After roughly two years, my divorce was finally finished and signed off by the judge. It wasn't fun, I didn't get the best outcome, but those are details for another day and time. The point is, the divorce was official and final. During those two years that it took to obtain a final decision, I foolishly operated on a simple assumption: we all will continue to live in the same county. Not once in the last two years did my ex ever express a desire to relocate. Not once.
Yet 34 days after the judge's signature hit our decree, the ex told me she was moving out of county. Read that again. Thirty-four days. I filed for a change in custody based on this, and the judge ordered a 730 eval. If you aren't from California, or if you just want to read up on the specifics of a 730 eval, you can find plenty of information here, here, and here. (To note, I am not affiliated with any of those sites, companies, owners, operators, bloggers, writers, attorneys, courts, etc. This is just a sampling of information on the 730 eval from a variety of sources, the last being a county court in California.)
The ex and I both met with the evaluator, separately. The evaluator contacted a few people, and, in accordance with court rules and state statute, submitted a written report to the court summarizing the findings and recommendations.
The evaluator reviewed our current custody arrangement, and reviewed the proposal of my ex for a post-move arrangement. The evaluator concluded that, because my ex stated she's not trying to reduce my time, there is no actual reduction of my time. Yet, when the schedules are put down on a calender and compared side by side, I go from 40% pre-move, to 30% post-move. This considers summer, spring break, holidays, etc. So, if my time is reduced by 25% (40% - 30% = 10%, and 10% / 40% = 1/4 , or 25%), how is this not a reduction?
Are evaluators truly unbiased? Are they actually professionals that are qualified to examine such issues? If basic math, particularly in the calculation of a custody schedule, is something that escapes an "expert", does that not point to a serious need for reform in the system and process? Is such an error not truly egregious in nature? I understand these are largely rhetorical questions. Yet such is the state of California's current child custody system, one in which fathers must fight every single detail, and one in which even those that are supposed to be unbiased show a clear bias by simply taking mothers at their word.
Sound off in the comments. Let's hear your thoughts and stories.
Can I please ask who the evaluator was?
what will be interesting is whether or not the court acknowledges the reduction in custody by increasing your child support payment. My money is on that happening. And yet leaving in the evaluator's comment that your custody time won't change. It's called "Family Law Calculus", and it doesn't jibe w/the normal principles of mathematics, alas. We'rent you supposed to get a "final" ruling on visitation this month, btw?
No offense but your ex wife should be able to move on with the man of her dreams and if that means more child support so be it. After all, it's not her fault you didn't bring her happyyess in the marriage. Women are no longer chattel. If the hubby doesnt measure up then he gets to pay alimont and child support. The laws are fair. If a man had custody he'd get child support too (not that any man would ever step up and do that). Think of the financial burden she has by having the kids more. Your ex shouldn't have to weigh emotional fulfillemnt and financial issues. She should be free to live her live with her man.
great reasoning. So where's the dad's right to continue seeing his children? It's the man's fault he didn't measure up to some woman's standards so the hell with him, I'm taking the kids? Too many women in this culture with the princess attitude and want things both ways. And a legal system to back it up. The laws are definitely NOT fair. I'm not arguing she shouldn't be able to move on in her life with another man, but the father of her children should NOT be penalized for that by reducing his time. In the end, it's actually the children who lose out. How very selfish.
I never said that a father shouldn't be able to see his children! what I was saying was that it is his wife's right to persue her happyness and has no obligation to her ex husband. He doesn't own her and she doesn't need to "OK" her moving with him!If he wants to be close to the children he is allowed to relocate also. I think that alot of times men use the children as an excuse to continue to interfere with their ex wives lives b/c they are jealous that she has found a better man. Usually the new hubby is younger, better looking, more confident and makes a better living. Some ex wives interfere also. It is a two way street.
I'm a bit confused by the comments here. His ex-wife doesn't have to be prevented from moving to maintain at least the spirit of the divorce decree. What his ex-wife was able to get away with is akin to a back door modification.
What should have happened? Gee, I dunno. How about adding more summer time visitation or using a little bit of creativity to maintain some semblance of fairness for an existing order. The appeals court is where you're supposed to go if you don't like the ruling you got.
