My ex wife recently moved from Somerville to Hull. Our parenting plan required that I pick our daughter up on Friday evenings at her house at 6 p.m. and drop her off at school Monday mornings every other weekend. I didn’t mind doing all of the driving because I live in Arlington and work in Boston. I also saw her every Wednesday after school until 8 p.m. which I can no longer do every week because the drive is so bad.
I suggested that because of her move, she needs to step up and do the driving. She offered to meet me at the Braintree mall on Fridays but insists that I drive our daughter to school on Monday mornings because she will be late for work if she has to do the driving. Our daughter is only 8 so my ex has a neighbor watching her from 7:30 a.m. until she gets on the school bus.
My ex has given zero consideration for how late I will be for work or, more importantly, how early our daughter will have to get up every other Monday morning to fight rush hour traffic through the city and get home to Hull on time for school. I tried to talk her out of the move but she insisted her new husband’s home was much nicer than her condo and she needed to move in with him. She rented out her condo by the way.
Her decision to move from Somerville to Hull was a material change in circumstances warranting a review of your parenting plan. You can file a complaint for modification and, once you serve her, file a motion to change the driving responsibilities. A judge will likely require her to drive your daughter all the way to your house at least one of the transition days if not both.
It may no longer be in your daughter’s best interest to spend Sunday nights at your house. You have already given up most Wednesdays. If you also give up Sunday nights, that is six days per month you are missing because your ex chose to move. I don’t know what your summer and vacation arrangements are, but you should consider asking for more time during those parts of the year to make up for the lost time between you and your daughter during the school year.
If your ex is unreasonable about extra time over the summer, consider asking the judge to order her to move back to Somerville during the school week. If she still owns that condo, there is no reason she and her husband can’t live in two homes.