Right now, you have a fair custody agreement. You see your children for a week, and then your ex-spouse takes over custody for a week. It has worked for the last year, and you didn’t expect to have to change those arrangements any time soon.

When you picked up your children the last time you exchanged custody, your ex-spouse stopped you. They were offered a job out of the state. It would greatly increase their income, and it would be beneficial for your children. The schedule was a stable 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. plan, which gave your ex-spouse the idea of taking your children with them.

You were shocked by the idea, because you currently see your children for two weeks every month. With a big move like this, it wouldn’t be possible at all. What should you do?

The first thing to do is to talk to your attorney about negotiating a new long-distance custody agreement. There may be a new arrangement that could work for you. For instance, if it’s only a two-hour drive to the new home, maybe your ex-spouse would drive your children half way to you on Fridays and come to pick them up on Sunday night, so you could still have custody through the weekend. If the new school system isn’t better where your ex-spouse is moving, perhaps you could try that schedule in reverse, so your kids could live with you instead.

It’s important not to panic. As a parent, you do have rights and can take the case to court if it’s necessary. Your attorney will help you negotiate, so you can find a solution that works.