Is it still a 50/50 Joint Custody order and Parenting Plan, when my ex moved five states away?

Question:

Is it still a 50/50 Joint Custody order and Parenting Plan, when my ex moved 5 states away?

I was divorced in 2005. I agreed on 50/50 joint custody. We each were to claim one child on our tax return each year, according to our divorce paperwork. My ex moved 2 years ago. I have the kids and I pay for all their medical needs. I tried to go through the courts to modify the exsisting court order before he moved, but he left sooner. I called the court about the child tax information , and they told me to call the IRS. The IRS said it didn’t matter what my divorce decree said, because the child resides with me over 320 days of the year. I’m am trying to modify everything in the court now, and my ex is threatening me. He said I will have to pay him back. I have a terminal illness, my children do not want to live with their father at all. Is this true? Will I not be able to modify custody?

Answer:

If your ex is threatening you when you discuss this with him, stop discussing it with him.

Custody (now called “Legal Decision Making Authority”) will likely not be modified.

Parenting Time, the time children are with each parent will likely be modified.

You need to file a Petition to Modify Parenting Time and Child Support. His decision to move away made the 50/50 Parenting Time unworkable two years ago. Based on your statements here, it is highly unlikely that he could prevail if he contests your paperwork.

Once Parenting Time is resolved, the court will recalculate the child support and readdress the issue of the tax deduction.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

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