Don’t Quit Your Job and Sell Your House Until You Are Sure the Court Will Allow You to Relocate
Second marriages are both easier and more difficult than first marriages. First, there is the statistic that people who have been divorced before are more likely to get divorced again, but statistics can’t predict your future. On the one hand, people who are married to their second spouse are more mature and have learned from the mistakes of their first marriages; only people who are truly new to marriage will put the energy into having a heated argument about forgetting to replace the toilet paper roll or take offense when their spouse disagrees with them about which actor did the best job of portraying James Bond. On the other hand, being a stepparent brings a whole new set of challenges. When you remarry, you can’t start a completely new life for yourself and your children without considering their other parent. Your ex-spouse is still your children’s parent even after you remarry. Bringing new changes into children’s lives, including relocation, after remarriage is a common source of parenting disputes. If you want to move out of Tennessee with your new spouse, a Tennessee child custody lawyer can help you revise your parenting plan appropriately.
When Things Get Ugly After One Parent Decides to Relocate
Jill Zirwas and Christopher Fichtel, a dermatologist and a pharmacist, respectively, had a reasonably good co-parenting relationship in the first years after their divorce, even though they both married their new partners shortly after the divorce became final. In the early years, their major point of conflict was the behavioral problems of their son, who was born in 2005. He was eventually diagnosed with ADHD, and Jill was more consistent and proactive in helping him manage it than Christopher was. Despite these challenges, their son and daughter divided their time approximately equally between their parents.
The trouble began in 2013, when Jill’s husband took a job in Ohio, which would enable him to live closer to his family of origin. Jill quit her job in Nashville; her employment contract included a non-compete clause which forbade her to practice dermatology in Nashville for a year after the termination of her employment. She also put her house on the market. Only then did she notify Christopher, via an in-person conversation with his wife, about her plans to move. Christopher filed an objection, and then things got ugly.
The family spent most of 2014 in court, racking up nearly $200,000 in attorneys’ fees. Once she found out about Christopher’s objection to the move, she began to insist that he follow their parenting plan to the letter. For example, she cited the provision that Christopher was not allowed to smoke in the children’s presence because it aggravates their daughter’s allergies; Christopher countered that Jill has a pet cat even though their daughter is allergic to cat dander, and for this reason, she takes allergy shots. Jill even alleged that Christopher left pornographic materials in places in the house where the children could find them, but this allegation turned out to be unsubstantiated. The court decided that it was in the children’s best interest to stay in Nashville, but mostly because their son was thriving under the care of his therapist and at a school that could meet his needs. The appeals court’s decision from 2019, which is forty pages long, makes it sound like Jill decided to stay in Nashville, too.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
If your ex-spouse does not want you to move out of Tennessee, a Knoxville child custody lawyer can help you. Contact Patrick L. Looper for help today.