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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13757
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I am going through a divorce and my soon to be ex is saying

Customer Question

I am going through a divorce and my soon to be ex is saying there is a moving clause and trying to fight for custody to fight for our three kids. He is on depression medication and bi-polar medication. Do I stand a chance to keep these kids? I am the one that filed first as their mother. I am wanting to move to Utah from Idaho which is only 2 1/5 hours away from the kids.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.

Neither parent is granted an automatic preference as to custody of children under Idaho law. When making these custody determinations, the court must determine what is in the best interest of the child, a broad standard that leaves the court with a great deal of discretion.
However, Idaho law does enumerate a number of factors for the court to consider in child custody cases, including:

  • the parents’ desires for custody of their child
  • the child’s wishes as to which parent should be their custodian
  • the relationship between the child and each parent
  • the child’s relationship with other siblings who are in the custody of either parent,
  • the circumstances of all of the parties involved, including each parent’s housing and employment situation and each parent’s ability to meet the child’s mental, physical, and daily needs,
  • each parent’s relative fitness to be a parent,
  • the child’s involvement in school and in the community, and the circumstances surrounding the child’s home life, and
  • the need for stability in the child’s life.

Whether you have a chance of getting custody of the children is not something I could answer in a format like this - I simply do not know enough about your particular situation and it's something a lawyer would go through with you in great detail during consultation. With respect to his depression and bi-polar medication, that isn't necessarily an automatic bar to him getting custody - a lot of people take medication and suffer from these conditions. However, it certainly can be a factor that works in your favor if these conditions make him incapable of properly caring for your children and you are able to prove that.

Moving restrictions and requirements can come up where a custody order is in place already.
In this instance, one of the things you'll need to show is that you have good reason to move out of state away from the other parent (e.g., more family support, a better job, safe neighborhoods, etc), and also that you, if granted custody, will be able to allow the children access to the other parent - regular contact via phone, email, Facetime, etc. as well as regular visitation.
Should you need clarification or additional information, please REPLY and I'll be happy to assist you further.