Divorce Often Means A Change Of Address

When a parent is faced with the difficult decision as to how to remove a teenager from an abusive environment, it can be an agonizing decision. Abuse can take its toll on a teenager’s psyche and they need to be given a way out. Sadly, the courts are often forced to make this difficult choice for them. They have no option in a divorce other than to hand down the custody of the child to the parent who has been abusing the child.

 Move Away 

If you are trying to protect your child from an abusive ex, it may be wise to consider moving a considerable distance away.  Recognizing that courts are reticent to remove, or even sometimes restrict the parental rights of your ex, sometimes distance can prove to be the greatest barrier you can place between your child and an abusive spouse. Remember that just like you can choose your bank, and your utility providers, you have the right to chose where you live, and where you raise your family.  

From 14yo to adulthood, a child’s aspirations are heard and the courts will work very hard to fulfill the desires of this teen. A child neither NEEDS nor WANTS to be raised by their abuser. This means that they will deal with the emotional issues behind why a troubled child is choosing one parent over another. Again, this does not guarantee that a 14 yo will ultimately choose where to live outside an abusive environment. However, the courts are often forced to place them in one situation or another where the child has been the victim of abuse.

 Vulnerable Children 

The courts have an obligation to protect vulnerable children by making protective orders against those who prey on them. If you are considering how to choose where to live, there are a few factors that can help you decide in your favor. In the first place, you should know that once the courts make protective orders against an abusive environment, the child has no choice but to comply. Also, you need to realize that if your child has to move to an abusive environment, it may mean that the courts have temporarily removed the child from a loving environment. So, this may be a factor in your favor when making your decision to choose where to live, particularly if the neighborhood has experienced a high rate of violent crime.

On the other hand, if you want to give the child a chance to escape an abusive environment, you should know that some of these neighborhoods actually exacerbate the problem. It’s not uncommon for domestic violence to occur in these environments. This could be due to a lack of social activities on a regular basis or even a lack of security in the home. The courts tend to view domestic violence as an ongoing situation and thus try to keep children away from abusive environments. In order to qualify for a protective order, the court must be at least reasonably certain that the child will be in danger if he or she goes into a domineering environment.

So, you might ask, “Why would I choose where to live if the abusive environment was there all along?” In other words, you would have chosen a different location if the situation had been otherwise. You would also have chosen a different child if the situation had been otherwise. The fact remains that the court tries to put an exacting amount of control over the lives of children. In order to take away someone’s freedom to act according to his or her will, the courts require that the child is regularly placed in the domestic environment of the person who abets the abuse.

If, on the other hand, you are trying to have your child removed from an abusive environment and you want the judge to make that location one where your child can freely mingle with other children, you might succeed. The problem is that the courts tend to view parental rights as universal and thus try to make the placing of your child in a new environment more challenging than necessary. The court will require the custodial parent to get a new place to live with your child, and it is likely that it will require you to move. Furthermore, the place chosen by the other parent may not be in the best neighborhood.

If neither of these two scenarios sounds right to you, there are ways around both of them. First, if you can prove that the other parent is physically abusing your child, you can move your child to a different location if not under a court’s jurisdiction. You should do this even if you think you do not want to be in contact with your former spouse. If the other parent has chosen a new residence and you want to be near your former place of residence.

Second, you can file for a change of residency. In most states, a Change Of Address will require you to show proof of abuse (or simply move to another city if you can’t prove it). Yet, the process itself may not be that hard. In many cases, all you will need to do is fill out a form. Then, tell the court why you want to move (if theChange Of Address makes it easier for you) and how you plan to attend your child’s school there.

Alen Parker

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