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Posted: 3/16/2001 12:19:59 PM EDT
The same crazy ex-wife that got a restraining order against me last summer [was not continued] called me last night and told me she is moving 350 miles away to Oregon and taking my daughters with her [ages 15&11]. Not only is she breaking the divorce decree she is also breaking a verbal promise that "I will never move and take the kids away from you". I know there is no judge in the state of WA. that would stop her from moving regardless of how much I would spend legally trying to stop her. I am showing great restraint by not stopping her physically. After two years of lies, backstabbing and humiliation among other things, I"ve surprised myself that I"ve stayed within the law. She has finally won. She is the boss [something she always wanted to be]. How do ya be a long distance dad to two young girls who should have the protectiveness of a father at this age. I feel as tho I have lost them forever. Just needed to vent. Thanks
Link Posted: 3/16/2001 12:35:41 PM EDT
Well, I feel for you in this situation.  If she has broken some part of the divorce decree then go back to court.  As for the verbal promise she made to not move, unfortunately, that doesn't mean a hill of beans in the legal sense.  As for how to be a long distance dad I don't know the answer to that one but I wish you luck.  
Link Posted: 3/16/2001 12:37:17 PM EDT
I'm sorry to hear about your situation.  I can somewhat relate, although it is from a different point of view.  When I was a kid, after my parents divorced, my dad was trying to get custody of me and my sister because my mom was/is an alcoholic and druggie.

When she found out that he was trying to get custody of us, she packed us up and moved us from Minnesota, to Oregon (what the deal with Oregon?) overnight without telling anyone.  I don't think that he knew where we were for 3 years.  Since she technically had custody at that time, there wasn't anything my dad could do legally, even if he could have found us.  

So I guess what I am saying is that it is horrible that your ex is moving, don't do anything that could make the situation worse like trying to physically stop her.  Since you  can't be with her 24/7 if she wants to go she will.  Just don't do anything that might cause her to "disappear" like my mom did, because then you will never be able to see your kids.

At least they are still close enough that you can see them semi-regularly, which is definately better than if she was moving to New York or something.  Good luck and hang in there.
Link Posted: 3/16/2001 12:41:17 PM EDT
U.S. laws, ESPECIALLY in Washington State are heavily in favor of women. That is a fact.

There has been heavy over compensation for the "protection" of women, and you are immediately at that disadvantage. I could go in to a few stories about that, but for the sake of time I'll pass.

If your wife has in fact broken the divorce agreement, then she is bound by law to correct the situation, or suffer the consequences. What part of the divorce agreement she broke? Who knows, you didn't say. But I'd legally hold her to EVERY word.

In the long run, it's better not to make big waves over this beyond what's legally effective. Your daughters should NEVER carry the weight of you and your ex wifes failed relationship. What's best for them is to have a non-vendictive father. A father who, despite geographical distance, conveys his eternal love and support, that is NEVER questioned by his kids. That's your job.

A whack-o ex can ruin your life. I'd focus on legal routes you can take, and I'd focus on making damn sure your loyalty to your kids is NEVER questioned. You also, for the sake of reality, need to start figuring out how you can spend as much time with your girls as possible, given their new location. It wont be easy, but it's well worth the effort. Their mother, over time, will most certainly paint herself as the bitter unpleasant person you describe her as.

Loyalty, love and contact with your kids is your best bet. If you only do three things, let it be those three things.
Link Posted: 3/16/2001 1:00:17 PM EDT
God rainman, I feel for ya. Is it possible we were married to the same flakey female?  My ex also broke every verbal promise that was made when she left.  And has the nerve to call me up trying to make deals with me now.  I just laugh and tell her F_ck you.  

As far as you kids go I don't know about Wash.  Here in OH you can have joint custody or what I have which is call shared parenting.  But either way the bitch ex can't move away without loosing her precious child support. Talk to your lawyer and see if you can stop the move, or if she does move have the child support stopped.  If the money is stopped that usually would be enough to make them stop dead in their tracks.  The thing is most of these bitches don't care what their doing to the kids they are just thinking of themselves.
Link Posted: 3/16/2001 1:50:39 PM EDT
Rainman, I am not familiar with WA divorce laws however I can't imagine it is that much diferant than CA, she can't move the kids out of state without court approval first, when you divorce there is an automatic restraining order placed on both parents barring them from removing the children from the state so  she would not be able to without consent of a judge. Further more your 15 year old is old enough to make a decission as to where he or she wants to live, I believe the age for that is 12 unless there is a history of abuse you should have no troubles. But again the courts do favor the woman so play  your cards right and keep a cool head.
Good luck......
Link Posted: 3/16/2001 2:14:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/16/2001 2:20:07 PM EDT
rainman, I concur with glk31.  Here is Arizona there is a law preventing the custodial parent from moving more than 100 miles away or out of the state.  I bet WA has a similar law, as there are uniform laws adopted by at least most of the western states regarding jurisdiction in this sort of matter.  You don't want her leaving if you can avoid it, because after the kids have lived in another state for awhile, that state gets jurisdiction because it becomes the kids' state of residence.

Good luck . . .
Link Posted: 3/16/2001 2:33:50 PM EDT
rainman,  your kids are always with you, as long as they know how much you love them and want them. if she has actually broken any legal agreements, find a good lawyer (they`re out there) and get it taken care of. remember, don`t do anything to separate your kids from you, including bashing the old lady, because it`s thier mom and no matter what the situation is between you and her, your kids still love/need both of you. time is a great healer. it will bring you and your girls back together. just use your head.....i`ve been there.good luck, stay on the straight and narrow......B&G
Link Posted: 3/16/2001 3:42:08 PM EDT
Unless she has good reason to move (usually employment related) and she is in violation of your divorce agreement a Judge should enter an order preventing her from moving. Although it's not so easy to determine the gold standard is what is in the "best interest" of the children.  

The sad part in all divorce/custody proceedings is that eventually the kids GROW UP. To alienate either parent will only mess them up for life. Your wife needs to understand this. Is there a friend or family member who can talk to her? What about a family counselor?

As a last resort you could file for a change of custody. I don't know about WA but in some states kids as young as ten can choose who they want to live with. At the very least you should end up with a more liberal custody/visitation arrangement.

It's a tough situation but hang in there as eventually things will work out.
Link Posted: 3/16/2001 4:21:57 PM EDT
So what about your children are not worth following them out there for?
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