Relocation for Career; Leaving Love Behind

We often tell our clients that relocation, considered when imminent, is one of the most challenging issues divorcing couples face.  It is nearly impossible for parents going their separate ways to avoid discussing a relocation as a win-lose zero sum game deal.  Either the parent goes with the kids or does not.  It takes a considerable effort to consider that the breadth of vacation opportunities throughout the year, along with a flexible attitude, can result in ongoing parenting time and sufficient opportunities to build loving stable relationships between parents and children who may live apart.  While challenging, we see parents working together for their children’s benefit.  We also explain that they are free to move; moving with their children away from the other parent is quite another matter. Apart from the emotional toll, there is also a financial impact – travel expenses and time as well as child care for time that would have been spent with the relocating parent.  Furthermore, neither parent ideally should find themselves pigeonholed as the fun vacation parent or the week-to-week homework parent.  Parenting entails fun time, discipline and teaching opportunities along with love.  And yet, we do meet ambitious individuals on occasion for whom a career opportunity is compelling, even when a few states away from their children’s primary residence.  Though this win-lose mindset seems antithetical to mediation, in fact mediation can be the ideal setting to tackle the relocation challenge together, using creative problem solving.

Oscar snafus aside LaLa Land raised this issue for a couple, who may have ended up raising a family together.  In that film, the career dreams of both were more compelling than the love they shared.


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