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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12331
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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I am in Michigan. My wife had an affair less than 2 years ago

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I am in Michigan. My wife had an affair less than 2 years ago and has been planning for divorce ever since. We are going through the divorce and fighting for custody of our 13 and 16 year old. They've tried accusing me of everything from alcoholism to domestic violence. Now they are attacking the fact that i work 2nd shift. The temporary order hearing ruled that I move out and gave her full temporary custody with me seeing my kids for only 11 hours once a week. They stated that I am unable to care for my kids during the "crucial time between 4 and 8 pm". This was the statement of the FOC worker and supported by the judge. I've always been a good father. Why am I be punished for the hours that I work while the person causing all the heartache is rewarded? Is this even legal?
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a licensed attorney. Thank you for your question. Keeping in mind that I have only a small snapshot of your case, I am probably not in a position to attack or defend the court's decision in your case, but I can speculate. I doubt that the court thinks it is punishing you for anything at all. I understand that it feels like punishment (if you were being punished, the outcome might not be any different), but you have to remember that custody is determined based on the best interests of the children. The court has a lot of discretion when deciding what is in the children's best interests. Again, I don't know the details of your case, but if the kids are in school all day and if you aren't home from 4 to 8pm, there's minimal actual time that you would spend with the kids during their waking hours--perhaps from 8 pm until their bedtime, which might be two hours or less for the typical family. It's not difficult to understand that a court might put the kids in the care of a parent simply because that parent is available for most of their home hours. Still speculating, it probably wouldn't matter whether you were an alcoholic or a violent person, nor would it matter if you were a good parent during the time that you spend with your kids--if you're not there, and the other parent is, it would normally make sense to place the kids with that parent.

Is your wife a terrible person? Yes. But you can be a terrible person and still be a competent parent. If the court is saying that it's order is based on your availability, then you would typically need to look at how to increase your availability if you wanted to get more custody time. Custody orders can be modified when there is a material change in circumstances.

Let me know if further clarification is needed. Thanks.
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