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Job opportunities and mutually relocating with ExWW

dbellanon posted 11/2/2017 12:54 PM

One of the most frustrating things about divorce has been the fact that despite no longer being married to her, I'm still in many ways tied to XWW. Because of joint custody, I have to live where she lives (and, admittedly, vice versa), and don't have the option of relocating to pursue better career opportunities.

This is particularly frustrating in the line of work I've been pursuing in the 4 years since my divorce, which is the life of a musician. Admittedly, maybe not the most practical choice, but I decided that dammit, I was going to follow my dream and all that.

I've become relatively well-established in my area as a freelancer, but I've done the math and there's a limit to how much I can make doing this where I am, and there are no tenured jobs with salary and benefits in the area save the one world-class orchestra that probably won't have any openings for years (and whose auditions would be so competitive that banking on winning would be ridiculous gamble).

If you want a "real job" doing this, you have to branch out geographically, and spread out your chances. Take auditions all over the country. I haven't been able to do this obviously because I can't move. I'm stuck.

So a few months ago, something surprising happens. An announcement was made of an audition for an attractive position on my instrument. I discounted it because it was too far away. But, XWW actually sent me a message to the effect that, in the event that I were to take this audition and win, she'd be willing to relocate to that location.

Of course, this was no act of charity on her part. There's a job down there that she wants. Specifically, she was offered the job but had to turn it down because... well, same problem I have. Joint custody. She can't move.

Normally I would smell some kind of nefarious plot, but her motivations seem pretty transparent here. She's encouraging me to pursue a job in the place she wants to live so that we can mutually relocate. I don't think I'm missing anything.

So here's where my thoughts get a bit jumbled up and I need some clarity.

I decided that this was at least worth looking into because, as I said, one of the frustrating things about my situation is that I wasn't able to take auditions in other parts of the country. So this seems like an opportunity to do that. I submitted a preliminary recording and had it accepted and was invited to the live round of auditions in Feburary. An encouraging step, but only the first one. In the mean time, there actually was another opening in the same area that I also applied for with auditions in late December.

Both of these are really good jobs with attractive salary and benefits and may represent my best opportunity for stability in this career that I'm likely to get any time in the near future.

I haven't told XWW about any of this. These are going to be very competitive auditions. There's a good chance I'll fly home empty-handed. I kind of want to just take the auditions, see what happens, and talk to XWW only if I win.

But there are problems with that.

For one, if I were to be offered a position, I'd presumably have to give an answer as to whether or not I accept pretty soon afterward. But there would just be so many things to do! Not the least of which would be to renegotiate significant parts of my parenting agreement with XWW. We'd have to do that for any relocation, but particularly for this job, which has a pretty heavy touring schedule. I'd need to have a pretty flexible arrangement with her to allow me to maintain 50/50 custody, and if I can't do that, then it's not worth it. No job, no matter how good, is worth taking away my daughter's time with me.

I feel like I need to know what she'll agree to before I go. It feels like it would be almost impossible to iron out everything that would need to be ironed out in the time between receiving an offer and needing to accept it.

But of course, I don't want to go through a huge hullaballoo to try to iron all that kind of stuff out and then have it come to nothing if I lose.

I suspect there would be arguments and fights with XWW over this stuff no matter how we cut it. I'd want things spelled out to a level of detail that would annoy XWW, while she'd want to wing it and just have me "trust her" (HAHAHAHA!), not to mention the disagreements we'd be bound to have over the details themselves.

I'm just having trouble seeing how this would all work out, and I'm unsure of the next step.

So I guess I'm wondering first of all if anyone has ever done a mutual relocation to a new state with their Ex, and if they could give any advice or perspective on it.

Second of all, I'm wondering if I should try to talk any the hypotheticals out with her prior to taking these auditions or if I should just take the risk of having a shitstorm to deal with all at once if I somehow end up winning.

Or should I just forget the whole thing?

k94ever posted 11/2/2017 14:22 PM

Go, try out but don't tell her.

If you with the shitstorm. Which might not be a shitstorm because she will be getting what she wants which is a better job.

"You only find out how far you can go if you go that far."

Do it.


shakentocore posted 11/2/2017 17:05 PM

Id ask her (before you audition) how she proposes you make it work. Tell her you wont even audition unless you can nail something down. If she wants the job in the new city she may be willing to be flexible.

Oh the Irony posted 11/2/2017 17:49 PM

I think if you don't mention you are even auditioning, get the offer, and then need her immediate answer it would be bad. Nobody likes making decisions and planning under pressure.

I would ask her about how it could work, that you would like to see if it's worthwhile for you to even audition.

I don't know her obviously, but I think some transparency is in order. Asking her at the last minute won't make the situation better or easier.

EvenKeel posted 11/3/2017 12:30 PM

Specifically, she was offered the job but had to turn it down because... well, same problem I have. Joint custody. She can't move.
Curious - Did she talk to you about her job opportunity when it happened and you said no? Or she didn't even breach the subject because she didn't think it was an option?

But, XWW actually sent me a message to the effect that, in the event that I were to take this audition and win, she'd be willing to relocate to that location.
Since she has already opened this discussion to you, I would say that you are going to give it a shot then but you both know it is a fiercely competitive environment so you will just see what happens.

If this opportunity does not pan out, so be it. I think it is better to try, then sit there with the "what if" thoughts.

You will blink and your DD will be at the age where she is off doing her own thing so while hammering out changes in your agreement are huge right now, they are only relevant for a minimal amount of years.

Good luck if you go!

dbellanon posted 11/4/2017 11:07 AM

**Curious - Did she talk to you about her job opportunity when it happened and you said no? Or she didn't even breach the subject because she didn't think it was an option?**

The latter. She didn't mention it when it happened. Turned it down because she assumed I wouldn't relocate. Not a bad assumption.

little turtle posted 11/5/2017 08:59 AM

If you don't want to tell her that you're considering doing an audition, could you ask her how she thinks this would all work out if somehow you both did end up in said town? I wouldn't press for details or specifics, but I think it would be good to get a general idea of her view of things. See if she would consider a flexible schedule that you would need. If it's not an option, then you have your answer. However, like others have said, she wants to move there as well...and she may be willing to accommodate your needs more so now than not. and if none of this pans out, you'll have a general idea if something else comes up either in the same area or elsewhere - that maybe she would consider re-locating to.

I think all of the unknown aspects would drive me batty and to not audition and never know what could have been for your dream...

dbellanon posted 11/21/2017 07:36 AM


Well that turned out to be a whole big nothing.

So I managed to get an audition time for the job that was hearing applicants earlier (in December) and so I figured this was probably a good time to touch base with XWW.

Turns out the option is no longer even on the table. The job she wanted isn't available anymore and she doesn't want it anyway.

I'm really annoyed that I jumped through all of these hoops for nothing.

So I'm back to square one.

EvenKeel posted 11/21/2017 07:49 AM

Sorry it fell through.

I am a firm believer that things work out for the best so maybe this just isn't the right move at this time.

Thanks for the update though. It was like Paul for the rest of the story....

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