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Lady Themis
Lady Themis, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7751
Experience:  Divorce, child custody, child support, etc.
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my daughter and her ex now have joint custody. her 4 yr old

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my daughter and her ex now have joint custody. her 4 yr old daughter is living with us her grandparents and my daughter since she has been born. she considers this her dauaghters ex has just filed for sole custody . if he should win does that mean she may have to live with him if he so wants even though she has lived with us all her life. my daughters ex is getting married soon. my daughter has no criminal records or wrong doing. her daughter has told the court that her dad hit her but only happened once. they have both just gone through psychological testing and the psychilogist says its fine that she stays living with us now. we are very worried that hes going to get physical custody. can you get sole custody and still have the child live with the other parent as the child has been doing all along?
Thank you for your question. What state is this in? Is the mother also living with you? What is the father's argument as to why he should get sole custody?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
the state is illinois. yes the mother is living with us shes my daughter and her ex was also living with us up until their breakup. hes always wanted to take the child away from my daughter. she has not been communicating with him very . he hurt her very bad he was cheating on her and denying it and now marrying the woman.
Thank you. Let me first assure you that the father has an uphill battle ahead if he wants to gain sole custody.

First, because there is already a custody order in place, the father would have to demonstrate that there has been some substantial change in circumstances since the last custody order. (If it has been less than 2 years since the last custody order, the father would have to file an affidavit stating that the child risks serious endangerment if left in the current custody situation). That in itself is a heavy burden, and you have not described anything which would lead me to believe that the circumstances have changed enough so that the court could review the current custody order.

Secondly, the father will have to demonstrate that the proposed change is in the best interests of the child. Rarely is it in the best interests of the child to change the custody arrangement when there has been no incident or change that would warrant that. Stability is a major consideration when reviewing custody, and the courts favor stability in terms of the child's home life, education, relationships, etc.

That said, contested custody motions should always be taken seriously, and your daughter should strongly consider hiring an attorney to defend against the request in order to ensure the most favorable outcome.

I do my best to answer the question you have posted. I am not compensated for my time in answering your question unless you rate my service well. In rating, please bear in mind that I cannot control what the law is and whether it helps you. I can only tell you what the law says, and I assume that you want truthful information. I would be happy to answer any follow-up questions or provide clarification via the “Reply to Expert” tab on the following screen. Thank you.

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