How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask WALLSTREETESQ Your Own Question
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17252
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
WALLSTREETESQ is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have sole custody of 2 daughters (age 4 and 7). Their father

Customer Question

I have sole custody of 2 daughters (age 4 and 7). Their father has supervised visitation, to be supervised by someone we agree upon. The reality is he visits once every several months for a couple of hours. I want to move across the country. What do I need to do to show that the move is in the best interest of the children?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  WALLSTREETESQ replied 6 years ago.
Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarificati on.

Has he violated the visitation order by missing the visits?Is their a custody and visitation order?

Edited by WALLSTREETESQ on 12/1/2010 at 2:46 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
There is no visitation order except our divorce decree that says he is to be supervised and that he and I can agree upon who does the supervising. Basically, he texts that he is available and if the children are free at that time, I plan for them to get home (to where the girls and I live) and he comes to visit them. He has never asked that anyone other than me supervise. Usually they all play in the den while I work in the kitchen nearby and the visits are about two hours long.

His mother and her husband come to visit twice a month, on a schedule I set up because they tried to take me to court to get grandparent visitation. It is a verbal agreement between us. I was trying to help them realize that they were going to get to continue seeing the children.

So, there is no written visitation agreement approved by the court for him to be in violation of.

I fear that if I move, his mother will hire an attorney for him and take me to court to block me.

He had an affair while I was pregnant with our second child and has subsequently had a baby with that girlfriend (who is half his age). We were married 15 years, 14 prior to the affair. The divorce went completely in my favor. The divorce was final 9/11/2006 and I want to get on with my life. I do not want my children around the girlfriend and it is so stated in the divorce decree.
Expert:  WALLSTREETESQ replied 6 years ago.
since you have the sole custody of the children and the father is not interested in maintaining a relationship with the children, you should consider these two options:

1. petition in the family court for permission to move out of state, if he objects a hearing will be made and if you can show the reason for the move, such as you are getting remarried or have a job somewhere else, the court may allow it.

2. Move out, and provide him notice that you will be going on vacation for one month with the children, after the one month do not communicate with him and force him to find you and serve you a relocation custody petition. After six months in your new state you become a resident their and he would have to come find you.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I think I got just ripped off for thirty bucks. I do not accept your answer. #1 did not answer the question I originally asked. And #2 is very bad advice. If I did that, when we wound up in court again it would most decidedly not go in my favor.

So, now I am out thirty bucks and haven't learned anything. I want my money back.
Expert:  WALLSTREETESQ replied 6 years ago.

Let me clarify my response to answer your first question:

Pursuant to Alabama relocation case law best interests of the child will be decided based upon a remarriage and the need for the custodial parent to move to be with her husband, or that their is a job that the sole custodial parent has in another state and needs to move to continue her employment. In your situation, I would file for a modification order of the existing visitation, for every other weekend, and limit any contact with his girlfriend. If the father fails to visit you file a contempt petition, and if he continues to violate the visitaiton order, or has his parents visits instead of him, that is contempt and his contempt of the order will be grounds to relocate and terminate his rights.

Alabama has a statute to address the relocation of one parent after divorce.


Under the statute a parent must notify the other parent before moving to a different state or to a location more than 60 miles from the other parent’s address, unless the move brings the children closer to the other parent.

The moving parent must use certified mail (FedEx presumably is not acceptable). The notice must occur at least 45 days before the move or within 10 days after learning of the move if later.

The notice must include the address and phone number of the new residence and of the new school the child or children will be attending, the date of the move, the specific reason(s) for the move, a proposal for revising custody and visitation, if any (although the statute offers no guidance about what the parties will do with this information), and a warning that the other parent must object to the move within 30 days or the move will be permitted.

If information is missing or unknown at the time of the notice, the parent must supply it as soon as it is available.

After the notice, the other parent has 30 days within which to object (longer upon a showing of good cause or excusable neglect). Upon objection, the court may delay the move until after a hearing.

At the hearing, the judge is to evaluate whether the move is in the best interest of the child, applying factors like the age and maturity of the child, alternative means of communication available, and how much the non-relocating parent has used visitation in the past.

Unless there has been a finding of domestic violence, the statute sets up a rebuttable presumption that a move is NOT in the best interest of the child. Once the relocating parent overcomes this presumption (presumably by showing benefits available to the child at the new residence that are not available now), the burden shifts to the non-relocating parent.

Second, the statute requires the CP in most cases to notify the NCP 45 days before moving (this has always been the courteous thing to do but has not been required before) and gives the NCP the right to demand a hearing about whether the move is in the best interest of the children.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Ah, that is more like it. Thanks! I am not remarrying and the job prospects are slim (I would be staying with friends to help out, much like a live-in nanny, unless I could find a good-paying job.) So, you are suggesting a route to terminate his rights. He would be willing to do that. It would get him out of paying the current or back child support (approx $9K). My understanding when we divorced was that the judge would not be likely to terminate his rights. Is there another approach? Or, was that the 'petition the family court to move out of state' idea. I would still have to show why it is a good idea to move though, right? It sounds like they only look at a job or remarriage as good reasons.

Expert:  WALLSTREETESQ replied 6 years ago.
I am suggesting a legal route to have the court favor a future move by you. In many cases offering an end to child support to the father, is incentive enough to allow a move. Another option is to force his hand in terms of visitation.

The divorce does not stop a court from terminating his rights, the court can terminate his rights if he has continuously violated the divorce court order. So if he does not visit or violates the agreement you had with him in any way file a contempt petition and have the Court reprimand him every time. Eventually his rights will be limited and then terminated.