You’ve been having problems in your marriage for a while now.
You’ve talked about divorce, but you don’t want it to happen, and your wife says she doesn’t either.
Then, one day, she says she needs space. She wants to take the kids and go live near her parents (it’s almost always near the parents).
You don’t want to upset her because you’re afraid that may bring on divorce, but you don’t want your kids to go with her.
Do you let her leave the state?
Let’s think this through.
In my experience, if a wife leaves and takes the kids with her, there’s a low probably she’s coming back.
In other words, if she leaves, your marriage is most likely over, you just haven’t filed the papers yet.
And if she moves to another state with the kids and doesn’t come back, you’re probably not getting much time with your kids when you do divorce.
Why? Because she holds all the cards.
After 3–6 months in the new state, your wife can file for divorce. You’ll be stuck trying to defend against a divorce in another state hundreds or thousands of miles away. That’s not a recipe for success.
That and if your kids are gone long, the court will let the kids stay with your wife full-time.
That means you’ll see your kids, on average, about three times per year. Usually around Thanksgiving/Christmas, spring break, and part of the summer.
So, in the end, it’s not a good idea to let your wife leave with the kids.
If you want to have your kids with you 50/50, or even if you want to see your kids often, you need to find a way to keep your wife in Utah.
Depending on your situation, that may mean filing for divorce.
Once you file for divorce, the court will very likely keep the kids in Utah until you and your wife are done with the divorce process.
Keeping the kids in the state gives you leverage to negotiate a good parent-time and custody schedule. You’ll be able to see your kids often, not just three times per year.
Bottom line: don’t let her move away with the kids.
Call Brown Family Law
If you find yourself facing a Utah divorce, please call 801.685.9999 for an in-person consultation, or use our online scheduling tool.