What happens next? Information for kids about separation and divorce

Chapter Seven: When mom or dad moves far away

Jordan’s mom Kristy wants to move

Jordan and his mom Kristy on the plane

Jordan’s mom Kristy was still going to school when Jordan was born. His dad Stefan was a student too. They didn’t live together and Jordan only saw his dad once or twice. All of Kristy’s family lived out of town. They never liked the idea of Kristy keeping Jordan without marrying his father, Stefan. So they offered no help and encouragement.

When Jordan was almost seven, things changed. Kristy’s mom sent Kristy and Jordan a pair of airline tickets to Calgary asking them to visit everyone there. Jordan charmed his grandparents and his mom was over the moon about seeing her family again. Jordan’s grandparents suggested to his mom, Kristy, that if she stayed in Calgary they could help her and Jordan. Both Jordan and his mom wanted to stay. Support from the family could make their lives easier. When Jordan’s mom checked out a school for him, the after-school care program offered her a job.

Kristy and Jordan returned home determined to move to Calgary. The problem: when Jordan’s dad found out they were considering a move, he didn’t want them to go. Kristy would have to convince him to change the parenting arrangement. Could she do it?

To help her, Kristy visited her minister in the church and he offered to talk to Jordan’s dad. After a few days, the minister called to say that mother and son were going to be able to move. He arranged for two separate lawyers to help draft a new parenting agreement and both parents signed, separately.

Kristy and Jordan moved to Calgary. They had the support of their family and life seemed better. Jordan’s dad is planning to stay in touch with Jordan by e-mail and by having Jordan live with him for part of each summer as he gets older. Jordan is looking forward to it.

Sometimes it doesn't work out quite as easily as it did for Jordan's parents. Sometimes one parent doesn't want you and the other parent to move far away. When one of them gets a new job out of town or wants to try and find a better life somewhere else, he or she will usually have to convince the other parent to allow the move.

This can be tough, especially if the parent you don't live with doesn't have a lot of money. He or she may worry about not seeing you if you move away. If your parents can't agree, both parents can go to court, give their reasons for wanting to move or not wanting the move, and let a judge decide.

The judge will consider both sides of the story and will ask some questions. For example, how hard would it be for the parent who doesn't move to find the money he or she needs to see you? How involved are you with the parent who would be staying?

Remember...

You won't be able to decide for yourself whether to move. But you may have a chance to talk with someone and say what you think about it.

What did the math book say to the other math book?

Answer: I've got problems.

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