My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

We divorced 7 years ago and share a 9 year old child. I re-married long ago. My ex-wife re-married a couple years ago. Her husband is in the military and is being stationed in a country across the Atlantic Ocean, for 3-4 years. My ex-wife is torn on the issue. My immediate response was NO. My wife's response was absolutely not, they knew what they were signing up for. This is where I am stuck:

-Her and her husband always knew something like this was a possibility.
-I will lose a lot of time with my child.
-She doesn't want to take our child "away" from me; currently we have 50/50 custody.
-She doesn't expect me to say yes, she wouldn't.
-She thinks it would be a good experience for our child; probably would be it's a very different culture.
-It's a safe country.
-I could call, video chat; we all know that isn't the same.
-My ex-wife immediately offered holidays to me; which would be 2 months in the summer and 2 weeks twice a year. She doesn't expect me to say yes. We'd get that in writing through the court, when they return custody would go back to 50/50.
-No child support during that time.
-Her husband is a good man and good to my child. I get along well with my ex-wife, she is pregnant.

My immediate response was no, but now I am entertaining it which makes me feel like a terrible father. Would you allow it? Is it ridiculous to even consider? We have not talked to our child yet, that opinion is important but until I'm willing to let it happen I don't want to bring it up and lead to disappointment.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 10:15 PM
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Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

Does your ex wife "deserve" this favor.

What were the circumstances surrounding your divorce?

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 10:17 PM
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Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

You and you ex seem to be working co parenting well.

I would do it, depending on how long they were gone and ask the daughter does she want to go, is the option open to let her stay with you and not go with them and the ex get extra summer and holidays?



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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

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Does your ex wife "deserve" this favor.

What were the circumstances surrounding your divorce?
We co-parent well, we haven't had many problems. If one of us wants/needs to change the schedule it hasn't been an issue. She a good mother and I know she would take good care of our child. She did admit that she wouldn't be able to do it if the situation was reversed.

We divorced because we fell out of love and couldn't, or didn't want to, get it back. There wasn't anything that either of us did, really, we just were not right for each other. We married because she was pregnant. When the time came, we both agreed that divorce was what we wanted. It was amicable. Painful, but amicable.

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You and you ex seem to be working co parenting well.

I would do it, depending on how long they were gone and ask the daughter does she want to go, is the option open to let her stay with you and not go with them and the ex get extra summer and holidays?
They would be gone for 3-4 years, 3 years is the minimum. 4 years appears to be more typical. I have a family member who was stationed in Germany. He was suppose to be there for 4 years, 15 years later he and his wife are still there by their own choosing. I made it clear that IF I agree to this, 4 years is the absolute maximum. That would be brought up in court as well when going over custody.

My ex-wife has said that if the situation was reversed she would not agree to it. If our child does not want to go, my ex-wife would stay here and nothing in my life would change. My ex's marriage would suffer, and she'd have her new baby alone but those aren't really my problem.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 10:55 PM
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Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

This is tough.

In the interest of the child I would permit it.......provided your nine-year-old child agrees to this.

I would only "ask" the child how they felt about this. I would not lay a guilt trip on her/him. I would not put all the pressure of deciding on a nine year old.

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

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This is tough.

In the interest of the child I would permit it.......provided your nine-year-old child agrees to this.

I would only "ask" the child how they felt about this. I would not lay a guilt trip on her/him. I would not put all the pressure of deciding on a nine year old.
I agree with that. If I decide to allow it, I'm not going to give all responsibility to our child. I don't want that amount of pressure on a child, I can barely decide. My ex and I did agree that if they go and our child isn't handling it well she and the child come back. We still have to agree on how long to give it.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 10:35 AM
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Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

How has the state handled this kind of situation in the past? Frankly, our state courts tend to favor military personnel. I've known 3 different women with kids from previous marriages that got a judge give them permission to take their children to foreign countries when their current husbands were sent overseas on active duty. So, take a possible court case and it's likely outcome into account when making your decision.

Personally, I think I'd let my child go, but would also require at least 3 visits per year and daily video chat.

Follow the evidence where it leads and question everything.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 10:50 AM
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Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

I would probably say no. But it depends almost entirely on the country and what the specific arrangements would be. On base or off base housing? Local school in English, or on base school?

Your child is going into her very important developmental years. You're talking about age 10-13. You'll lose total control over her environment, so I would be very cautious about what she'd be exposed to.

Also, changing schools and friends can be tough. Military brats seem to make friends quickly but also seem to not make deeply close friendships because they move around so much. Your daughter's new friends will be a much more transitory bunch than her current neighborhood and school.

There are definitely some potential positives about her seeing a different country.

I would ask her what she thinks of it. If she is dead set against it, there's your answer.

Would a 1 year experiment be possible? After 1 year she comes back to you unless you agree to longer.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 03:46 PM
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My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

I think like Thor indicated a trial period. If it goes ok extend but don't get locked into 4 years up front, otherwise I would do 50/50, go for two years come back for two years.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 04:55 PM
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Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

Does the military facilities where they are going have any kind of accommodations where you can stay for free or very low cost if you were to also travel there to visit? It might be a very low cost way for you and your child to get in some good adventures that would maintain your connection and add some very special times to your lives.

That said, I would have a very hard time agreeing to my child moving away for an extended period of time at the age of your child.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 06:00 PM
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Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

If your wife takes your child overseas and then decides she doesn't want to have shared custody just exactly what do you think you can do about it.Forget about daily face time,kids start living their lives at an early age and face timing someone every day becomes a chore.I am only a parent a few days but there is no way on earth my daughter will ever be allowed to move away from me until she wants to herself.There is no way for you to enforce American laws in Germany and all your wife would have to do is move off base and she wouldn't be under any legal jurisdiction that would force her to return home.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 06:30 PM
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Red face Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

Why don't you take the school year and your ex the summer and school breaks?

How to deal with an unrepentant spouse: an Irish person can tell a person to go to hell and have them so excited at the prospect they demand to know when, where the train is leaving and how to get a ticket. Then offer them a loan to get the ticket and a ride to the train station. Be Irish
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 06:49 PM
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Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

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Would a 1 year experiment be possible? After 1 year she comes back to you unless you agree to longer.
I agree that a trial period might be the way to go.

What if your child stayed with you for the first year, with visits to her mom for the longer holidays and summer? You could visit with her for part of the summer too, perhaps.

Then, after the year is up, you decide how well she has adjusted, and if she should stay put another year, or do a school year overseas.

Then after the second year is up, re-evaluate again.

I think a lot of her readiness will depend on her maturity, so you need a plan that adapts. But an opportunity to leave overseas can be very enriching.

If you have a legal agreement in place about how to handle the years overseas and that it isn't a permanent change in residence for the child, that should protect you from your ex deciding to keep the child from you contrary to the agreement. Is the country she's going to part of the Hague Convention?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 10:09 AM
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Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

Nope, I would not allow it. I have to be part of my children's lives, regardless of the situation. Only having a few holidays here and there and facetime would not cut it for me.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 11:22 PM
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Re: My ex-wife wants to move to another country, with our child

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Why don't you take the school year and your ex the summer and school breaks?
^^This is a great compromise and the child gets the best of both worlds...stability in her school life and adventures/exposure to a different culture in the holidays for an extended period.

If she enjoys it, you, your ex and her could discuss the possibility of her trialling an extended stay over there. The most important thing is to remain flexible, remember your child has no control over any of this.

That said, I personally wouldn't agree to something like this. It's far too long and too far away for me. I think any parent who requests this of their ex has the hide of a rhino.
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