Thank you for your reply. Don't apologize for the delay, I'm just glad you got back to me and I could assist you further. I'll break down for you the arguments that I think work for you and against you. Ulitmately, remember that a judge will always do what he or she feels is in the "best interest" of the children; so, you may present a great argument, but a judge may not always agree. Still, I think you do have some good arguments to relocate, especially your ex husband's lack of parental support and the opportunity to be near relatives.
What works in your favor:
-Your ex opted out of spending more time with his kids in the original divorce agreement, and spends only the minimal amount of time with him that he has to. Moving away may not therefore affect him as much, because a different visitation schedule can still be worked out.
-He does not take interest in his children outside of visitation. Again, if he was so interested in spending time with them, why doesn't he, when he lives so close by?
-No interest in parenting duties. Not a concerned parent.
-Children do not have a close relationship with their father (likely as a result of all of the above), so seeing them less will not have a detrimental impact provided regular visitation can still be established.
-Children are doing well in school, so should be able to easily adapt and do well in a new school
-You will be close to relatives, something you don't have now. Family support is a very good thing in the eyes of a judge.
-Kids want to move. The judge may ask the older two for their opinions about moving, how they feel, etc.
What works against you:
-Your ex exercises his regular visitation schedule. Even if he doesn't do more than that, his attorney will argue that he will be denied that regular contact if you move. I'd counter with items 1-3 above, that he could have had more visitation, more contact, but he doesn't take advantage.
-Kids are doing well in school here and likely have friendships established. Moving is hard on children, and there is no guarantee they will do just as well in school in a new area or make friends as easily.
- Job opportunities in new area? You don't mention whether you have a job or job prospect where you want to move, but if you have the chance to get a career or a better career by moving, this could go a long way towards working in your favor.
Hope this helps.
Good luck to you. If you have any additional questions, please press the reply button, and I will be happy to assist you further.
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