I live in Los Angeles with my 12 year old son. I have sole physical custody and my ex husband and I have joint legal custody. My ex also lives in Los Angeles 15 minutes away from us We were married for 10 years and he literally walked out one day and never came back, when I told him we were moving back East and I was taking my son he said fine My son was 2 years old at the time and I was so devestated by my ex husband's leaving, that I moved back East for family support. Our divorce decree states that I have sole physical custody and we have joint legal custody. There is nothing in the decree that refers to relocation in the future. When my son turned 6 years old I wanted him to have the opportunity to get to know his father so I moved back to Los Angeles to give his father the opportunity to build a realtionship I had told his father this was temporary and we would not be living in LA forever, but nothing was added to reflect this to the decree at the time. We have no formal arrangement on visitation. My son has always lived with me solely and since we have lived back in LA over the last 7 years his father sees him on average 6 days a month. I am and always have been the main caregiver in every aspect of my son's life. His dad does not take him to the doctor, to sports practices, to tutor etc.. I do everything for my son. It is close to 7 years now that we have been living back in LA my son is now going on 13 and he was 6 when we arrived here. I have been dating the same man for the last 9.5 years that I met back East. He was transferred to Phoenix 2 years in to our relationship and for close to 8 years we have been dating long distance, flying back and forth every or every other week-end in order to accomodate this relationship for my ex husband My son has known my boyfriend since he was a toddler and they are very fond of each other and he is very supportive and loving to my son. My boyfriend and I want to get married and the plan is for my son and I to move to Phoenix this fall before school starts. My son loves his dad and they do have a realtionship. I have talked to my son at length about the move to make sure he is ok with it and to reassure him that he will still see his dad 2 times per month as he does now and can also have long summers with him partial holidays, school breaks etc.. and that via Skype cell phone, e-mails etc.. he will always be in touch with his dad daily. My son is fine with the move and is looking forward to it. I have written my ex a letter notifying him of my future marriage and the move with my son and the reasons why this will be beneficial, I will not have to work, (I have been a single full time working mom since my sone was 2 years old) which means more time to spend with my son and be with him after the bell rings at school, he has cousins in Phoenix (my brother has 2 boys there, my son's age) my boyfriend's family is very clsoe and they live there and family brings such quality to life, we will live in a beautiful home and safe neighborhood with a park across the street, and currently we have been living in a 2 bedroom condo which is nice, but no yard no where to run outside etc.., he can get a better education by being able to go to a private school - currently he has gone to public due to lack of finances and he can build a better realtionship with his son because he can visit him in Phoenix once a month and have one on one time alone with him vs my son competing with his time amongst his other 2 boys he has with his wife
The flight is only one hour and 20 minutes and my son is old enough and very happy to fly on his own to Burbank once a month. It took a week for my ex husband to reply to my letter to him about the move and he said he will not allow it and without his approval I can not move my son out of state and he will not let that happen. In addition to my ex husband's lack of real effort to spend more time with my son all these years we have lived here, he has been out of work at one point for over a year and owes me close to $8000.00 in back child support
. He would not branch out of his field at the time to get a job doing anything to bring in money to pay his support and we were almost evicted. I had to borrow money from friends, family, ask my landlord to reduce the rent etc.. I do work full time but this is a very expensive city to live in. When he started working again I gave him time to get on his feet and then told him the back support needed to be paid in full. I even hired my attorney to write him a letter with a demand of response and he never even responded to my attorney. He has been paying me $50 per month for the last year and a half towards that balance, and has made no effort other than that to pay it off and that $50 payment plan was never any kind of agreement between him and I He said it was all he could afford. My question is... the school starts August 9th in Phoenix and I want to move there at end of July, if I file a "Move Away" via the state of California I am afraid the back up in the system will cause the issue to not even be addressed for months and months which means I will have to stay here another year
I can not afford an attorney and frankly I have documents, calendars, e-mails etc.. for the last 6 years that prove I have always been the main caregiver and sole parent so I do not feel I am in jeapordy of losing anything especially it is all documented and factual to everyone we know and also since my son wants to go. I am assuming my ex will be taking me to court which means that my son will most likely have to talk to the judge and he is not happy about this as he feels it is putting him in the middle. I brought this to my ex's attention and he said he doesn't care adn that my son is not moving.
What are my rights and what is the best and most efficient and expedient way to approach getting approvla to move to Phoenix with my son? Can you please help guid me on the next an dmost important steps to take to get a resolution to this problem. I feel like I am a prisoner to my ex husband's wishes Can you please help? Thanks