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Trapped by Choices

He felt … trapped. And more importantly, he felt tremendously guilty for feeling trapped. Worst still, it was his own doing.

Five years ago, he agreed with his wife on a co-parenting arraignment that was thought to be best for their 11 year old son. He could confirm, it was. Their now 16 year old was thriving: honor roll, varsity football, and even a role in the spring musical.

But, five years ago when he was divorcing, agreeing to live within 10 miles of his ex sounded like a small sacrifice to pay to ensure that they continued to parent their son equally. He didn’t have many complaints about the past five years. Often, parenting with his ex wife was the easiest part of being divorced.

Though, after receiving the offer of a lifetime to expand his career, he felt trapped by his prior decisions. To take the offer meant uprooting his entire life, more than 800 miles away. To take the offer meant leaving his son and ex wife behind. It wouldn’t just change his career trajectory, but everything.

Before he said “yes” or “no” to the offer, he reached out to a family law attorney to identify his options, to try to get un-trapped. If he took the job, what would holidays look like? What would summers look like? Child support?

That consultation made him realize that he didn’t have to be trapped; he could do a little research on what life for his son could be like if they both moved. He reviewed schools, housing, sports clubs. With that information, he spoke to his ex. While she didn’t agree that their son should move 800 miles away with him, she agreed that at 16 her son should have a choice before any decisions were made.

That consultation turned into him taking the offer of a lifetime, his son choosing to move 800 miles away, and he and his ex wife coming to a new parenting agreement. It wasn’t the easiest choice to make, or the easiest process. But, without that consultation, he would have been trapped.

If you’re faced with feeling trapped by your prior choices or future opportunities and the possible impacts on your co-parenting arraignment, consider speaking with a family law attorney about navigating those possible changes.

Get the information you need. Get the information you deserve.

Jess Lill

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