To the princess: That entitlement that you feel is the reason that divorce is so rampant. It is unfortunate and degrading to the church in my opinion. Men that do try to do the right things by the court usually get the bad end of the stick. That is why so many children end up without the father figures they should have. Women now are more malicious in court and they get away with lying. In my situation, I pointed out where she lied and I could prove it on a sworn statement. The judge quickly dismissed it and came up with an excuse for her. I pointed out documented issues for the court about my ex which could lead to showing her as possibly unfit or a harm to our child. They would not look at it and referred me to a supervised visitation center (after my ex even said to them that our child loved me and loved the time she spent with me, the issues are between us...). I think you are too quick to downgrade men who give up on a biased and unfair court system. If they try to move on and don't pay they are deadbeats. If they move on and pay they are deadbeats for not seeing their kids. If they go to court they get treated unfairly and there is plenty of documentation to back that up, which in some ways is like self inflicted abuse. All in all I am just saying that you look at this situation with blinders on yet throw people under the bus. To the poster of this blog, I sincerely hope the courts go in your favor eventually. The time that your ex has taken away from you maliciously should be punishable. I feel they should enforce that more than the monetary issues, nobody knows how to get time back..
re the previous poster (at 2:31PM), I couldn't have said it or riposted "the princess's" response to my refutation earlier, thank you. That's been very much my experience here w/the Santa Cruz County family law system: if you're a man, you're damned no matter what you do. And from what I gather from other posters from other parts of the country, it's not all that different. Though we certainly have our own unique cultural/geographical flavor here thanks to having the oldest, largest, and possibly most radical "feminist studies" college dept in the country which influences and spawns many of the "foot soldiers" in our local system. Just my $0.02 after being entrapped by this Orwellian madness for about 7 years.
...that's responded or riposted "better".
So many mom's think they can just move away after a divorce so that:
1) They don't have to deal with the father.
2) They will get a greater timeshare and therefore more support.
Vengeful moms (and there are tons of them out there) also will do it to punish a father.
In all honesty, I can't help but think the "Anonymous" posting @11:23PM is fake, or just meant to instigate. However, it wouldn't really surprise me if some high-horsed selfish mother did think that way. To think that mentality is good for the kids is so far from the truth. And the part about most single moms finding a better, younger, better looking guy, etc, made me laugh. I don't see a date, only a time, but were those posted on April 1st??
Thankfully, for those of us in CA anyway, the precedent is to not allow this selfish behavior. See the case of Ragghanti:
In that case, the mother had primary physical custody and wanted to move, but her reasons for moving were clearly to sever the ties with the child's father, and the court saw this and eventually awarded SOLE CUSTODY to the FATHER, regardless of whether mother moved or not.
We need to see more cases like Ragghanti in my opinion. Mother's should not be able to run off and start a new life just because of a failed marriage and to satisfy their desire to punish the father and cut him out of the children's lives.
If the father is not around or not interested, then fine, but if the father wants a role in the children's lives and the move would interfere with that, it should not happen.
@Original Poster - I would fight it. Appeal it. If your children are important to you, don't let her take them away. You owe it to the kids.
I don't think the princess poster is a troll; that's the problem. There are plenty of feminists, people with have personality disorders, or spoiled entitled brat adults who subscribe to this ideology of children as property. It's wrong and it's sick.
I recall before I got stuck in the divorce court system five years ago, my ex-wife actually told a mutual friend that our children did't need a father... and after my divorce, my ex-wife refused to follow the parenting plan holding true to her beliefs. Since it costs a fortune to get "justice", it took me almost two years to get enough money together for another retainer to take her back to court.
My best thoughts and wishes to everyone in their struggles; your children deserve you.
what's so wonderfully ironic about kids being treated as property/pawns in a game is that there's so much pious verbiage and hand-wringing about the needs of the children are paramount. Uh huh, pull the other one. I have to agree, I don't think that was a troller or April Fool joke. My ex is the same. If children really are the number one priority in the parents' life, married or not, then "needing to get on with one's life" takes a far distant second place. Including moving away to "a better and newer life" with the new replacement. The other parent may not have the luxury of switching jobs to a new locale closer to the kids' new home.
Still want to know who the evaluator was... *bump*
Maybe if left a way for the author to contact you, he just may. I can understand being reluctant to post an evaluator's name in the middle of a custody battle...
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