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I live in Illinois. My son resides in Florida with his mother.

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Though we were never married...
I live in Illinois. My son resides in Florida with his mother. Though we were never married, I pay my support monthly and have tried to be reasonable with the distance. My ex was combative with custody rights during the first four years, and only recently has she "allowed" me to take him for the last 2 summers, 2 weeks and now for 6 1/2. My son has declared that he does not want to live with his mother anymore, drinking being a major problem, and I have learned that he has been residing primarily at his Grandmothers for over 2 years. Is this a battle I can win for him?
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 22 minutes by:
7/2/2012
Family Lawyer: S. Kincaid, Family Law Attorney replied 5 years ago
S. Kincaid
S. Kincaid, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,512
Experience: I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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Steven Kincaid :

Thank you for allowing me to assist you.

Steven Kincaid :

Is there an actual custody case in either state? If not, you are not required to return your child to her at the end of the summer. However, any new custody case would have to be filed in Florida. It would be a good idea to file in Florida. If you simply refused to return him, your ex could file in Florida and ask for an order returning your child to Florida. The chances of this happening are reduced if you filed in Florida first. It is also reduced if you have already had your son with you for more than a month.

Steven Kincaid :

If there is an order from either state, you must obey that order but you can request modification of that order at any time. You can request it on an emergency basis if there is an imminent danger to your son if he is returned to his mother's custody.

Steven Kincaid :

If you can prove that he has actually been living with his grandmother, not his mother, this would help your case because parents have more rights than grandparents. The Court will not allow a grandparent to have actual custody before a parent without showing that it would be detrimental to a child to be with a parent. Since you are a parent (I am assuming paternity has been legally established) you have priority over grandparents.

Steven Kincaid :

Do you have any other questions?

S. Kincaid
S. Kincaid, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,512
Experience: I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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