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Divorced Dads Tips: Preventing Mom From Moving The Kids Away

Mar 2, 2008
DISCLAIMER: The following is NOT legal advice, nor is it a substitute for legal advice. If you are in Family Court you will need legal advice, so please see a lawyer.

One of the saddest things we see are when Mom either moves away with the kids without any notice. Most Courts generally accept that dad is entitled to notice of a move-away plan, and will grant an emergency without non-removal order, prohibiting Mom from moving the children away without a full investigation by the family Court and a lengthy set of hearings.

Therefore, if you have a reasonable belief that this is what is about to happen, you must move quickly to get the appropriate non-removal order to prohibiting the removal of the children fro

(a) The jurisdiction of the Court;

(b) Their established residence;

(c) Their established daycare and/or school; and

(d) Their established and regular routines.

Recently we had a father facing this very situation. Here's an excerpt of his situation facing transportation problems and a possible planned move-away, plus our suggestions. You can see how Mom is planning the move away and the justification / logic plus reducing dad's time with the child Here's the excerpt:

The challenge is that my son is only in Junior Kindergarten, so he's not firmly established for any length in school. I am just concerned right now that I would have to get him to a daycare and then get permission for him to get put on the bus at the end of school with my daughter to go back to her place the following day, she doesn't agree with that. She refuses to pick him up, or give that permission.

Is there anyone in your family that could assist?

Nobody up here, no.

Any close friends or neighbors that might be able to act as daycare or childcare that you would trust?

Yeah, I could find a daycare, but I do not know that I could get him driven out there to her. That is the challenge. She will counter claim that I am not able to see him the whole day, just throwing him in daycare, so why should he be with me at all.

Well then the response to that is that is inflexible approach to parenting - Does she have a car? Yeah she does.

Why could she not pick him up for the next six months seeing that he is in JK, he is going to be in senior kindergarten. Does senior kindergarten a full day these days? No.

So, there is a little inconvenience for the next 16 months. Why cannot she contribute by picking them up in the morning? It certainly would show the child that mom and dad can cooperate over access and can get along and that they do not have to be fighting over him.

He can still go swimming or skating like he has been. If mom wants to come to the lessons, let her come. Yeah.

Normally, the answer is going to be "well, I don't want to do that." That is fine. But there seems to be more at play here.

I think she wants to move-away she has fallen for this other guy, and I guess the plan is that she will eventually try to move to be with this guy. Ever since he's been on the scene she's been more difficult to deal with. She is being particularly obstinate in court to make it look as though we cannot get along so that she can get full custody and put them into school there.

There is joint custody in place right now? Yes

Is there a non-removal order in place? No.

That is probably part of what you are going to be looking at. Do you have any hint at all that she might move far, far away?

Yes, I think she has settled on moving to where this guy lives which is three hours away.

For now. You may want to consider getting a non-removal to make sure that the kids are not removed from their regular school, regular routines, regular neighborhood, and that she has to give 90 days notice of any move because very often what could happen in these kinds of situations where that is not in place because she is not required to do anything, no notice is given, then it happens and then you are scrambling. If you get an order though where she has to have permission of the court or your written consent.

You got time to react if something happens.

Exactly - You got time to react and usually there is going to be a much more thorough investigation as to what is best for the kids.

Well that helps to put it all into perspective, she's reducing time to prove of necessary that I hardly see the kids, so what's the big deal.

That is precisely what I see in your situation, the way you are describing it. We are seeing this more and more now with some people finding each other on the internet, all of a sudden there is a new guy in California or in Europe, in England or Australia, all of a sudden you are facing a major, major move and then what do you do? She will just get on a plane and go. We deal with that kind of stuff all of the time. We have actually successfully brought kids back in those types of situations, but it is hard.

The key here is preventative action. Get that non-removal order the moment you even remotely suspect that a move-away is in progress.

It's like the old saying about once the horses are out of the gate; it's much harder to corral them.

When Mom has given up her home or apartment, why is a Judge going to order her back when you've delayed seeking an order to after she's been gone for 2-3 weeks? The Judge will be asking Where have you been?

Speed is of the essence of in these situations, and the best course of action is preemptively prohibiting such a move-away. And if that;s no longer a possibility ten immediately getting an apprehension order that has the child returned to the jurisdiction and your care.

In our small little town, we had a father whose ex-wife one day just left for Edmonton, Alberta. With our help he got an apprehension order in the local Family Court all by himself, because all he could afford was lawyer supervised paperwork / coaching.

He then had to fly to Edmonton and get his Court order confirmed by the Family Court in Edmonton, Alberta. What this means is he had to take his Ontario Court order, and ask the Alberta Court to make it enforceable in Alberta.

Only then was he able to get the RCMP Police assistance to go get his son, and return home with him. Many years later, he and his son are still together in our little town.

That's one determined divorced dad who loves his son very much.
About the Author
Danny Guspie - Executive Director of Fathers Resources International can help you learn the successful strategies of fathers who have won in Family Court. Join us on our weekly calls at

where we will share with you what works for successful divorced dads.
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