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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13748
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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My son will be 13 in January. His mother and I share a current

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My son will be 13 in January. His mother and I share a current 50/50 custody situation in the state of California. He is a big kid for his age. 6 feet, 200 pounds, athletic and holds a strong GPA in school. He is having a Bar-Mitzvah in two months ( mother non jewish). He is asking for a "home base" for now on a temporary basis for a variety of reasons. To prepare for the Bar Mitzvah, finish strong in the 1st Semester of School ( end of January) and to prepare for training of Baseball that starts next week. He is very splintered now and forgets things at one house and does not like going back and forth. He has asked our Special Master of late for a temporary change and we are in the process of meeting with her. My son loves his mother and wants to see her on a every other weekend and weekly dinner meeting for the next 60 days as a trial. I want what is in the best interest of my son. How should I approach the Special Master in our next meeting.


San Francisco
Good afternoon (or morning, by you) and thank you for your question.

I'm presuming that your son wants to stay with you during this temporary period. In this situation, you just need to tell the Special Master why it would be better to allow you custody (why it is in your son's best interest) as opposed to continuing the 50/50 joint custody or even allowing the mother to have custody. Among the factors you could raise are helping your son prepare for his Bar-Mitzvah (since his mother is non-Jewish, you would be far better at helping him study and instruct him on the faith) and your son's wishes -he appears old enough and mature enough to voice a clear opinion as to why he wants to stay with you and not his mother. Additionally, you might bring up your son's baseball training, especially if this is something you help your son with or are more involved with than his mother. Lastly, you will want to stress that your son will still have regular contact with his mother, including weekly dinner get togethers and every other weekend visitation, aside from regular phone/email contact, so that your reasons for doing this are not to deprive anyone of contact.

Please let me know if you have follow-up questions.

I hope this information is helpful, even if it may not be what you want to hear. If you have follow-up questions or need additional clarification, please click reply and I will be happy to assist you further.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank-you for your quick response. Before we conclude this Q and A I wanted to get a little more input. Firstly, I liked your response. Well grounded and makes sense.

You are correct that my son wants to live with me for this period of time and most likely thereafter but now is "crunch" time so to speak with all of these things going on.

I wanted to know if I should include any of the following facts into my approach to the Special Master or just go with what you have outlined.

My Son's mother filed a Motion with the court several months ago with court to get this exact same arrangement with my Daughter. She is 14 and I agreed to it with counsel and the Special Master. The MSA did not change. My Daughter and I seem to be getting along well. Include in my discussion with the Special Master?

My son's grades are better here. He has more social relationships here. I spend more time when he is here versus time he spends with Mom.

Mom bad mouths me to my son and my son is tired of it.

I guess what I am asking is should I just go with your first response or include additional reasons related to events and conditions and Mom's house that are not in the best interest of my son.

This will be all the questions I have. Thank-you.


Thank you for your reply.

I wouldn't include the information regarding the information with your daughter simply because I don't think it's relevant to your son's situation.

I would encourage you to include any facts or information you feel is relevant as to why your son should live with you and not his mother. The fact that you can spend more time with your son and that he does better in school when he is with you? Absolutely mention it. That your son complains that his mother bad mouths you to him regularly when he is over at her house? Definitely mention it (that's a big no-no for parents to do that).

I was just giving examples based on the facts you initially provided as a guide, but please do expand on it. You just need to distinguish why it is better for your son to live with you, and not his mother. For example, the fact that your son tends to forget things going between houses isn't distinguishable, because it can be argued that your son could simply live with his mother, too and achieve the same result-not forgetting things. But the fact that you are more actively involved in your son's life and activities than his mother is and it is reflected in his grades, behaviors, etc. when he stays with you, is distinguishable.

Hope that makes sense? Please let me know if I can clarify anything further.
RobertJDFL and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You have been very helpful. If I have additional questions how do I make sure that I am linked to you versus another lawyer? Thanks again.
My pleasure! You can always post back to this question, or just post a new question with "For RobertJDFL" in the title and the other experts will leave it for me. I'm online just about every day.

Thanks again.