Is Guam a foreign country? Getting the wrong answer could have cost Steve his father-son relationship.
Steve and Marci have two very young boys. In the middle of their collaborative divorce in College Station, Texas, Steve and Marci needed to agree on who would have primary custody if they lived in different locations.
They came into the meeting prepared. They had agreed that Marci had the boys if she lived in Canada or the U. S. If she moves anywhere else, the boys stayed with Steve. With her company folding, Marci had already announced that she would take a job “anywhere in the world”.
Steve is intending to follow Marci and his boys to nearly anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, but not anywhere in the world.
I asked them if they wanted to define the United States. They thought that an odd question. Did they want to stick with the continental U.S. and exclude Hawaii and Alaska? They decided to include Alaska and ditch Hawaii.
Knowing Steve wanted to keep his sons on this continent, I asked him how he felt about Guam. He looked surprised and Marci said, “I could live there!” Neither of them knew that Guam is a territory of the U. S. But then, they grew up in Eastern Europe where American geography and government were not strong subjects.
They agreed to define the U.S. as the lower 48 states plus Alaska. Had they not tightly defined the U.S., they could have ended up with Marci moving their sons to Guam or another U.S. territory.
I can hear the judge now, “Guam is part of the United States. You should have thought of that before you agreed to this.”
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