So, I know this isn't a popular subject, but it is what it is. My wife and stepdaughter live almost 1000 miles away, in a different state. I live in Texas with D9 and S7, NJ lives with Mr. Wonderful four hours away in Houston. As I've said on other threads, we're about to go back to court concerning her not paying the ordered amount of child support, and she decided to counterfile a motion to modify custody. My attorney as well as a serving county attorney (who worked family law earlier in her career) both tell me that it's an open and shut case, she's filing for custody because she's making more money and moved into a three bedroom house she just bought, neither of which is a significant change in circumstances concerning the children.
Now, in the final decree, I have exclusive rights to determine residence of the children within the state; NJ tried to get me limited to this county, but my attorney and even the mediator said that was nothing but her trying to be vindictive since SHE doesn't even live in this county. NJ has standard Texas long distance < parenting time > privileges, 1st/3rd/5th weekends, alternating holidays, 42 days in the summer; for quite a while she was averaging a weekend every month and a half, and in two years she's attended maybe three school functions and one soccer game of my daughter's. Really considering asking my attorney about us petitioning the court to allow us to move so we can be with wife and stepdaughter. SD is 3 and her father lives in the same city, has two overnights a week, so their situation is much different from mine. My wife's grandmother told me on my visit out there last weekend that she wants to basically *give* us her house, we just take over the mortgage. 4B/2B, 2 car garage, rec room, large fenced backyard for playing, family neighborhood where everyone knows each other, walking distance to park, family doctor five blocks away, elementary school about the same. The school has a gifted and talented program, and they make regular field trips to museums and cultural events, very upper level. The city courthouse is about a ten minute drive, where I could more than likely get a clerk job; also MANY law offices in the metro area. Wife works 5a-1p, so she'd be there in the afternoons when they got out of school. Since I would be the one moving, I'm prepared to eat the transportation cost of getting the kids back and forth to Texas (and racking up frequent flier miles at the same time), though might see if we can modify it so it's 2nd/4th weekend of the month and just allow NJ an extra week of summer to make up the occasional 5th weekend she'd lose. She's never made an effort to see the kids any other times beyond the weekends, so she wouldn't be losing any time with them. I know none of this is going to mean anything in the mind of NJ, she'll be difficult just to be difficult. But to a judge, maybe mitigating.
None of this is concrete at ALL; both wife and I are agreed that we're not going to do anything to risk losing custody of the kids on either side. Thoughts on things?
"Your problem is you shook a wh0re tree and expected an angel to drop out."