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Lady Themis
Lady Themis, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7751
Experience:  Divorce, child custody, child support, etc.
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My kids, age 17 and 14, have expressed their desire to live

Resolved Question:

My kids, age 17 and 14, have expressed their desire to live with me in a different state (IL) then their mother (NY). Their mom is presently the custodial parent but is largely absent. My kids have documented numerous situations of verbal abuse and episodes where their mom comes home intoxicated or simply doesn't come home for days. Basically, the kids are fed up and want out of her house. I've attempted to take the proper legal steps with their mom but she is now demanding an unreasonable travel stipend that I provide to her to come to us for visitation in IL. Is there any legal avenue for me to pursue? In the kids best interest? I want them with me, first and foremost, not opposed to helping with travel but it has to be reasonable. Need help!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lady Themis replied 6 years ago.

Is the original custody order out of New York?

Is she otherwise agreeable to allowing the children to live with you?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes, the original order is in NY and she is agreeable to allowing the kids to live with me in IL.
Expert:  Lady Themis replied 6 years ago.

If you remove the children to your state without court order or without the custodial parent's agreement (which should be signed in writing), you could be subject to civil and criminal kidnapping penalties. The safest way to address this issue is to file a motion in the family court asking for custody. If the mother will not agree to custody with you without a stipend for visitations, this is your only option. Even then, the court may order you to bear some of the cost of travel expenses for either the children to her or her to the children. That is quite common, however, the stipend, if any, would be a reasonable amount, and she would be ordered to bear some of that cost as well (normally at least half).


I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Is there any precedent I may use in regard to stating travel stipend? I'm okay with paying for the kids. She's asking for $700 per trip if she flies to us in IL. I'm offering her the use of my car plus $400 to book airfare and hotel. I'd also like to see how my stipend is being used with supporting receipts. Is this reasonable or not?
Expert:  Lady Themis replied 6 years ago.

First, I should say that if the court finds that it is in the children's best interest to live with you, it may not order that you contribute to travel expenses at all. Travel expenses are often ordered where the custodial parent wishes to relocate away from the noncustodial parent. However, if custody is modified because it is no longer in the children's best interest to live with the custodial parent, travel expenses may not be awarded at all.


Beyond that, it is within the court's discretion whether to award travel expenses based on the particular circumstances, including the means of the parties. If the court does order you to pay travel expenses, you may ask for an order that she provide you with receipts for costs so that you can assure that your monetary contribution is necessary.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My ex and her attorneys are doing everything in their power to keep the kids from speaking to the court. They are trying to leverage me with zero accountability on her behalf. I'm contemplating going to court to fight for full custody. Would be interested in hearing more about you and your expertise as well. Will possibly need an attorney in NY.
Expert:  Lady Themis replied 6 years ago.

I'm sorry, but attorneys on this site are prohibited from engaging in attorney/client representation with customers on the site. I can direct you to the New York Bar Association's Attorney referral service here:


Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions. Otherwise, please kindly accept so I can be credited for my time.



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