You being part of a non-traditional family in Lincoln should not become an oddity; indeed, the number of such families (where parents choose not to marry yet still rear children together) has increased significantly recently. Your decision to not marry your children’s mother is likely not an indication of your lack of love for them. It should also not give their mother license to move away with your kids without involving you in the decision.
Relocating with the kids
Even in cases where your children’s mother has primary custody of the children, she still has to give you notice of her intentions prior to moving. Their relocation (unless they plan on remaining in the local area, in which case, there exists no need for prior notification) will almost certainly impact your custody agreement. You may worry that because you are not married, you have limited ability to modify the agreement. Yet, that is not the case.
Typically, when a parent involved in a custody agreement wants to move, she or he must submit a revised custody arrangement to the court. You can have a say in this agreement if you and your children’s mother are willing to work together to come up with an agreement that is agreeable for you both.
Challenging a relocation
Of course, there may be cases where you feel compelled to challenge the relocation. In such a case, you can petition the court to hold a hearing to discuss your children’s mother’s intention of moving away. According to Nebraska Supreme Court rulings, the court considers three factors when dealing with the issue of parental relocation:
- Yours and your children’s mother’s motives
- Your children’s quality of life (and how the move may impacted it)
- The impact the move may have on your visitation
It is typically not the role of the court to decide whether it will permit your children’s mother to move. Rather, it will decide how to modify your current custody agreement to ensure that you continue to have access to the kids.