07-20-2012, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
| | Long-distance parenting
I will try to keep this short and concise.
My ex-wife and I are recently divorced. We have a 4-year old son. She recently was offered a lateral move within her company for more pay in the Bay Area, California (I am in Oregon, in the Portland area).
Now, for reasons which my ex-wife understands, I can't leave Portland right now. We had a house together and I am trying to get her name off the mortgage. I have a stable job, getting valuable experience, and at which I just received a raise. They also have a tuition benefit which I am using to start my Masters degree next month.
But the sticking point is our son. I want him up here with me and she wants him down there with her.
I talked with my counselor about it, and he said that my son will be OK wherever he goes. He may spend majority time with one parent, but the other can always fly up (or down) to see him, Skype, phone call, etc. He is so young that he will be fine.
But neither of us want to be away from Anthony for that long and only interface with him in those ways for the duration of his childhood.
My ex-wife proposes that the fair thing to do is, after I make appreciable progress towards my Masters degree, and gain more job experience, to move down there. She is willing to leave my son with me during that time, but that is it. After that, she'd want him closer.
My knee-jerk reaction is that we live separate lives now. What if I find a really good paying job up here down the road when I get my Masters, especially considering the cost of living here is cheaper? I'll be able to provide better for my son.
But my ex-wife is trying to do the same. And she isn't a bad mother. And because of that, I feel I have no intrinsic right to keep him with me forever.
Because I don't feel my son's health or welfare is at risk with her, is the fair thing to do to move down there after a few years?
My family has been saying that she had a good job here and it is basically her fault that she is breaking up the 50/50 arrangement we had here in Portland. But as I said, this is a better opportunity for her, and she is only wanting to provide more for her family just like I do.
Basically my question is: What if I can provide for my family better up here than down there? Or is that question irrelevant because she has just as much right to him as I do?
It appears to me that the answer is that I must move eventually. Because I see no threat to my son's welfare, I have no right to perpetuate a one-parent upbringing for my son.