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I am a stepmom to a wonderful child. My husband and I pay…

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I am a stepmom to...
I am a stepmom to a wonderful child. My husband and I pay child support, so his ex has custody and we are suppossed to see him every other weekend. Our problem is that we see him WAY more than we are suppossed to, which is obviously a good thing, but we think we should have joint custody becasue we have him AT LEAST half of the time. I actually... Read full answer
I am a stepmom to a wonderful child. My husband and I pay child support, so his ex has custody and we are suppossed to see him every other weekend. Our problem is that we see him WAY more than we are suppossed to, which is obviously a good thing, but we think we should have joint custody becasue we have him AT LEAST half of the time. I actually counted up JUST THE OVERNIGHT days we have had him since Jan 1st-Sept 20 of this year and we have had him 141 nights and she has had him 124. This just doesn't seem right to me and I am needing advice as to what we should do. My husband really doesn't want to "rock the boat" with his ex, which I understand, but this is wrong. We don't want to take him away from his mom and get full custody, we just want joint custody and not to have to pay the child support. Is there an easy way to deal with this or do we have to pay alot of money and take her to court and go through all of that. Please help!!
Submitted: 9 years ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
9/19/2009
Lawyer: Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD) replied 9 years ago
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27,690
Experience: 25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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<p>DearCustomer- Well this depends on what the mother will agree to. If she will agree to changing the custody arrangement then it is rather simple to have an agreed entry filed with the court. If she will not agree then your husband would have to file a motion for an amendment to the current custody order.</p><p> </p><p>In any event, he must get a court order to change child support so there will have to be a court filing. The only question is whether or not it will be contested by the mother. I can understand his not wanting to "rock the boat" since if he starts the process the mother could simply withdraw all visits except for what is in the current order. </p><p> </p><p>A court battle can take a long time and cost a lot of money so he has to be careful. Obviously I don't know the mother or what she might do so I can only offer general information.</p><p> </p><p>Dave Kennett</p>
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27,690
Experience: 25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
He has already brought this matter to her attention and she is not just going to let us have joint, because she is getting to have her cake and eat it too. I have documentation of all the dates we've had him and certain situations that have happened since May of 2007. Do you think if we did take her to court that we would have a shot? I know that getting full custody of a child and taking them away from their mother is hard and there would need to be neglect or something like that on her part, but that's not what we are trying to do...we just want joint. Also, could you give me a round about number as to how much it would cost to do this. Are we talking a couple thousand or over 10. Thanks
Lawyer: Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD) replied 9 years ago
Well, I can't estimate the cost of a case since it depends on so many variables. If the mother puts up a fight you will need to hire child pshychologists as expert witnesses and the cost could be high due to the amount of time spent by your attorney. The basis for custody is "the best interests" of the child and not necessarily proving neglect since this is a case between parents and not other family members.

Getting full custody probably wouldn't solve anything since you say the time is now being split so a court certainly would not want to deviate from that. I think that, based on the current situation, you would have a reasonable chance at getting the custody changed to a more shared time.

As I said above, if the mother puts up a fight it could take a while and during that time she could restrict visits back to the standard order causing a disruption in the child's life. There's just no easy answer in these situations.

I know you want a ballpark figure as to legal fees but lawyers charge different amounts in different areas and i have no way of knowong how much time may be spent on a case like this since I can't predict what the mother will do or how much money she has to fight the case.

Suffice it to say that it will probably be at least $5000-7500.

Dave
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