Question #63: The relationship between me and my husband had been deteriorating following an attempt to recover from my husband’s affair with a girl that worked for one of his customer’s. There were also other issues and I considered him passive-aggressive and a stone waller / verbal abuser. I thought perhaps that almost losing his family would be enough for him to begin addressing these issues so that the family could be kept together. However, after three-years and seeing the passive control issues and verbally abusive behavior in terms of solving problems not diminishing, the relationship totally deteriorated. Now I have discovered a second affair with an administrative assistant in his office, and I filed for divorce last month. We are in mediation. Although he is agreeing to give me primary custody, he wants to take a new job in another state, about 15 hours away or more by car. He does not have to take this job. It would be a promotion, about 10K more and a company car and a chance for management experience. There are no relatives in this other state. This love interest is only, as far as I know, a three month or so relationship, and she will be moving in with him either in a house (to own) or an apartment (to rent). The 90-day period for a consent divorce will be over in June and my husband wants to take the children to live with him and this other woman for 8 weeks this summer, that visitation would begin only a week or so after the divorce is final. My husband and I are still sharing the same home, although we are barely conversational in regard to these big issues. I want to discuss these with him, but he doesn’t seem to even understand the nature of my concerns (which is not even conceivable to me). I don’t know this woman. He reveals nothing of his life. I have no idea what kind of life the children will lead in this other state and in this other home. I live in PA. It doesn’t seem to me to be in the best interests of the children to have to endure a divorce (husband and I still living together), their parents no longer living together, and a move, and a new woman(spouse figure) all at once, and being taken away from their mother, doctors, friends, relatives, church etc… for eight weeks as a “breaking in” period. My questions: I understand that the Court usually grants the non-custodial out of state parent a big block of time in the summer, but does it have to be an 8 week period of time? Couldn’t this be broken up – and at whose expense – mine? We are both tight for cash and the plane fare will be expensive. Also, it doesn’t seem right to get divorced and move in with someone new and “spring” this new partner on the children, who they now have to live with for 8 weeks, until they return back home for the school year. If I were to forego mediation and pursue this further through my lawyer, and let the courts decide visitation instead of trying to do it ourselves through mediation, what would the likely outcome be? Would it be likely that they would allow this 8 weeks unbroken visitation so quickly after a new divorce?

No one can say with certainty how a judge would respond but in general, the request to have the children for 8 weeks straight without your being able to see them during such time seems excessive and especially since there will be a new Adult introduced into their day to day lives with whom they may not get along.
You do not have to go to Court to demand that the Summer vacation be split into 2-3 week intervals.
Tell the mediator you refuse to consent to 8 straight weeks. If for some reason you are unable to resolve the matter in mediation,
you should request that an arbitrator be appointed for this one issue and have him hear both sides and decide.
Good luck!

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions