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Author Topic: father fighting for custody  (Read 14094 times)

worriedinmd

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father fighting for custody
« on: Nov 08, 2008, 03:07:36 PM »
I separated from my ex over a year ago and have had a written agreement in place where I have had my son(3 yrs old) for 4 nights a week and my wife has him for three. Recently when my year waiting period was up I had my lawyer send her a letter asking that we go to mediation and work things out and keep the custody schedule. she replied quickly with a request for full custody. I have an extremely stable job as a teacher and will have off the same hours as my child when he starts school next year. Since this exchange we have both filed for full custody. I live in Md which is supposed to not have preference for either parent. She has also changed jobs and moved 3 times in the past year and is currently living with her b/f in a bad neighborhood and lying to me about where she lives(I can prove it). Is there any chance that I can obtain full physical custody and just give her visitation? What are the odds that she can take custody away from me? Who will be able to pick his school? Thanks for all your help. I look forward to hearing your replies


boilergal

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Why not stay with the status quo?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 08, 2008, 09:57:58 PM »
You've got roughly a 60/40 split in your favor. Can you mediate to a shared custody agreement for that? No one can predict what will happen, but if you are petitioning to finalize a situation based on how's it's been, then maybe you have a stronger case. Some folks will disagree and some will agree.

No one can guarantee the outcome, but if your son is used to the shared time already, then why not stick with that? He needs both of you.

worriedinmd

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Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #2 on: Nov 09, 2008, 09:07:48 AM »
In the initial complaint for divorce I did request to continue with the status quo. Then a couple weeks later I got a letter from her lawyer requesting that she have sole custody. That's why i'm so worried, I don't see why a lawyer would want to do that if he didn't think they had a good chance of winning. I don't think she's gonna agree to leave it the same in mediation because she is set on the idea of trying to get him on school nights where she doesn' t have much time with him each night but she can collect a nice child support check since she makes less than half of what I do.

boilergal

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Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #3 on: Nov 09, 2008, 09:33:16 AM »
the lawyer is doing what lawyers do... it's not that he/she necessarily thinks she has a good chance.

Ask for the sun and the moon and then settle for less. Your stance is basically the same, ask for full custody and settle for what you have.

Her lawyer is also getting paid to do it. So your X is going along and may or may not be convinced that she can get it. But the lawyer is telling her what she wants to hear and the lawyer gets paid either way.

Don't read into it. Just proceed with what you feel is right. Try for full custody and then mediate to the status quo if that's the way it goes.

Your child needs you both in any case.

Good luck.

worriedinmd

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Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #4 on: Nov 13, 2008, 09:27:34 PM »
Well, we had our mediation and she wouldn't budge. I tried giving a little on stuff like holidays and things that are insignificant to me but she wouldn't budge on the custody or the school issue. Do you guys think that I"m going to be at a big disadvantage because I'm a male? Or since I've had him more right from the beginning will that help me out?


Giggles

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Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #5 on: Nov 14, 2008, 06:44:22 AM »

Well, we had our mediation and she wouldn't budge. I tried giving a little on stuff like holidays and things that are insignificant to me but she wouldn't budge on the custody or the school issue. Do you guys think that I"m going to be at a big disadvantage because I'm a male? Or since I've had him more right from the beginning will that help me out?

 
MD is a crap shoot really....depending on the Judge you get and which county you are in.  Judges in Montgomery county are fairly liberal and mostly side with the mothers....however you do sound like you have a good case for joint custody....just make sure you concentrate on "the best interest of the child" they are HUGE on that!!!  With her not budging in mediation, that's not going to look that great to a judge...so she may have hung herself there!
 
Frederick county judges lean more conservatively and tend to preferr a joint situation. 

I only had one experience with a Baltimore County Judge and I must say I liked her very much!!!  My X has custody of our daughter and back a few years ago he got deployed to Kuwait.  He ticked me off because he gave guardianship to his Mother instead of me...he was going to be gone for a year.  So after he left, she came to visit me for the summer and I refused to return her to her Grandmother...filed for Temp custody in Baltimore county.  My only mistake was that I should have filed for it in NC where they lived...but anyway.  My X got ticked and got a emergency trip back to the US.  We went to court in Baltimore and the judge said that Baltimore didn't have jurisdiction.  He wanted me to pay HIS legal fees but the judge denied that and when his attorney argued the point, the Baltimore judge asked if they wanted to have the jurisdiction switched?  His attorney said NO WAY because she knew that if they switched the jurisdiction, they would lose and the Judge would have ordred my daughter to stay with me AND denied the attorneys fees as well.  My X's excuse for not letting me have guardianship was because he knew that if he did give her to me, she wouldn't want to go back to him when he got back.....certainly NOT in her best interest!!!
 
I think you do have a good chance at joint custody...even primary IF you can convince the judge that you have been the primary parent.  Good Luck!!!
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Kitty C.

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Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #6 on: Nov 14, 2008, 11:48:20 AM »
I agree with Giggles..............when you get to court emphasize as hard as you can that your son has been on the current schedule for a year and, given his age, continuity is imperative for him.  Maintaining the status quo is the best thing for him right now.
 
Please let us know how this turns out........you do have a lot in favor, with stability, the kind of job you have (and the hours you work, which is geared for a child) and the fact that you've had this arrangement for a year.  Don't take anything for granted, dot your i's and cross your t's, and keep your emphasis on your son.  It's possible that your case may go to the same judge you've seen in the past....some jurisdictions do that for continuity (and if it's that way in your case, point it out to the judge!), so that would give you a better idea on the outcome.  But if you get a different judge, ask your atty. if they know anything about him/her.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

worriedinmd

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Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #7 on: Jan 25, 2009, 09:40:37 AM »
Update.....It's 3 months later, my lawyer says the master hearing my case is pretty even handed with men and women so that shouldn't be to my disadvantage. I have been building my case since the beginning but it seems as if here lately she is staying one step ahead. I found out she lied on her discovery and was living with her b/f. I got proof and the day before I got the records in the mail from my lawyer there was a letter from hers saying that she changed her answers to interrogatories to include him? How does she keep finding stuff out just ahead of time? I hope i'm not walking into an ambush

Giggles

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Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #8 on: Jan 25, 2009, 11:45:03 AM »
Actually...the longer this takes the better your chances are for maintaining status quo!!  Just make sure you focus on keeping a stable environment and the childs best interest.  Perhaps start a communications book that could be exchanged along with the child.  This shows your willingness to communicate with BM.  Write in there how the child did during your time, the things they enoyed doing and any other pertinate info.  This also becomes excellent documentation for court!!!  If a judge or master can see that this is working...then they'd be hesitant to change it!!!
 
Who normally takes the child to the doctor?  Dentist?  In other words can you show that you do the majority of these things?  Mostly you want to show that you are the PRIMARY parent.  You may also want to have a comparison between the schools in your area vs the ones near her, along with maybe crime stats?  Since you state she isn't in the best of neighborhoods.
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worriedinmd

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Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #9 on: Jan 29, 2009, 04:00:40 PM »
Does anybody know how I could get relevant crime statistics for a particular neighborhood without going through the police department....I haven't had any luck online. I also wonder if anyone knows of any methods to go about proving someone is lowballing their income if their primary income is tips. I know my ex is only working part time as a nail tech/stylist but I dont' know how to go about proving her income is a joke. She even told me what she actually makes. If anyone can help please, please reply to this post

 

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