Q: my wife is moving in with her boyfriend and wants to take the kids before the divorce is final. If its uncontest do i
have a say in where and when they go. And should i get my own lawyer if we are using mediation?
A: You definitively have a say in your children's lives, especially if they are moving far away. If you don't want your kids to move but your wife wants to take the kids, then you disagree about the terms of custody and your divorce should be contested. Only If you both come to an agreement should you have an uncontested divorce. Child custody is always determined based what is in the best interest of your child. Trial Judges are given a lot of discretion in considering factors such as:
--Will you be able to maintain a full and continuous relationship with your child if they move away?
--What is the effect of the move on extended family relationships now and in the new location?
--Depending on your child's age, what do they want?
--Why does your wife want to move?
--How long has your child lived where they live now and how stable is the environment?
There are a really a lot more factors and it is best to talk to an attorney who can analyze your specific situation. Remember though, if you have an uncontested divorce without an attorney to represent your custody interest, you might be stuck with your decision for two years unless there is a change in circumstances after the divorce is final. Custody and visitation with your child is simply too important for you and your kids to just sign papers without advice from your own lawyer and not just a Mediator.
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