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Filing shared custody

Started by washpen1, Aug 29, 2016, 01:22:57 PM

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washpen1

My son is 5 years old and the mother and I have never been married and right now, we do week on week off shared custody.  I have a home and stable life style and my son is going to school in my district.  The mother still lives with her parents and goes from job to job.  She just recently became pregnant again with current bf.  My concern is that she could up and leave the state and take my child so I want protection.

My own mother said to have a shared custody filed with the court since nothing was ever done since child was born.  I can't afford a lawyer but was wondering if the mother and I can file it ourselves with the court.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

C

Kent

You can file it without an attorney.
If you both can agree to put that in writing, then great.
I do have to caution you though, in most cases when you start talking about putting it in writing, that is when the stuff hits the fan.

I would look for a sample plan (there should be some on this site free of charge) that lines out that:
1) Physical custody is shared on a week-on week-off basis as you are doing now, but you retain sole legal custody.
(That way you both have equal access, but final say in all decisions rests with you)
2) If either parent moves more than X miles away from their current location, that parent automatically forfeits custody to the other parent and a more traditional parenting plan (every other weekend) needs to be developed. This is to maintain the trusted environment for the child.

You can file this yourself without her consent / knowledge.
Keep in mind that if believe you can afford to pay child support later, you can afford an attorney now.
If you cannot afford to pay child support, then you definitely cannot afford to not hire an attorney now.
Good luck.