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originallawyer, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 840
Experience:  9+ years of experience in divorce, custody battles and mediation.
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I have full custody of my daughter, both legal and physical.

Customer Question

I have full custody of my daughter, both legal and physical. My divorce was finalized 2 years ago we she was a year old. My exwife was given visitation rights. Since then I have moved to the neighboring state. Part of the agreement says that she has to notify me anytime she leaves the state of VT. She has not done this multiple times. My daughter now attends school, which is over an hour away from my exwife. I would like my daughter to stay with me during the weekdays to keep her school schedule consistent. Do I have the right to change the visitation from week on week off to weekdays with me and weekends with her?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  originallawyer replied 7 months ago.

Thanks for your question! I am working on your answer. This service is for information only. I cannot give you legal advice. Please stand by!

Expert:  originallawyer replied 7 months ago.

No, you do not have the right to unilaterally change a court order that has been signed by a Judge. You must go back to court and ask the Judge to modify your decree. The Judge will then consider your reasons for wanting to make the change and consider if it's in the best interest of your child.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
do I submit it to the court in state that the divorce/custody took place or in the state that I live in?
Expert:  originallawyer replied 7 months ago.

You would go back to the court that issued your original order because they retain continuing jurisdiction of your case until they transfer it. If you want it to be transferred to the state that you live in now, you'd need to file a motion to transfer at the same time you filed your motion to modify in the original court. They may choose to transfer or not. Usually jurisdiction follows the child, but if the child is living 50/50 in two places, there could be some argument on the part of your ex-wife for keeping the case in her state.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Would the fact that my exwifes parents take care of my child more then my exwife does during her visitation time help me?
Expert:  originallawyer replied 7 months ago.

It would be a factor for the Judge to consider, certainly, but not necessarily an automatic slam dunk factor.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Is job stability a factor? She hasn't had a stable job in a while and I've had the same job since my daughter was born, will this help me?
Expert:  originallawyer replied 7 months ago.

Not necessarily. That's one of the lesser factors that courts look at. Your strongest factor is going to be the distance of your daughter's school from your ex-wife.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My exwife says she lives in VT, but I've found information saying (on her Facebook account) that says she lives in NH. She not supposed to leave the state of VT with my daughter with my permission, could that help me?
Expert:  originallawyer replied 7 months ago.

If you can prove it, yes. She could potentially be held in contempt for violating the order. However, if she's moved to the state where you live, the Judge may not have as much of a problem with it. The issue might be different if she was routinely taking the child to Texas or something like that. Most of this is going to depend on the Judge you're in front of and how strictly they interpret orders and what they choose to care about.

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