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Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3586
Experience:  30 years of experience
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Facts: I have a 2006 court ordered parenting plan from the

Customer Question

I have a 2006 court ordered parenting plan from the state of Washington, Pierce County in place that addresses my son Sean, who is now 15. That parenting plan shares Sean equally - 50/50. In that plan, my ex-wife Ramona has the majority of the time with my son for purposes of the document, but we are essentially 50/50. Sean is with me every other week for the entire week.
Ramona wants to move back to her birth state (Ohio) and take Sean with her. She would live with her mother and let her mother take care of them. She has not officially or unofficially informed me of this move. I only learned of it from my adult daughter who talked with Ramona. Ramona informed her of that plan. I want to be prepared on what to say and what NOT to say or do when she does tell me. I am pretty sure she has NOT taken the time,effort or money to create a new parenting plan and will leave without an agreement. I am sure she wants to ignore that.
My parenting plan says she is to give me 60 days formal notice, unless domestic violence, safety of the child or anything like that. neither of which is an issue in this concern.
Given the choice between 2 tough options (stay with me and hurt his mother's feelings or go with her and hurt me) I am pretty sure my son Sean will choose to go with his mother. He feels like he has to help his mother,
I have no real reason to say it would be extremely detrimental for Sean to go to Ohio, but I do believe he'd turn out to be a better person staying with me and my wife, his stepmother...but of course I'm biased that way.
I'm not sure how likely I would be able to force Ramona to stay in the state if I contested. i.e. how likely is it that the court would stop her from taking Sean with her, My guess (I'm 98% confident in this guess) is that the reason she is moving back to Ohio is that she has so messed up herself financially that she needs to move in with her mother for a place to live and basic needs. She claims she can not find work here and is unable to care for herself and that her mother has offered her/them a place to live. Can you comment on the likelihood of getting an order to force her to leave Sean here. What would I do if she just up and leaves without officially notifying me.? I can't contest a court motion that was never made can I?
If I were to not contest the move, how do I protect myself if sometime down the road she refuses to let me see Sean. At that point I'd still have an active Parenting Plan (that had all been ignored for a period of time). So I'm guessing that wouldn't be enforceable at that point?
So those are areas of open questions.
Thank you for your time.
Jeff Brannick
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 10 months ago.


Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

Each state has enacted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Under this law the original state has jurisdiction over the Custody issue. Also you have a custody agreement that requires her to get your agreement or permission from the court to remove the child from the state.

If she does take your son from the state without obtaining authorization she may be found in contempt. If she refuses to allow you to see your son you can pursue her on that as well. Under the Uniform Law the Ohio Courts are obligated to enforce the Washington State Order.

So if she leaves without an agreement from you she runs the risk of the court ordering custody back to you.

You may wish to have your attorney write to her and tell her that you have learned of her plans and that you object to the move unless the two of you can agree to a new plan.

Here is a link to the Washington law:

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'm not sure I object as long as she agrees to certain requirements. However, I am concerned at some point (maybe even 2 years) that she will not follow those agreements. What options do I have at that point?
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for the excellent follow up questions.

You can use the potential objection as leverage to get her to sign a more appropriate agreement that meets the new circumstances.

Under the UCCJEA the Ohio Court has to enforce the Washington Order. So if you have a new agreement before she moves and take into consideration the move you can have that agreement enforced by the OHIO courts.

The real problem is that as your son get closer to 18 the abitlity to enforce the order will be diminished simply because by the time the court process works your son will be of age to make his own decisions.

Kind regards,


Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 10 months ago.

What I mean by the above is that you need to consider how to put yourself into the best position to negotiate what you want.