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Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 1511
Experience:  Military & Family Law. 30+ years experience. USFSPA pension division expertise.
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I recently returned from a deployment, and my wife told me

Resolved Question:

I recently returned from a deployment, and my wife told me 2 weeks from leaving that she was filing for divorce (in Hawaii). We have two children.

1st: Her lawyer told her that joint physical custody cannot be awarded when the two parents live in separate states. Is this true?

2nd: I can provide a better school for my oldest, better daycare facilities for my youngest, access to a higher standard of medical care than she can, provide a safer neighborhood, and because I just recently returned from deployment I will not be going again. Do I have a good shot at retaining physical custody if this goes to court? She is unemployed and returning to Meriden, CT (pretty much ghetto).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Lawrence D. Gorin replied 1 year ago.
Question # XXXXX: 1st: Her lawyer told her that joint physical custody cannot be awarded when the two parents live in separate states. Is this true?

ANSWER: Generally, that is not correct. From practical point of view, the only way to truly have joint physical custody is for the parents to live together. Absent living together, joint physical custody necessarily involves the division and allocation of parenting time between the child's parents. This does NOT mean "50/50," although that would be the ideal and is usually the goal to be sought. However, in most cases 50/50 allocation of parenting time is simply not possible. So it may be 45/55. Or 25/75. Or -- to the extreme -- 1/99. But it would still be "joint physical custody." And it makes no difference whether the parents live one block from one another or 10,000 miles from one another.

Hawaii statutory law defines joint custody as any arrangement in which the child has regular and continuing contact with both parents.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Question # XXXXX: I can provide a better school for my oldest, better daycare facilities for my youngest, access to a higher standard of medical care than she can, provide a safer neighborhood, and because I just recently returned from deployment I will not be going again. Do I have a good shot at retaining physical custody if this goes to court?

ANSWER: Maybe. Each case is unique and is "fact-driven." A judge needs to hear from BOTH sides in order to make an informed decision. Ultimately, the standard is "What's in the best interests of the child?" But there is a lot that goes into the equation. One thing for sure, if you are serious about obtaining custody, you really need to have a lawyer assisting in the process. Particularly so if your wife has a lawyer.

I wish you well.
Lawrence D. Gorin, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 1511
Experience: Military & Family Law. 30+ years experience. USFSPA pension division expertise.
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Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin
Attorney at Law
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Military & Family Law. 30+ years experience. USFSPA pension division expertise.