What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? FL
This is a little long but I'll give as much background as I can. I have two kids aged 11 and 9. My ex and I have been divorced for 5 years now. We have joint legal custody and I have primary physical custody. Our agreement is as follows:
-odd holidays the kids are with dad/even they are with me
-school year they are with me
-summer they are with dad
This seems to be a pretty standard agreement since we do not live in the same state. We are both in the military. For the first 4 years of our divorce, dad rarely saw the kids. I did not and never will keep the kids from him. He was "recovering" from the divorce and chose not to see them. He calls them a few times per month. We divorced in 2005. The first time he saw the kids after the divorce was xmas 07. He then saw them for one week in Apr 08 and again for 3 weeks in Aug 09. Again this was all his choice. In Aug 09, he said to me he wanted the kids to come live with him for a year or two because he has missed out. The discussion was put to rest. He then saw the kids for 2 days in Feb 10 and for 6 weeks this past summer. This was the greatest amount of consecutive time he has spent with them since the divorce. We have always been on friendly terms. I am open to discussion about the kids but he never asks.
Just recently, he brought up having the kids move to be with him again. He started talking about having them the last half of the school year but it quickly turned into flip-flopping the custody agreement into a permanent situation. I told him I didn't think this was best for the kids. We both move quite often because of what we do so I told him moving them more than necessary is not what's best for the kids. This really made him angry. He called me a few choice names and threatened to take me to court.
He is getting remarried in the next few months. His new wife has 3 kids from a previous marriage. My kids get along with everyone fine and I think she's nice and does right by my kids. I believe he wants his "whole" family together as a reason for doing this. I have provided for the kids for the last 5 years giving them as stable a home as I can. I recently remarried. The kids loved the man but after we married he started beating me. I quickly got a restraining order and sought a divorce. The kids were not aware of what was going on. I did tell my ex to keep him informed and now he threatens to use that against me in court...although I don't believe he can.
I have not asked the kids what their wishes are because I don't think they really know. Although I know he has talked extensively about it with them and even telling them "mom has had you for 5 years, don't you think it's my turn?" I got this from the kids. I haven't asked them as I said, but they talked about it for the first day or two upon returning from dad's house this summer. The topic has not been brought back up by them which further tells me it was dad pushing the topic.
Phew...my question is, what are his chances of having the custody agreement changed? His only basis is the fact that he is getting remarried which would provide a two-parent household. However, she will not be working and financially, he cannot afford 5 kids and a new wife. I can afford myself and my two kids. The kids are in an excellent school, have an established routine, and are not lacking in the love and affection department. I would really appreciate any personal stories of someone that may have gone through something similar.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?