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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, new to the site. Looking for answers on the web for personal issues, and stumbled upon this website. Read a couple of threads, and I think this is a great website. I will be visiting more often.

My problems... Met this beautiful, wonderful woman while I was in the middle of divorcing my ex wife. This beautiful, wonderful woman has 3 kids from two previous relationships; one a previous marriage, the other a serious relationship. The ages are really inconsequential, except that the youngest one is a toddler.

The toddler's father (born out of the serious relationship) plays an active role in the child's life. Recently, he has been taking care of the toddler while my now beautiful and wonderful wife works.

I am in the military, and had to move away some time now, and am missing my family dearly. We've been married 1 yr, 4 months and out of that year and change, we have lived in a married household for 5 months. We had dated for a year prior to getting married, and lived together for the majority of that time before marriage.

I would like for my wife and kids to come live with me, but she is finding it difficult make that leap. Among the things that she is dealing with is the task of taking her daughter away from her father and his family.

I've done everything reasonable a man in my position can do, from putting on a show, a tour of the location (beautiful place mind you), given her assurances of our future, and have resolved to do whatever it takes to make our family function as one.

Ultimately, it is her decision, however, I am willing to leave the military to make this work. I am yet unaware of exactly what I need for that endeavor, but if the process takes a lot longer than a year... idk. I really don't want to be without my family.

Basically, I need advice. What do some of you with similar problems do? What has been done? How did it pan out? How can I convince my wife moving out here is the next logical step in our marriage? I am not belittling or demeaning the emotional issues that she will go through that goes with taking her daughter away from her father, but I can't help to think it's a necessary evil that needs to happen in order to maintain this marriage.

Thoughts? Any comments are appreciated. I'll answer further questions if they arise. Thanks for your time.
 

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This is a tough one.

The daughter is a toddler right? The girls father could go to court and prevent your wife from moving her daughter from the state they are in right now.

If your wife takes her daughter away that will pretty much end the relationship between father and daughter. I think that that is a terrible thing to do to a father who has been active in his daughter's life on an almost daily basis. It will also confuse the child.

Most likely, if your wife can get permission to mover her daughter out of state, she will be responsible for paying airfare for her daughter to visit her father a few times a year. So there are added expenses as well.

I really do not know what to tell you except that the easiest, maybe not the best for you, thing would be for you to relocate to where your wife lives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
EleGirl:
thanks for the response....
not really what I wanted to hear, but it is what I NEED to hear, I guess.

I really don't care for the expenses... I will foot the bill if I have to EVERY time. I just hate this distance, and want to make this marriage work. I've never been this happy/miserable in my life.
 

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You have no right to take a daughter away from her father, not morally anyway, legally I don't know in your country.
 

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Mixing family life with military commitment is hard. As well as the separations (one of you deploys) there are the family relocations (different countries let alone states). These stresses will be even harder for a blended family to cope with.

That is not to say you should not (after careful thought and discussion) give it a go many military personnel do manage to have strong and successful family lives. Talk openly and calmly with your wife and with her EX. Let them know you do not want to damage the relationship he has with his child. Talk through ways access could continue.

I would advice caution and a "slowly slowly" approach can you can organize temporary (guest) quarters for the whole family on base for a week or so? Let everyone see how it goes.

Any permanent changes will take time to organize whether it’s sorting out married quarter / schools etc if you are going to move your family on base or if it’s you coming out of the military (how do your skill set fit in with available civilian work) that will take time to process.

Hopefully patience and understanding from all will lead to the best solutions.
 

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Furnace,
I am active duty military, senior enlisted in the Navy. My wife and I are separated and heading toward divorce with 3 children. I have been fortunate to be able to stay in one place my entire career. I personally would NEVER dream of taking my children away from their mother. The relationship between parent and child is sacred and must be preserved under all circumstances. You knew of your wife's circumstances before you married her. You also, being active duty, knew that you could be relocated. Asking your wife to take her child away from her father is just wrong, period. If my STBXW told me she wanted to move out of state I would be at the courthouse five minutes later to prevent it. Being that the father is active, the court most likely won't grant permission to relocate. Courts are very reluctant to take children away from good parents or to change the status quo. Your wife would have to prove how it's in the best interest of the child to take the child away from her father to live with you. Very high standard to meet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You have no right to take a daughter away from her father, not morally anyway, legally I don't know in your country.
I appreciate your response, and I want to hear other people's opinions, but I really am not asking for a moral lecture, or what the norms are in your country.

I see that you are against me bringing my wife and child over and are possibly overlooking the stability I can provide. That would be my fault, as I don't think everything was covered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Some people compromise on this stuff. Maybe the daughter can visit the father for summers and holidays. Didn't you two talk about this being a possibility before you married? She should have also discussed this with the father before you two married so that a plan could have been in place for this type of situation.

