This week I want to continue on with what we were discussing last week in terms of moving interstate. Last week it was a question emailed in from one of our followers and the move specifically related to a job opportunity that they had but what we are going to talk about today relates no matter the reason for the move.
We really want to focus today on if you do decide to move, what plans and what details have you sorted out before you go. I am talking nitty gritty details. I am all about figuring out the nitty gritty now before the arguments arise in the future. You want to have in place a plan that if you end up in an argument now your plan solves that problem for you because you have already reached a resolution as to how that is going to end. There is nothing worse then getting into an argument and not knowing how it is going to be resolve. That is when people need to go back to mediation, go back to court to get these issues resolved because they are so emotionally involved in the conflict at that point that they can’t think about the best possible outcome it is an emotional argument and people get caught up on the principle of the matter.
So lets talk about the nitty gritty and how it impacts on interstate (or really long distance) move.
Firstly, there are 3 things we key areas when we discuss arrangements for our children they are:
- Parental Responsibility
This is what we are focusing on today and what you need to think about to have a solid plan in place before you move.
When it comes to time, think about how you are going to facilitate time. Whether it be that you are moving away from the children or the children are moving away from you what plan is in place to enable the children to continue to spend time with you? What arrangements are in place – will it be school holiday time only? Will you get more time on school holidays and less time during school terms or will you still be able to spend time with the children during school terms? How are you going to facilitate that time. It is all well and good to say that the children will spend time with you for “x” number of weeks on these occasions but really think about how this will happen. Will they need to travel by plane? Are the old enough to travel as unaccompanied minors? If they aren’t who picks them up, who drops them off? Who is responsible for the cost? Will changeover occur at the airport or at the other parent’s residence? If you want to drive instead of flying – can this occur? Where will changeover take place if this happens? If there is public transport – who pays? When do you need to be provided with the details of when the children are to be delivered/dropped off. You need to make sure that you know when you need to be at changeover or at home to await the arrival of your children. You may need a bus number, flight number, arrival time, which terminal? If they are travelling as an unaccompanied minor what identification do you need to collect them? All of these details matter. This is why time limits are important so that you have this information on time and that you provide this information to the other parent on time.
Communication – how do you facilitate communication – will it be skype, facetime, video chats? Will there be emails? We are focusing on communication between a parent and child but at the same time as parents you will both need to have open lines of communication. This is even more important when there is distance involved as you don’t want the parent who isn’t with the children feeling left out as if their kids are living in this whole new world that they are no longer apart of. With our service we have an email service to ensure that both of you always get the same information that is emailed in. Maybe this is something that you can look at. Maybe you can organize a schedule as to when and how you can catch each other up on what is happening with the children.
Parental Responsibility – don’t think that just because the children are with you (whether it be because they have moved or not) that you have sole responsibility. If you don’t have an order for this then you need to exercise it as if there is equal responsibility and you both need to be involved in the decision making process for schools, doctors, religious, medical issues etc.
Please make sure you speak to a lawyer before you make any decisions and before you move. You want to make sure that you have covered everything!