Education custody vs. Physical custody

Parental Alienation Syndrome, Malicious Mother Syndrome, dealing with the ex, and various other non-legal concerns throughout the process.

Education custody vs. Physical custody

Postby crazybama2012 » Wed May 23, 2012 1:58 pm

Greetings all, I just sent this question to the legal team and figured I'd post it here to see if anyone had similar experiences, what they did and how it turned out......

I'm divorced with joint custody, basically I have primary legal and x has primary physical custody. My question is in relation to education as my x is considering moving. She's quite vindictive so I'm concerned that she will move from our current school district to a district some 30 miles away b/c that will get her closer to her boyfriend though I'm guessing she will not marry him because if she does she'll lose alimony.

The distress this will cause is that my oldest son, who is 9 and my oldest of three, is special needs and the divorce decree is written that I pick him up after school each day until 7pm when I return him to his mothers house. Her moving will require some 60 miles of travel a day.

My custodial periods begins and ends during the school week and has the weekend in the middle, its bascially 10 days for me, 20 for her each month but if she moves she would be adding an additional 60 miles round trip each school day of my custodial periods. We currently live about 2 miles away from each other and the existing elementary school is about 3 miles away, middle and high school in the current district will be 8 miles away.

I don't know what to do, I don't believe that I can argue that she cannot move, and I believe that physical custody over rides my legal education custody, so I don't think I can just say "I don't want them to change school districts."

I believe the only valid argument I have is to petition the court to grant me primary physical custody so the children can remain in the current school district b/c she is only moving to be closer to her boyfriend. Is that a valid argument? Is there a better argument? Does primary education custody trump physical location? I'm not sure what to argue if the move happens.

Compromising with her (adult to adult) will not happen outside of court, she is EXTREMELY ANGRY and will not agree to a compromise. (Our marriage was one where she wanted X and if I did not do it or give it to her it was because I was being difficult or I was being selfish, compromise did not exist then, nor now)
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Re: Education custody vs. Physical custody

Postby defaultuser » Wed May 23, 2012 2:09 pm

Start by reading up on the relocation rules, get your legal team into fighting the relocation. It may not be a legal custody issue, and be more of a relocation issue.

I've heard once that you having legal custody could mean that you choose to keep your kids in the school where they are now (as long as your address is in the district). If that happens, she can do what she wants, but will be having to drive the kids back and forth 60 miles every day. Her choice.
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Re: Education custody vs. Physical custody

Postby crazybama2012 » Wed May 23, 2012 2:53 pm

It's unclear to my aging eyes whether notification is required if the move is less than or greater than 60 miles. The settlement paper doesnt say anything about distance of move but I found http://www.divorceinfo.com/alrelocationstatute.htm, 30-3-162. Applicability, section b specifically.

But it would make sense that you are told even if one is moving across the street, just for child support purposes, not that your kids couldnt tell you, but mine will say yes to just about anything.
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Re: Education custody vs. Physical custody

Postby defaultuser » Wed May 23, 2012 8:24 pm

Its standard that you must keep the other parent informed as to your address. The link you posted is similar to other states in regards to the move.

The problem is that if she just doesn't inform you and moves anyway, the law doesn't require the judge to return the kids. Basically, a smart move for her would be to just move without informing you. This would be her best chance at being allowed to do it. Move and say you're sorry instead of asking permission.

(a) Except as provided in Section 30-3-167, if a person required to give notice as required by Section 30-3-163 or Section 30-3-164 shall fail to provide the notice or the information required by subsection (b) of Section 30-3-165, the court shall consider the failure to provide such notice or information as a factor in making its determination regarding the change of principal residence of a child; a factor in determining whether custody or < parenting time > should be modified; a factor for ordering the return of the child to the former residence of the child if the change of principal residence of a child has taken place without notice; a factor meriting a deviation from the child support guidelines; a factor in awarding increased transportation and communication expenses with the child; and a factor in considering whether the person seeking to change the principal residence of a child may be ordered to pay reasonable costs and attorney's fees incurred by the person objecting to the change.
(b) Additionally, the court may make a finding of contempt of court if a party willfully and intentionally violates the notice requirement of an order issued by any court pursuant to Section 30-3-166 and may impose the sanctions authorized by law or rule of court for disobedience of a court order.


It is generally recommended to have your attorney draft a letter to her objecting to the move. If you go on record telling her that you oppose any move and remind her of her legal obligations when it comes to moving it will provide you with the best outcome. If you tell her you object and about the law, officially from your attorney, and she moves, I'd think you will have a much better chance of winning a battle.

The caselaw seems to be against you. In my state, the court pretty much denies any moves.
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