NOW THAT I AM DIVORCED, WHERE CAN I LIVE?
An issue which you must contemplate as you are in the process of divorce is where will you live after the action is complete. If there are no children, the answer is easy. You can live wherever you wish. If you have children, the answer is not as clear cut. Both parents have to have meaningful time with the children. To have such meaningful time, that will require both parties to live relatively close to each other. The question becomes how close do you have to live. There lacks a concrete rule as to how far apart the two of you can live.
Courts will generally deem twenty to thirty minutes apart reasonable—using the marital residence as a starting point. This restriction is placed on the residential parent. The non-residential parent can essentially move to wherever they want however, if they move to far, the residential parent is not required to make any special arrangements to help facilitate parenting time. Once you start moving further than twenty or thirty minutes away from each other, the issue will become how does the distance effect the access to the children. If you have to live forty-five minutes away, maybe you offer to meet half way facilitate the exchange of the children. Or maybe you offer to drop off and pick up your child for all visitation.
You can offer extra time during a specified school break. For example, you offer an extra week of time during the summer. You should also keep in mind the effect greater distances will have on your children. If you are forty-five minutes away, that is forty-five minutes each way that your child will have to be in the car. That may not be in your child’s best interests.
Ultimately, any divorce will be stressful on your children. Keep their best interests—which includes regular and meaningful time with your soon to be former spouse—at the forefront of your mind. Focus on your outcome, stay strong and keep taking ground.