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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10484
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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My daughter has a son who stays with her, and the father

Customer Question

my daughter has a son who stays with her, and the father wants shared custody of him. What is shared custody and can he get this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Shared custody means that both parents will take turns with having the child living with them; the time share need not be equal - for example, one parent can have the child most of the time, with the other parent having alternating weekends; or the parents can rotate weeks. That is just a couple of examples.

In order to get a custody order, paternity must have been established by a court or affidavit (at the hospital usually; or shortly after birth). Once the paternity is established the father can then petition the family court for custody. The court will look to the best interests of the child.

Such factors in determining the best interests of the child are:

The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child’s changing developmental needs;
The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;
The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child’s life and the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child;
The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers, and extended family members;
The role that each parent has played and will play in the future in the upbringing and care of the child;
The propensity of each parent to actively support the child’s contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;
The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;
The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age, and experience to express such a preference;
Any history of family abuse or sexual abuse. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6; and
Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.

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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 1 year ago.
but can he say that the child will live with him the majority of the time, even though he stays with his mother?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

No, only a judge can make that determination- it is the judge who will decide what is in the best interests of the child.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, but can the judge say that he will be at the father's house five days out the week and still consider that shared custody?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Yes, that is possible; but normally the court will order the status quo-the current living arrangement of the child, as stability is generally in the child's best interest.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is joint custody and shared custody the same thing?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Yes, they are synonyms and mean the same thing.

The other option is sole custody.

In sole custody arrangements, while both parents may have physical custody, only the parent awarded sole custody can make decisions regarding the child's life choices- ie financial, medical, legal.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sole custody is when one of the parents has decision rights for the child, while the other parent doesn't?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Yes that's correct.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what is one of the reasons why a parent loses when they try to file for sole custody?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

One of the reasons would be lack of a relationship with the child- ie not taking the time to be involved in the children's lives; others include drug use, unstable home life, physical or emotional abuse, etc.

Please keep in mind that we are limited to answering one question per thread, and as an individual contributor I must comply with the terms of the site; would you mind closing out this question and opening a new question if you have additional questions?

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Checking in on the above; thank you for using JustAnswer!