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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 8948
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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I've been in a custody battle for over a year and a half

Customer Question

I've been in a custody battle for over a year and a half now. My son is almost seven and I have been the primary parent his entire life. We've held the current schedule since he was approximately 6 months old. I could never get his dad to agree to the schedule and put it in writing but it is what we have historically followed. Btw, we were never married, never lived together. I initially filed because he was very hostile; threatening not to bring our son home if i didn't do what he wanted, video taping and voice recording conversation against my will, instigating fights with, my now, husband, etc. There is a history of domestic violence in our relationship, no 911 calls. He ordered an evaluation for the parenting plan (he wants 50/50). The evaluator recommended 50/50. Am I stuck? He has anger problems, is very aggressive, has never hurt or neglected our son My husband and I provide a wonderful and consistent home and I've always been Gabriel's primary parent.
JA: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?
Customer: Washington
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I want to know if I go to trial do I have a chance at keep the same or a similar schedule that I have now or will the judge follow the recommendation.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 3 months ago.
I am very sorry to hear this. Was this a private evaluator or court appointed? Is the court aware of all the facts or have those only been presented to the evaluator?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
She is a private evaluator. Our trial date is march 6th.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 3 months ago.

Thank you

the court will take into consideration a report prepared by a private evaluator but the judge, as final arbiter, is the individual that decides what is in the child's best interests. The judge will look at many factors, such as:

(a) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.

(b) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.

(c) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other material needs.

(d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.

(e) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.

(f) The moral fitness of the parties involved.

(g) The mental and physical health of the parties involved.

(h) The home, school, and community record of the child.

(i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.

(j) The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents.

(k) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.

(l) Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.

So the evaluator report will be one issue that will be considered; past history of domestic violence, whether reported or not, can be very damaging for the perpetrator. This information can be introduced via witness testimony, affidavit etc.

So in summation, the private evaluator's report is simply their opinion; and the judge is the person who will decide what is best for the child.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
is 50/50 standard if there is no major problems with either parent? Even if we never lived together and I've been the primary parent all his life?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 3 months ago.

Normally the primary parent will have primary custody with the other parent having visitation; if both parents are fit to have 50/50 and it is in the best interests of the child, and one of the parents request this, then the court may end up gradually increasing visitation until there is in fact a 50/50 split, the idea being that equal parenting time is the child's best interest.

But it is usually gradual as normally the court will wish to maintain stabiliity so the status quo is usually preferred.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 3 months ago.

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;
if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answer.

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