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SoloLawyer
SoloLawyer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2949
Experience:  Licensed Missisippi Attorney; Criminal Law, Family Law, Personal Injury, and Civil Defense
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Child custody question for a friend: Mother in VA, father in MI. Divorce final June 2011.

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Child custody question for a friend: Mother in VA, father in MI. Divorce final June 2011. He's got majority custody. She left MI for work. He denied letting their only 3 yr. old to go with her. He's been living since with brother & broth's wife in their house. Broth's wife is raising child. Mother in VA is remarried, another newborn, full-time job, school, home, wants custody. There was a custody hearing/settlement in Dec 2010 (prior to divorce finalization in June 2011) which gave father primary custody, with only limited visitation for mother. She pays support and healthcare for child. What can she do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 1 year ago.

SoloLawyer :

Hello - Thank you for contacting JustAnswer. My name is Michael; I look forward to helping you with your family law problem today.

SoloLawyer :

When you say "what can she do?", what exactly do you mean? What does she hope to accomplish?

Customer:

Thank you. She would like to have custody, and have her daughter living with her primarily, giving the father the limited visitation.

SoloLawyer :

Okay. But you said she was given visitation, so I'm sort of unclear what you're asking.

SoloLawyer :

The decree was just issued 6 months ago, right?

Customer:

No in Dec 2010. She has limited visitation because she lives in another state. She gets her daughter 6 weeks in the summer, and occasional holidays, ect. Ex. she won't see her again until next spring.

SoloLawyer :

Okay. Has anything materially changed since the last Order? Or is the situation about the same?

SoloLawyer :

And what was the Court's reason for giving her limited visitation?

Customer:

Yes, she has remarried, had a child, worked full time job plus benefits since, lives in a home with husband working full time also.

Customer:

She moved out of state.

SoloLawyer :

Thank you. That would certainly be a material change. I would suggest she hire a local attorney in the county where the daughter resides to consult about whether he feels those change in circumstances will be enough to warrant a modification of the custody agreement. If she was given limited visitation because she was unstable, and now she is more stable, the court could consider it. However, I guess the reason she is limited is because of her moving out of state. She would most likely have to return to the state her daughter lives in to get any reasonable custody arrangement.

Customer:

So it would be best to hire an attorney in MI as opposed to where she lives now (VA)? And by "return to the state" do you mean move back there?

SoloLawyer :

Yes, she needs to hire an attorney in the county where the child lives. That is where the hearing will have to be held. And yes, I mean move back there. The Judge is not going to uproot the child from where she currently lives.

Customer:

Ok. She does not want to move back because she has a second child in VA, husband, home, and solid job. Would she be able to get perhaps a more generous visitation arrangement?

SoloLawyer :

It just depends. The Judge could possibly extend the visitation periods but it's hard to say for sure.

Customer:

So even though the child is in a worse living environment with the father, and would be more stable financially, homewise, and dual parental figures living with the mother, it would still be difficult to convince a judge to "uproot" this only child?

Customer:
SoloLawyer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2949
Experience: Licensed Missisippi Attorney; Criminal Law, Family Law, Personal Injury, and Civil Defense
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