On a recent episode of the Akiona Law Podcast, we sat down with a former client of ours, Jason. If you are dealing with child custody, this episode is for you. There will be times during the process when you may feel alone, angry, or uncertain about the future. Jason talks about what he went through over a decade ago, what he learned from it, and the things he wished he had done differently. Others have experienced what you are going through and come out the other side as better people. This podcast may help you see that while also taking away tips for making you a more balanced person and a strong co-parent.
One of the challenges that Jason faced during his family law case was that the legal hurdles didn’t end when the divorce was finalized. After the divorce, he needed legal representation to assist him with child support and moving out of state (legally known as “relocation”). Before we dive into more detail, it is essential to note Jason agreed to share his story to help others who are struggling to do what’s best for their children. By Jason’s own admission, his children are doing well in spite of the legal system.
The Challenges They Faced
When Jason reached out for legal representation, his children had been living with him for quite a while. He and his ex, lived in different cities; Jason lived in eastern Washington (practically Idaho), and she was in a suburb of Seattle. (They were tied to specific locations because of jobs.) Parenting or custody options available for people living in the same town are different for those living far apart. For example, basic questions regarding visitation and weekend exchanges have added layers of complexity. Drop-offs and pick-ups may require you to drive halfway across the state—which may be a 4-5 hour commute.
Looking Back In Time
When custody is at issue, you will hear the phrase “the best interests of the child.” Although both parents may accept this, they may disagree about what their children’s best interests look like. The children may live primarily with your spouse and visit you—especially if you live a significant distance apart. When a parent needs to move or relocate out of state, losing primary custody or shared custody of your children may feel like your world is ending. But Jason aptly points out that you and, more importantly, your children adjust to their new circumstances. Children are resilient and they look to their parents to build a life around their new “normal.”
To get to that point, you and your attorney can shift focus to what is most important for the long term despite how difficult it is to adjust in the short term. That can be immensely challenging as some parents create their parenting plans based on the past or present, instead of planning for the future. For example, a parenting plan for a two-year-old may look different when that child becomes a teenager. Spend time thinking about what your hopes are for your kids’ future. Let it be your guiding light.
Meet With a Family Law Attorney
As your attorney, we work with you to learn what you want during the family law process. What do you need to start shaping the next chapter of your life? Our attorneys will encourage you to let go of the past for your children’s future. If you have additional questions regarding child custody or any other area of family law, contact Akiona Law, PLLC, to schedule a consultation.