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  • Custody Question

    My husband had a child long before we were married from a one night stand. He has never paid child support for this child even though he has known about the child for ten years. The child will be twelve this year. My husband and I have two children of our own. He has told me he is going to go for primary custody of our children, even though I am a good mom and have always been the primary care giver of the children. I was a stay at home mom until we seperated. He is a really good dad to our two children. Will any court award primary custody to a dad who has evaded paying for a previous child? We are in Louisiana.

  • #2
    The fact that he hasn't paid for the previous child may be irrelevant. It may depend on the situation, was he ever even established as the legal father? Did the mother ever get a court order for child support?

    The fact that you have been a stay-at-home mother to your children will help you keep custody of them. HOwever, do you have means to support them on your own with adequate provisions? (Do you have a place to live where they have thier own bed and food to eat). If so, you'll likely get custody. He won't be awarded custody unless he can prove somehow that you are unfit to care for the children, or unless you agree to let him have custody. If you live close to each other it is possible that he could be awarded split custody. You have a good chance.

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    • #3
      You have to establish to the court that you are more stable than your husband. Usually the court will consider the following factors for custody:
      • Who was the primary caretaker during the marriage?
        If both parents worked outside the home, which one changed work schedules for the children's illnesses or other child-related reasons?
        Who has been the primary caretaker since the parties separated?
        Is there a protective order?
        What is the distance between the parents' residences?
        What about school, both transportation and quality of systems?
        What about after school activities? Is one parent more involved or supportive of these activities?
        Can these children be flexible, or do they need a "home base?"
        How is the communication between the parents?

      Being a stay home mom woud help also help.
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      • #4
        Actually the OP being a SAHM is irrelevent. SHE is not a party to the lawsuit and no court in the country is going hold the fact that mom works against her, ESPECIALLY since dad doesn't pay child support.

        Legally speaking, he's got about a snowball's chance in hell of custody of a child that doesn't even KNOW him. Even LESS if he has ACTIVELY avoided paying support. About the best he can hope for is SUPERVISED visitation to start with. Even if mom were completely UNFIT, he wouldn't get automatic custody of the child.

        He'd be better off taking the money that the custody battle would cost toward the child support that he IS going to owe.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ceara
          Actually the OP being a SAHM is irrelevent. SHE is not a party to the lawsuit and no court in the country is going hold the fact that mom works against her, ESPECIALLY since dad doesn't pay child support.

          Legally speaking, he's got about a snowball's chance in hell of custody of a child that doesn't even KNOW him. Even LESS if he has ACTIVELY avoided paying support. About the best he can hope for is SUPERVISED visitation to start with. Even if mom were completely UNFIT, he wouldn't get automatic custody of the child.

          He'd be better off taking the money that the custody battle would cost toward the child support that he IS going to owe.
          .

          I think the topic of the post was he was going after custody of the children from the current marriage- not the child that he had never supported
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Zephyr
            .

            I think the topic of the post was he was going after custody of the children from the current marriage- not the child that he had never supported
            OOPS The previous child won't be a factor in that case. Most courts like to go with joint custody if at all possible any more. Even though she's a SAHM NOW, it's doubtful she can remain one once she's divorced. It's hard for any divorcing parent to get SOLE custody anymore, especially fathers, unless one parent is PROVEN to be unfit.

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            • #7
              Custody

              You say you and your husband are both good parents? Then why would either of you want to keep your children away from a loving parent. Joint custody would probably be the best bet, that way your kids lives stays somewhat normal as to the amount of time they get with each of you. Research shows joint custody/shared parenting after divorce produces better adjusted kids, and eases some of parental fighting. Your children deserve to sustain a relationship with both parents.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mamakat
                You say you and your husband are both good parents? Then why would either of you want to keep your children away from a loving parent. Joint custody would probably be the best bet, that way your kids lives stays somewhat normal as to the amount of time they get with each of you. Research shows joint custody/shared parenting after divorce produces better adjusted kids, and eases some of parental fighting. Your children deserve to sustain a relationship with both parents.
                My husband asked me if we could put everything on hold and try to work out our problems. Maybe in the end we will all be under the same roof again. He also admitted that it is really hard for him to care for a three year old and a five month old at the same time since he has never had to before. I have always done it. I am willing to put things on hold and see if we can work things out while not living in the same house. My husband and I are loving parents. He is just angry because I left. I left because of some fidelity issues on his part. He wants us together but he does all the wrong things to try and get me back. He made it to where I had access to very little money so I could not hire a lawyer, even though he had hired one. All of his actions are opposite of the things he really seems to want. I guess he thought if he could keep me from getting a lawyer that I would be scared enough of his threats to do what he wanted me to. I found out I could get help from legal aid. Well he has stopped threatening me and is trying to be flexible (which really is very hard for him).
                It seems to be working out well and I hope it continues to do so. I never want my children to be without him. The relationship between them and their father is what will help them grow into the people they are going to be.
                The reason I came to this forum and asked the question I did is because I was scared. When he gets angry at me his knee jerk reaction is to do what will hurt me most. He knew threatening me with our children would do it.
                I don't have the resources he does. If we can't work things out I would like joint custody. There will never come a time though when I just lay back and let someone take them away and I only get to see them every other weekend. I would never expect him to be okay with every other weekend, so why would I be okay with it? I do pray that things get better. I know in his heart he wants what is best for the children and that is having both parents. It's just sometimes his anger gets the best of him.

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