it's too much pressure on kids, too much potential for guilt, too much potential for back and forth, and too much potential for making plans and then having one parent or the other back out at the last minute and decide that they do want to go through court.

Quoting whatIknownow:

I personally think the CP should not move away from the NCP, and if they choose to, custody should revert to the NCP (the one who is not moving). So in a sense, my answer would be no -- the child should not get to choose, they should remain put.

(unless both parents agree that they should move with the moving parent).


Shannonb88
by Bronze Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 2:04 PM
What if the NCP lived in another town, another school district so matter if they moved with CP or moved in with NCP, that would still be a 'move' for them? Change of schools, ect.

Quoting whatIknownow:

I personally think the CP should not move away from the NCP, and if they choose to, custody should revert to the NCP (the one who is not moving). So in a sense, my answer would be no -- the child should not get to choose, they should remain put.

(unless both parents agree that they should move with the moving parent).

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 2:13 PM

In that situation, as long as it wasn't going to affect visitation, I think that the CP should retain custody.  But that the CP should be prepared to provide transportation sufficient such that the NCP isn't being burdened with additional transport costs/time.

BTW, I didn't start this thread due to your thread.  Started it due to my sitch.  So hope you didn't think I was trying to throw you under the bus.

Quoting Shannonb88: What if the NCP lived in another town, another school district so matter if they moved with CP or moved in with NCP, that would still be a 'move' for them? Change of schools, ect.
Quoting whatIknownow:

I personally think the CP should not move away from the NCP, and if they choose to, custody should revert to the NCP (the one who is not moving). So in a sense, my answer would be no -- the child should not get to choose, they should remain put.

(unless both parents agree that they should move with the moving parent).


Shannonb88
by Bronze Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM
Oh no, you're fine!

Quoting Birdseed:

In that situation, as long as it wasn't going to affect visitation, I think that the CP should retain custody.  But that the CP should be prepared to provide transportation sufficient such that the NCP isn't being burdened with additional transport costs/time.

BTW, I didn't start this thread due to your thread.  Started it due to my sitch.  So hope you didn't think I was trying to throw you under the bus.

Quoting Shannonb88: What if the NCP lived in another town, another school district so matter if they moved with CP or moved in with NCP, that would still be a 'move' for them? Change of schools, ect.

Quoting whatIknownow:

I personally think the CP should not move away from the NCP, and if they choose to, custody should revert to the NCP (the one who is not moving). So in a sense, my answer would be no -- the child should not get to choose, they should remain put.

(unless both parents agree that they should move with the moving parent).

andie646c
by Silver Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 2:57 PM

I think that if that if both homes are equal, as far as no abuse or neglect, then the child should get to choose. Why not? There's no burden with it unless one of the parents is trying to guilt the child into being with them. Whether they go with mom or stay with dad or go with dad and stay with mom they will still only see their other parent for the long distance visitation schedule. It's their life, they may not want to leave football or friends or church.

Obviously, not small children, but a child who is old enough to make other major decisions should be allowed to make this one too. 

ETA: Of course, the cost of travel is a whole other issue, lol. 

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Just to clarify, in the example I'm talking about, both parents are moving/have moved so a change of schools, football, friends, church, etc would happen regardless.  I'll update the first post.

Quoting andie646c:

It's their life, they may not want to leave football or friends or church.


whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 3:13 PM

It doesnt make any sense for Parent A to fight Parent B's move. At this point the two Parents are already geographically separated. My basis for saying that the CP can't move the kids away from the NCP is primarily based on the disadvantage to the NCP that such a move would create (in terms of his ability to have a parenting impact on his child's life). If the NCP moves (or the CP-turned-NCP as a result of his/her decision to move), that basis no longer applies. Once either one of them moves, the original restriction on moving is no longer in effect.

However, custody can always be modified at any time based on a change in circumstance. Certainly, the now-CP's move constitutes a change in circumstance which opens up the opportunity for the now-NCP (Parent A) to file a motion for custody. The basis for this change in custody would be different from the basis for the previous change in custody. It would not be based on the restriction that was in effect when they lived near each other. It would now be based on a new evaluation of Parent A's home versus Parent B's home.


Quoting Birdseed:

I agree with you.

Now add a twist:

Parent A moves, Parent B stays and kids stay because the CO states that kids can't be moved out of school district without both parents agreeing. Not what Parent A wanted but that's the CO. 

A year later, Parent B notifies Parent A that they are planning to move.

Parent A could (in theory) fight that and insist that the kids stay in the same district.  However, Parent A would prefer that the kids move to Parent A's location. 

Parents A & B have options (and maybe more than I'm listing...I dunno).  Go to court and sort it out.  OR Offer the kids a choice.  Because changing schools has always been the hesitation for the kids as it would for most kids, that is off the table as a deciding factor because either way, they'd be changing schools.

Should kids have a say then?  Or should the parents circumvent the courts and just work it out based on what the kids want to do?

I tend to vote go to court.  I think it's too much pressure on kids, too much potential for guilt, too much potential for back and forth, and too much potential for making plans and then having one parent or the other back out at the last minute and decide that they do want to go through court.

Quoting whatIknownow:

I personally think the CP should not move away from the NCP, and if they choose to, custody should revert to the NCP (the one who is not moving). So in a sense, my answer would be no -- the child should not get to choose, they should remain put.

(unless both parents agree that they should move with the moving parent).



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