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Old 08-07-2009, 16:29   #1
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Living Aboard - Divorced - Joint Custody?

Hi Everyone,

I am more than a little overwhelmed with the turn my life has taken in the last week or so, but excited too. It has become a "dream" of our family to learn to live on a boat and be (mostly) self sufficient. There will still be income, but we want to get out of the "regular" rat race. We want to see the world and do extensive cruising.

I envisioned this as a dream to work on for years in future, but it looks like the opportunity may be presenting itself much sooner than that so I am trying to get my head around it.

Anyway, my first post is here because my biggest concern has to do with children. We have three, all from a previous relationship. My partner and his ex have a joint custody arrangement, currently they switch off taking the kids every other week.

We both want to stay involved with the children on a "full time" basis, and I'd really love feedback from anyone who has done this successfully. We aren't dealing with court orders at this point, just two ex lovers trying to work out coparenting for their kids.

We've kicked some ideas around between the two of us, including potentially switching off on a yearly or 6 month schedule with the "other" parent taking kids during breaks and holidays, but there is a lot to figure out such as homeschooling and "regular" school transitions etc.

Anyone who has done this in any way shape or form, I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.



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Old 08-07-2009, 17:29   #2
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I was wondering about this subject too. I would like to take my daughter on some extended cruising, but my EX has joint custody, but she usually only sees her once a month and only for a few hours. Can I just go without her permission? I have physical custody, but we have joint custody. she can see her when ever she wants but just doesen't for what ever reasons. What would be the legal problems I'd run into. joe

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Old 08-07-2009, 19:19   #3
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It would seem you need an agreement and the working out of that would have to be before anything can happen. You'll also need it writing so you can travel to other countries. They could ask and it would not be fun without paper work and passports. It's probably been done but the parties that did it did not include you or the ex. It's an adventure. It just does not begin on the water. Look at the bright side. It;'s a good habit.

You have added complexities before you hit the water. If you can agree to be divorced then at least it's a start. You could try. Bigger things were done starting with less. You could be nice and show responsibility and who knows - could work. Kids are mostly portable.
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Old 09-07-2009, 04:42   #4
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Welcome to CF, Bridgette. You might want to scroll down the list of prior threads in this subforum. There have been some discussions relating to your questions, for example this one:

Best of luck in finding the right solution for your family.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:09   #5
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Hi Hud,

I did read that thread, actually, but it didn't really address my question. We aren't dealing with one parent who has custody primarily while the other just needs to sign off. It was an interesting and useful thread, but not really the question I am asking, if that makes sense. In our case, both parents are fully involved and want to stay that way.

I realize there may not be anyone here with this situation, but if there is I was hoping to hear how they make it work. How often do they switch, how do they balance homeschooling from a boat with "conventional" school on land, etc.

Mostly I am hoping to have a clearer picture to present to the mother before we get too deep into this. Just to be clear, I am the step mother living with the father and we want to live aboard and cruise, but also keep our kids half time. Logistics are a pain, eh?
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Old 23-01-2010, 19:00   #6
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I feel your pain. I am divorced and we share custody of my two older children with my ex-wife. We live about 2 miles apart and alternate every other week. We are both very involved with our kids and are not willing to go an extended period of time without contact. I love sailing but in the end I love the kids more. Sailing is likely to be there in a few years but the kids will have moved on before I know it. It would be difficult for me to enjoy sailing knowing I was leaving them behind and my ex is not likely to give them up so I can sail off with them. I have to limit my sailing (for now) to 7-10 day vacations. Meanwhile, I am using the oportunity to save/prepare so that I will be ready when the day comes. The younger of the two turns 18 in 7 more years. This may not be the ideal solution that you are looking for but it is the only one I can live with. I am satisfied knowing that my ex would not have set foot on a sailboat if her life depended on it (much less pump a marine head!) so I am getting in much more sailing than I would have otherwise.
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Old 23-01-2010, 19:32   #7
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Hello Bridget,

While not directly related to taking the children away on a boat, several divorced friends of mine have had to deal with this when wanting to move out of state (all in the USA - not sure of your location) Almost everytime, they amended the divorce settlement with the new understanding. Needless to say, those on friendlier terms with the ex were able to reach a mutually agreeable solution a lot sooner

Best of luck!

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Old 23-01-2010, 23:39   #8
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Kids Pass Port

Just a thought.
When I needed to get my 5 year old a pass port so he could go to Mexico with me, His mother and I both had to be present when we applied. I think it is set up that way to make sure that one parrent doesn't take the kid and run off to a foreign country with out the other parrents knowledge.


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