Military life is hard. You never know where you're going to be or when they will uproot you again.
Thanks for your response staarz,
I agree and would expect to reunite the my stepdaughter with her biological father every opportunity available. Since she is not yet in school, I do see that as being more of a possibility now. Once she begins school, I am ok with what her mother is interested in doing.

I do agree that she should have talked to her daughter's father before the marriage, but he was not and is not in the right emotional/mental state to handle a talk of this type.

As for my military life, I am active, and am currently indef status. I am planning on this being my last duty station due to the toll it has taken on my previous and current family. The benefits no longer outweigh what I am missing.

I am currently in a stable place, and will not have to deploy, or move out of the area albeit for training. If anything, I am at the perfect place for regrouping and building a family. I have great hours, and my responsibilities are low in comparison with previous jobs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mixing family life with military commitment is hard. As well as the separations (one of you deploys) there are the family relocations (different countries let alone states). These stresses will be even harder for a blended family to cope with.

That is not to say you should not (after careful thought and discussion) give it a go many military personnel do manage to have strong and successful family lives. Talk openly and calmly with your wife and with her EX. Let them know you do not want to damage the relationship he has with his child. Talk through ways access could continue.

I would advice caution and a "slowly slowly" approach can you can organize temporary (guest) quarters for the whole family on base for a week or so? Let everyone see how it goes.

Any permanent changes will take time to organize whether it’s sorting out married quarter / schools etc if you are going to move your family on base or if it’s you coming out of the military (how do your skill set fit in with available civilian work) that will take time to process.

Hopefully patience and understanding from all will lead to the best solutions.
Thanks for your response Wiltshireman,
I think the next time I go to visit my family, I will try and attempt to meet with her biological father and see what arrangement we can reach, in the case that I cannot leave the military any time soon. However, I think I should have some type of indication from my wife that she is willing to take the trip if we can all reach an agreement.

Please everyone understand, I do not intend to damage the relationship my step daughter has with her father. I believe my step daughter is lucky to have two strong and caring males in her life. The situation itself, though, does not lend itself to be successful while I am away.

I just had her come over, and gave her a grand tour of what life can be once she makes the jump. The next step is to bring her and the kids over on a long weekend to do the same. Don't get me wrong, my sales pitch was made to her during this past visit. I don't plan on doing anything of the sort in front of the kids, nor do I plan on influencing them one way or the other. I just want to spend time with them.

Thanks once again for your response.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Furnace,
I am active duty military, senior enlisted in the Navy. My wife and I are separated and heading toward divorce with 3 children. I have been fortunate to be able to stay in one place my entire career. I personally would NEVER dream of taking my children away from their mother. The relationship between parent and child is sacred and must be preserved under all circumstances. You knew of your wife's circumstances before you married her. You also, being active duty, knew that you could be relocated. Asking your wife to take her child away from her father is just wrong, period. If my STBXW told me she wanted to move out of state I would be at the courthouse five minutes later to prevent it. Being that the father is active, the court most likely won't grant permission to relocate. Courts are very reluctant to take children away from good parents or to change the status quo. Your wife would have to prove how it's in the best interest of the child to take the child away from her father to live with you. Very high standard to meet.
Married in VA,
thanks for your response... but

"You knew of your wife's circumstances before you married her. You also, being active duty, knew that you could be relocated. Asking your wife to take her child away from her father is just wrong, period."

indeed. I knew. she knew. we both thought we could go through with this. things have changed since then. I don't think it is beyond reason to make a plan with the person you love, and to want them to be close to you. I don't think it is wrong. It is tough, but it is not wrong. I am not closing the door on the child's relationship with her father, but the circumstances do lend themselves for an alternative approach than what is now normal.

"Being that the father is active, the court most likely won't grant permission to relocate. Courts are very reluctant to take children away from good parents or to change the status quo. Your wife would have to prove how it's in the best interest of the child to take the child away from her father to live with you. Very high standard to meet."

I also do not know the process, but I know courts generally side with the maternal side of the house. The burden usually lays on the father to prove that the mother is incompetent, or could not take care of the child for it to go his way. Not the opposite.

Doesn't mean it's right or wrong, but that's what I have known all along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
furnace,
I can tell from your post that you are in love with your wife and very much want her to be with you. I agree it is what is best for you, your wife and the marriage. However, what is in the childrens best interest?

You do not mention anything about her two other children. Moving affects children. If a child grows up in a miliatary family you grow up with an expectation that every place you go is temporary. Her children did not grow up with you so they do not have this expectation. Most children are miserable when they move. The extent of the effect on them is dependent on their ability to adapt and make new friends.

I was raised in a military family although not blended, I can tell you my parents made decisions about movement based on our best interest. Sometimes it was in our best interest to move. Sometimes it was in our best interest for dad to go ahead (for up to a year) sometimes we moved only to know that he would get us out there as soon as he could as he did not care for the schools. My point is they did not make these decisions based on their wants (they wanted to be together) they made them based on our best interest.

