My children are 13 and 10 yrs old and my ex has now remarried and moved to a different county which is about thirty-five minutes away. The divorce decree only states I am supposed to supply transportation during visitation as long as she lived in the same county as myself. Now she is refusing to help with any of the transportation. My visitations are every Tuesday and Wednesday from after school until 7:30, and of course every other weekend.
Question 1: Is she required to help with this transportation?
Question 2: Is there a magical age where my children can choose for themselves who they stay with? Since her new marriage, the boys say they hate both her and her new husband because of the way they are treated and talked to. They want to live with me now.
Your question indicates that the only transportation language in the court order concerns you providing transportation and does not address any obligation on her part to provide transportation. As her move has changed the circumstances, you would need to file the appropriate proceedings to seek modification of the original court order as to your transportation obligations and to set her transportation obligations. Her move may also result in her (or you) seeking modification of the mid-week visitation to provide you with overnight visits or other schedule that takes into account the commute time.
The age at which a child may have input or even decision making as to custody varies by state. The child may have no input, be represented by a guardian, or interviewed by the judge depending upon the applicable law and specific court practices in your area.
You would need to consult an experienced family law attorney in your jurisdiction to assess how the transportation, visitation, and custody issues may be affected by the changes in the circumstances of your ex-wife.
Richard Coffee is a Litigation Manager in the Belleville Illinois office of Cordell & Cordell. He is an experienced divorce attorney whose practice is devoted to domestic litigation. He is licensed in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.
Mr. Coffee has extensive domestic litigation trial experience representing clients in courts throughout Illinois on all aspects of domestic litigation, including the representation of clients who are current or retired military personnel with issues under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, clients involved in state court jurisdictional disputes due to the relocation of one or both parties from or to Illinois, and clients with government or private pension benefit valuation and division issues.