This time of year, there are a lot of issues with beginning the process of filing for divorce or a custody modification. However, it is the perfect time to start the process if you want your child to start school in a different school district or you want to move out of town. There are a number of reasons why you would need or like to move the kids to a different school or city such as:
- Better educational opportunities
- Bullying or emotional issues at the current school
- The want to start over in a new location
- Financial opportunities elsewhere
Family law cases generally take anywhere from 8 – 18 months to complete. That is a big range, but all cases are different with a wide range of complexity. However, they all have a few things in common.
First, they generally take a long time to resolve unless you and your ex have every issue (and I mean every issue: house, cars, kids, pets, child support, school districts, counseling, custody schedule, etc.) resolve from the very beginning. We have several cases that have been ongoing for over a year now, and that is not uncommon.
Second, in every case, the court will enter a joint preliminary injunction (aka joint temporary restraining order) on both the marital property and the minor children. In regards to the minor children, the temporary restraining order essentially says you can not, among other things, 1) take the kids out of the state without the other parent’s written consent or a court order, 2) remove the kids from their current daycare facility or school district without the other parent’s written consent or a court order. Generally speaking, if the kids have been in their current daycare or school for a significant amount of time and you want to take the kids to a different facility, school district, or city, you may be facing an uphill battle.
If you do want to move the kids, and the other parent objects to it, you have three choices. First, you can request the court to enter temporary orders ordering that you be allowed to move the kids. In this scenario, you have to show the court that the move is in the best interests of the children. Again, this may be a tough fight since one of the factors the court and the judge will look at is the children’s adjustment to the school or facility and the potential impact a move would have on the kids.
Second, you can move the kids without the other parent’s permission or a court order. This is not the best choice as you run the risk of the other parent filing a motion for contempt which 1) may be a criminal charge, 2) you could face financial penalties, and 3) it doesn’t make you look good in front of the judge that may be deciding the issues in your case from assets to custody.
Third, you can wait until the trial for the court to decide if you can move the kids. Again, the time frame to get a trial date in a family law case with kids sometimes takes a rather long time. That being said, if you want to move the kids out of their current school or daycare, it is best to get your case started sooner rather than later. There are several factors that could delay the case including:
- The court’s calendar;
- Your attorney’s calendar;
- The opposing attorney’s or party’s calendar;
- Whether the court will require 1) an interview of the children, 2) a Brief Focused Assessment, or 3) a full-blown parenting plan
- Whether a mental health evaluation is requested by either party
- Whether you or the other party is timely complying with the mandatory disclosure and discovery rules
- Countless other issues that come up with you, your family, the kids, your ex, etc.
As you can see, it is best to get the ball rolling if you are considering moving your children to a new school, city, or daycare facility. The Idaho child custody lawyers at our firm are experienced, aggressive, and work hard to reach your goals. Do not hesitate to contact us today to see how we can help.