You suggested that you would be willing to leave the military to be with your wife. That is perhaps the best solution as it is definitely in the toddlers best interest to be able to grow up with her father, seeing him on a regular basis.

If you choose to attempt some sort of shared custody where the child visits on holdiays and summers. You may want to consider having the child live with her father and you and your wife be the ones that get the child part time. After all it your job that is interfering with your marriage, why is he being asked to be a part time dad? Why is he being the one asked to make a tremendous sacrifice to accomodate your job. Sounds quite unfair to even ask such a thing.
thank you coffee, someone finally realizes what my motivation is. I love this woman, and I love the family! As for the child's interest, I can provide a better location for rearing, and can provide stability in the household she lives in. Not this going back and forth 2-3-4 times a week that currently goes on.

The other two children are grown (one has a child of her own, and lives with the father) the other is about to graduate hs, and intends on staying in the area.

"I was raised in a military family although not blended, I can tell you my parents made decisions about movement based on our best interest. Sometimes it was in our best interest to move. Sometimes it was in our best interest for dad to go ahead (for up to a year) sometimes we moved only to know that he would get us out there as soon as he could as he did not care for the schools. My point is they did not make these decisions based on their wants (they wanted to be together) they made them based on our best interest."

possibly the best advice I've come across so far. Sometimes it feels better to know that you aren't or haven't been the only one to go through your situation.

I DO plan on leaving, and plan to do it the soonest I can, so long as I can do it smartly.

"If you choose to attempt some sort of shared custody where the child visits on holdiays and summers. You may want to consider having the child live with her father and you and your wife be the ones that get the child part time. After all it your job that is interfering with your marriage, why is he being asked to be a part time dad? Why is he being the one asked to make a tremendous sacrifice to accomodate your job. Sounds quite unfair to even ask such a thing."

--scathing, but in all fairness, that does make sense. Thanks for your advice. May not be what I want to hear, but definitely what I need to hear. Thanks.
 

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Furnace,
Courts no longer, for the most part, side with the mother. I have all 3 of my children full time. In my experiences with the "system" I have been treated very fairly. I would agree that mothers, in some areas, may have an advantage in the awarding of initial custody. Move away circumstances are a whole different animal. If both parents are active in a child's life, I can say with near certainty that the court won't allow it. No judge in their right mind is going to allow a child to be moved away from the "status quo" due to a subsequent marriage. Almost all 50 states have custody statutes that call for frequent and continuing contact with BOTH parents post separation. That level of contact can't be met with a couple weeks in the summer, some holidays, and skype to fill in the difference.

As a fellow service member, I don't want you to go into this situation without the correct intel or false expectations. Times have changed and your state may even be a presumed joint custody state. Has your wife talked to an attorney about what would be required and what the chances of success would be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Married in VA,
Yes we did talk to a lawyer. They advised us to wait until about 2 weeks before moving to let the biological father know. They said that would prevent him from filing a restraining order which would prevent her from moving out the state. They told us in situations like these the father would file the restraining order, then could complicate things even worse by postponing hearings and such.

We weren't too happy with the advice given. Didn't plan on going that route. Thought that was making a bad situation worse.
 

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Married in VA,
Yes we did talk to a lawyer. They advised us to wait until about 2 weeks before moving to let the biological father know. They said that would prevent him from filing a restraining order which would prevent her from moving out the state. They told us in situations like these the father would file the restraining order, then could complicate things even worse by postponing hearings and such.

We weren't too happy with the advice given. Didn't plan on going that route. Thought that was making a bad situation worse.
It takes only a few hours to file an order preventing children from being removed from the state. In my case my attorney had it done in 2 hours.

Don't forget that when you do this you are teaching your wife how to treat you if/when you have children with you. If you two pull this off, don't be surprised if some day she takes off with your children under similar circumstances.

The fact that she is not wanting to move to where you live is an indication that your marriage is not very strong. Is she telling you why she has no already moved to live with you?
 

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I agree with elegirl. It took me about a half hour without a lawyer to get an order. Five minutes to fill out the paper work and a 20 minute wait to see the judge. The order was given and then served on my STBXW an hour later. It is valid until a full hearing/trial on custody could be conducted. Your lawyer's advice is not good nor is it ethical. It sounds like he/she is trying to "beat the system" instead of doing the right thing.
 

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I haven't read the other responses but I just wanted to let you know what our situation is. We are a blended military family. I have a son from a previous relationship, he has a son from a previous relationship and we have a son together. He wants nothing more than to go active duty but we fully realize that it just isn't possible without giving up our older children to their other parents. In order to move out of state with our children my exh and his ex would have to agree to it and they would NEVER! We also don't want to take our kids from their other parents like that.

