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I have recently decided to move in with my b/f and his daughter, and they live about 45 minutes away from my ex. My ex filed a temporary restraining order to keep me from taking my girls out of the county until our hearing on the 29th.
Has anyone else dealt with relocation problems with an ex? Can you give me advice on what to expect and/or say so that this goes smoothly. I would like to move in with the bf in the beginning of August.
I haven't recieved child support in two months and because of this I cannot afford rent this month and I am being evicted. I have to move. It just so happens that the bf and I are ready to take our relationship to the next level around the same time.
I work in law enforcement so I can the very first thing you need to do is call the law enforcement agency where you live now and where you are going. Ask these questions "Is the order active and in affect?" and "What will happen to me if I take my children if the order is in affect?"
The reason I say this is because even with that order, USUALLY a law enforcement agency cannot remove children from a home without a court order (separate order) so even with this order, you might can still take the children and he would have to go back to court to have something like an emergency pickup order signed by the judge. If a judge signs that order it will be given to the law enforcement agency where the children are and they will have rights to remove the children from you. He might have just a temp. custody agreement drawn up and even with formal custody papers from a judge, if a parent doesn't abide by them, police still cannot remove the children from the home. The parent has to go back to domestic relations court and prove the other is not abiding and go forward with a punishment if the judge sees that is in order or if the children have not been returned, a pickup order like I described.
Even if they police cannot take the children back (if you take them with this order he has) that does not mean it won't bite you in the A $$!!!!!!! If you do something that violates that order (if the order is active by law enforcement as a restraining order and not a civil order) he can make a police report and more than likely be issued a warrant slip (which he can sign and take to court) and they can issue you a warrant for your arrest for violation of a restraining/protective order. If that happens you could go to jail and it would make him look GREAT if you violate the order and he has proof when you go to court for the restraining order (every protection order, restraining order, temp. cust order and even pickup orders have a court date for domestic relations) and if you two are not legally divorced, it will make you look even worse if you go shack up with your boyfriend while violating a custody order. It can get really, really nasty especially if your police agency says that order is active. Restraining orders and protective orders have to be put in the national crime database (NCIC) and a warning will come up if your or his social, driver license, or similar information is run.
I say this because I have a protection from abuse order (same thing as a restraining order) and when I run my or my STBX's information, the order comes up that says he can't have any contact with me. If he violates it, I can call the police and have him arrested. Then we go back to court to prove what he did and the judge will punish him. Since we had to go to court for domestic violence and he was found guilty, his punishment for breaking the protection order is no less than 6 months in jail, fully served without release.
Now if that order is just temp. or preliminary custody agreement, that isn't a law, that is a civil case between the two of you and law enforcement can't remove the children (usually) without another separate order having the police remove them. So if it is not an active POLICE order, you can tech. still do what you want but no matter what kind of order it is, if you violate it and he makes a police report (even though the police can't take your kids at that time) you will have to face a judge which will then lean more to your ex's side because he can prove you can't abide by legal agreements.
Your best bet is to wait until the court date until legal custody is agreed upon. There is a reason that a judge signed this agreement (whether it be some type of proof or idea that you may be unfit or your bf may be unfit or safe to be around the children) a judge does not sign orders "just because". There has to be a reasonable amount of evidence for a judge to remove rights to children (or anyone for that matter) and that's why you have to be on your P's and Q's to prove that the order is pointless. If you're itching to move in with your bf that bad, leave your children with your ex so you aren't violating the order. There is a lot of red tape, especially with court orders so when something like this happens you can't have your cake and eat it too, unless you're willing to pay for the consequences that may be more long term than your living arrangement. You could lose primary custody of the children or even only be awarded visitation.
Also, if you're being evicted, there is a legal process they have to go through, like giving you so many days notice and in that time period you get to write a response and if you dispute it for whatever reason (like you can't afford it) a judge will hear your case and then decide if you can be evicted. There are cases that a judge lets a tenet stay for a period of time and not have to pay any rent due to circumstances. You should call your police agency and inquire about eviction laws because there is a legal process and if they don't follow legal process it is an unlawful eviction. People can't actually legally throw you out. But if you've waited and relied on your boyfriend, then it could be too late.
You could also consult an attorney for legal advice, many times there is something called Legal Aid in every state, city or county that provide legal services for free or greatly reduced rates based on income and family situation so that is also an option. I also know a lady on this board who didn't have anywhere for her or her children to go and she stayed in a shelter so if you really are concerned about the order and want to legally abide by it, you may can contact some churches and tell them of your situation and they might can help or refer you to organizations that can help. I know it seems important about the next step of your relationship with your boyfriend but your ex seems smart and it could be very damaging if you don't fully think all this out.
It sounds like your ex is a real ....jerk. I wish I could say that him not paying CS will run in your favor if you violate the order but unfortunately, it won't. They're considered two separate issues in the eyes of the court. HOWEVER, I would definitely go after him for the CS and see about getting it taken directly out of his check each week/two weeks/month. I would contact the agency in your area that enforces child support and let them know he is not paying. It takes a long time to get things moving and back up to speed with that but perhaps he would be willing to drop the order in exchange for you not going after back support. Personally, I'd take him for every freaking dime you can get because it does sound like he is just trying to make you miserable. 45 minutes isn't really anything to fuss about. When you meet halfway, it's just over a 20 minute drive. Being inside the county could be that far! Most likely it's not the distance but the idea that you are moving his daughters in with another man. I do understand his concerns but I don't think that's what is motivating him right now. I think if your BF lived next door he would still have objections because he doesn't want to give up control over you. That being said, are you absolutely positive that this is the man you want to be with and raise your children with? "Taking your relationship to the next level" is all well and good when you're single with no encumbrances but when you have children that complicates matters. Keep in mind this doesn't just affect you but your children also and although your kids and BF may get along well now, it might be a lot different when they are all living together. You need to be as sure as you possibly can be that this is a permanent relationship and that you're not subjecting your kids to another relationship they're going to have to give up somewhere down the road. Although kids are very resilient, they are hurt by losing someone they care about and if you and your BF wind up breaking up, they are going to have to say goodbye to him and that can hurt a lot if they've come to love him and rely on him as a surrogate father. I'm not trying to rain on your parade...just mentioning some things that you may not have thought about yet.
As far as the order and what your options are, I'd be wary of violating it. The 29th is not that far away and if there is any way for you to remain in county until then--stay with friends or relatives or in a shelter--I would do so. THe LAST thing you want is an angry judge ruling against you where the kids are concerned simply because you didn't abide by that order! Then when you go into court and tell him that you got evicted because of his lack of concern for his children, it's going to look really bad for him. At the same time, knowing that you respected the court enough to abide by the order even though you had somewhere to go, is going to make you look a lot better. See if you can get a witness to him refusing to pay the back support so you and the kids can either stay where you are or go somewhere safe. (speaker phone comes to mind...) Keep the children out of it--they don't need to know what is going on as tempting as it may be. But maybe a friend or relative--NOT your BF--who would be willing to go to court with you and speak to the judge if he/she asks them to.
I hope this works out well for you and you'll let us know how things go. I also hope everything works out with you and your BF.
Okay, so my ex called and said he doesn't want to do all of this and make it all difficult. He said he wants to work through it ourselves without the court. He said he would call his attorney tomorrow.
I requested he make one more declaration through the courts saying that we are choosing to work it out ourselves and will not be attending the courtdate. Can we do that?