Life is dynamic and circumstances can change at the drop of hat. Although your spouse may have planned on staying in the same place after the divorce, he or she may have a change of heart at a later date. If your spouse hits you with the news of moving out of state with the children, you may not be certain what you can or should do. Here are a couple of ways to deal with the situation.
Ask the Reason for the Move
The course of action you should take will depend a lot on the reason your spouse wants to move to another state. Moving away from all that's familiar is often a big ordeal for children, and the move can have a negative impact on your relationship with them. If your spouse is moving for reasons that indicate he or she is not acting in the best interests of the kids (e.g. moving in with an unemployed boyfriend), then you should probably step in, hire a family attorney, and exert your rights to prevent that from happening.
On the other hand, if your spouse is moving to better the kids' circumstances (e.g. take advantage of a higher-paying job opportunity), then you may want to look at ways to be supportive while still protecting your ability to see your kids.
Preventing the Move
If you feel your ex-spouse moving to another state will hurt both the kids and negatively impact your relationship with them, you have options for preventing your ex from going forward with the plan. The first thing you should try is to talk to your ex about your concerns. He or she may not have fully considered all of the ramifications of moving and may decide to forgo relocation.
If this doesn't work, then take a look at your divorce decree and/or child custody agreement. Many courts will anticipate this sort of issue and provide instructions on how the situation should be handled. Your spouse may be required to get your written approval to move, something you can use to negotiate new visitation terms to protect your relationship with your kids.
In some cases, you may have to get the court involved. If this seems like a possibility, contact a Bountiful Family law Attorney for assistance with litigating a case.