Our solution is that he is National Guard. He is in the military, he deploys, he is called up immediately for state emergencies, he is away a lot for drills, he gets all the regular military benefits AND he gets to live at home. I don't see how you can be active duty when she has children with an involved father. It's possible if he agrees to it but what are the chances really? You don't have to completely get out of the military but everyone we know has said that if you have a family the National Guard is the best branch to be in.

Just my $.02
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank goodness! That's terrible advice.

I know military life can be tough but I don't want people reading this thread to think its all bad. I grew up in the military life literally born into it and lived it till I was an adult. I have to say that as an adult I feel it benefited me in many, many ways. Travel and moving was a benefit. I've seen most of this country and many others. I've learned how to adapt, cope and make sacrifices for the benefit of the family and country. I have learned a deep appreciation for the men and women that serve our country and for this country and the freedom we are privledged to have and that many take for granted.
Thanks coffee. I do agree that you attain a different appreciation for certain things while in the military. Nonetheless, make no mistake about it... it is a tough life, and everyone involved makes sacrifice. Not just the service member, but that service member's family (own, parents, friends, etc)...

My family was tightly bonded due to military life, everywhere you go you only have each other, so we are very close. That was perhaps one of the greatest benefits.
This is one thing that I was able to have with my ex wife, as did she with her ex husband. This is exactly what I think our marriage needs, and what I was hoping to provide, let alone at one of the most beautiful bases in the states. Now, being here alone, I resent being here, and the fact that I cannot share this with the ones I love most.

Well ...that and the skill of being to live out of suitcase for 4 months in a hotel, while you wait for quarters.:rofl:
not the best of things to go through. luckily i havent.

I think the best thing you can do is talk to your step daughter's father. Get to know him perhaps you can work something out he will be agreeable to but also and more importantly will benefit the child.
You know, that's just it. He can't stand the sight of me. Can't see me, can't hear about me... I don't think he's moved on, although he is with someone.

I do intend though, on trying to do this. I really do. Despite whatever trash he may say to me. Afterall, given his position, I'd probably do the same. I guess.... It's just tough to go through this.

There is something to be said for the vast experiences military life can give and I appreciate the life skills and travel that I was exposed to growing up. Perhaps you can explain some the ways in which she will benefit from these experiences. It would be the best of both worlds if she has a stationary living arrangement with her dad even part time (if he is agreeable) and the exposure of travel with you. If all could be juggled (postitive attitudes by all) and she copes well, which she would if she grew up this way, She could have an extradinary childhood.
From your mouth to his ears... I hope I can work some type of arrangement. I'm afraid to find out if I have to stay here longer than a year or two. We've already been apart 9 months, and I've been in the states. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It takes only a few hours to file an order preventing children from being removed from the state. In my case my attorney had it done in 2 hours.

Don't forget that when you do this you are teaching your wife how to treat you if/when you have children with you. If you two pull this off, don't be surprised if some day she takes off with your children under similar circumstances.
Don't worry, this isn't the route we would've taken. Despite what some of you think, we are good people, and fair people. That's really the reason why she is over there and not with me. For her daughter's sake, and for her daughter's relationship with her father.

The fact that she is not wanting to move to where you live is an indication that your marriage is not very strong. Is she telling you why she has no already moved to live with you?
The marriage is strong. Yes, see above for the reasonings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I agree with elegirl. It took me about a half hour without a lawyer to get an order. Five minutes to fill out the paper work and a 20 minute wait to see the judge. The order was given and then served on my STBXW an hour later. It is valid until a full hearing/trial on custody could be conducted. Your lawyer's advice is not good nor is it ethical. It sounds like he/she is trying to "beat the system" instead of doing the right thing.
WE BOTH AGREED THAT IT WAS UNETHICAL and not the wisest way of going about this. I just relayed what was said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I haven't read the other responses but I just wanted to let you know what our situation is. We are a blended military family. I have a son from a previous relationship, he has a son from a previous relationship and we have a son together. He wants nothing more than to go active duty but we fully realize that it just isn't possible without giving up our older children to their other parents. In order to move out of state with our children my exh and his ex would have to agree to it and they would NEVER! We also don't want to take our kids from their other parents like that.

Our solution is that he is National Guard. He is in the military, he deploys, he is called up immediately for state emergencies, he is away a lot for drills, he gets all the regular military benefits AND he gets to live at home. I don't see how you can be active duty when she has children with an involved father. It's possible if he agrees to it but what are the chances really? You don't have to completely get out of the military but everyone we know has said that if you have a family the National Guard is the best branch to be in.

Just my $.02
Thanks Soifon, this is definitely a route I am considering as well. I just have to fulfill all my commitments before thaking that or another leap. I guess what is unclear right now is the commitment, and how long it is.
 
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