I am in a custody battle with my ex-husband who lives in Georgia and I now live in Virginia. My husband and I are moving to be closer and continue the battle and wonder if it makes a difference if we live in the state of Georgia, or if we could live just across the SC border from Georgia. (We would be 80 miles from my sons and near our new jobs, regardless of where we reside.)
State/Country relating to question: Georgia
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I am sorry to hear about what is going on. Are you seeking sole custody of the children or is custody going to be shared?
Joint Legal Custody and primary custody with me.
And what is the father seeking? Also, who are the children with now?
When I remarried and moved from Georgia to Virginia, my exhusband (who had visitation every other weekend at that time) fought me for primary physical custody and won in a true case of croneyism (the judge used gross abuse of discretion, but that is water under the bridge at this point). At this point, we have joint legal and he has primary physical. Since he was arrested for DUI (3 times the legal limit) in December and the boys ( ages 11 and 14) have expressed their desire to live with me, my husband and I decided the best move would be to return to Augusta, Georgia, where we are both from. The boys and my ex-husband currently live in Swainsboro, Georgia, which is 80 miles south of Augusta.
Thank you. The court is going to act in the best interest of the children, when deciding which parent to award physical custody to. In this case, the fact that the father received a DUI, could create doubt as to his ability to properly care for them. If the court is going to modify the current custody order, they are going to look at other circumstances, besides the DUI arrest. The boys are in school now, so the Judge may want them to remain in the system school/county that they are in now. Moreover, if they have friends and other family near by, the Judge may not want to end those relationships, by having them move. At the same time, the Judge will, based upon their age, listen to their request, to want to live with you and your husband. The Judge has the final decision but can certainly consider what they have to say. The Judge is not going to want to disrupt their current life style but at the same time, needs to balance the safety, care and well being of them staying with the father, with it. Moreover, you can present fact to support your request, to show that it would be in their best interest to live with you and your husband. There is no way of knowing what the Judge will order. The closer you are to them and the ability to keep their current lifestyle in place, will certainly have an effect on the Judges decision and how the change will effect it.
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So living in Georgia, instead of just across the state lines in SC would be better for us as we build our case and continue this fight? Just want to be sure. Thanks.
That is something which is at your discretion. I wish I could tell you that it would make a different but there is no way of knowing what the Judge will do. If living in SC would provide the children with a better lifestyle and quality of life, it is something which the Judge will consider. At the same time, it does not mean that if you move to GA that it will help with obtaining custody. As I stated above, the Judge is going to act in the best interest of the children. The location of living is only one factor to look in and may or may not effect the decision.
7 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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