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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
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Getting Divorced. Have an infant child. Husband and I seperated

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Getting Divorced. Have an infant child. Husband and I seperated & filed for divorce during my first trimester of pregnancy. I moved out of the marital home at that time. Our child is now 5 months old. Issues concerning division of property, vehicles, retirement funds, personal possessions,etc.. were not disputed. Custody of our child is the only matter at hand.

Husband and first ex-wife share joint PHYSICAL custody of his other 2 children (who were 7 and 10 at the time of their divorce,they are now 15 & 12). He & his first ex-wife were in joint full agreement of this arrangement. Children live in both places-go back & forth every other Friday for the week. Neither party pays child support to the other parent. Essentially everything is spit 50/50.

Husband has now requested this same arrangement with the child that we share.
I am 100% NOT in agreement of this request.
My request is to be granted primary physical custody and joint legal custody-with a liberal and reasonable amount of visitation given to him. I am also requesting the standard amount of child support for one child (14% of gross), as he pays nothing in child support for his other 2 children.
Husband now sees our child a few hours during the week and an extended amount of time (6 hours or so) on Saturdays or Sundays.
Husband is paying for childcare $400 monthly, but I am covering ALL other expenses-food, clothing, medical bills AND insurance premiums.
Husband has verbally agreed to assist in offsetting some of the medical bills concerning my prenatal care and delivery, but has contributed a grand total of $300 (other than daycare) in support since our child's birth. This has been after repeated requests made from my attorney to my husband's.

My husband and his attorney are planning on taking this to court, as we are not (nor will we ever be) in agreement on the custody issue. My husband thinks that because he has joint physical custody concerning his other children, a judge will automatically grant this again. All documentation I have read states that custody (when it's tricky like this) is granted in the best interest of the child.

My attorney thinks I have an excellent case, but I'd like another opinion.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. Honestly, I would agree with your attorney. Allow me to explain why:

Custody
The Court decides on custody based on the rule of thumb of "best interest of the child." This includes, but is not limited to, general stability of the parent, financial stability, indoctrination of the child in the current school and environment, household condition and living condition of the child, other persons living in the house, etc. The courts generally do not like to split the custody 50/50 since this is hard on the child unless both parents agree and as for this.

Of course, that is the standard order of possession. That order can be modified if both parties agree or if the Court finds that it is an extraordinary situation.

Here, because the child is very young, and has been with you for all this time, the Court is unlikely to take the custody away from you unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

One parent usually becomes the custodian and the other parent becomes the "visiting" parent which is generally one day a week, every other weekend, and alternating holidays. The nuanced points of the custody can either be decided by the parties or the Court, if the parties cannot come to an agreement. However, with an infant, the visitation is limited to only a few hours a week and is "gradually" expanded as the child grows older, normally blossoming into full visitation around the age of three.

It seems that this is what you have here.

Child Support & Insurance
The visiting parent pays child support to the custodian, unless the custodian declines it - see here. However, this can be altered if both parties agree to a lesser or higher amount or do not put child support in the orders all-together; the Court will only impose default child support if the parties cannot agree.

Prenatal
The Court has discretion whether or not to award prenatal care, and often does.

Summary
What you are requesting is well within the default norm of the Court, and your attorney here is correct - this is a good case and your it is unlikely that the Court would grant your ex's wish here.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.

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