• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Modifying custody

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.



My fiance has decided he would like to try to obtain primary physical custody of his daughters from their mother as soon as we can save up enough for an attorney retainer. At the very least, he would like to obtain custody of his oldest, she is the one in the worst situation, but he'd really like both, because they both want to live with us and they are close. Oldest will be 14 in August, youngest will be 13 in September.

The last straw was the report card from his oldest daughter, all failing grades, even gym class. Her grades have been in the dumper for the past couple of years, but this is the worse we've seen. My fiance would ideally like to have her come to live with us and repeat the grade in a new school district, away from bad influences (friends) and having a fresh start.

Mom has been on public assistance for the past 11 years and refuses to go out and get a job, this is another area where the kids suffer. Even though my fiance pays child support, it goes to the state to pay back her welfare. We do what we can for the kids on the side too, but we also live pretty close to the bone and their mutual son lives with us (dad has custody) and he receives no child support from Mom for him. Mom also doesn't have a driver's license (taken away for driving without insurance, paid the fine but has never went to get the license back) so the her and the kids are dependent on others to get them around and they live in a very rural community.

Visitation was supposed to be every other weekend with all kids together and one day a week with all kids together, with alternating holidays and 2 weeks to each parent in the summer. Mom moved away to another county 2 hours away after oldest daughter completed kindergarden against my fiance's wishes, making the once-per-week visitation order somewhat useless. At the time, he didn't even know he could contest her move. I guess hindsight is 20/20.

He now visits with them on most weekends, most holidays, and used to have them most of the summer. She started to become belligerent about letting them visit after they asked her about moving in with us, but recently has been allowing them to come every other weekend. We drive halfway and meet at a gas station for the pickup. The joint legal communication they were supposed to have about the kids is pretty much non-existent, she has proclaimed herself as the "sole custodial parent" and feels that she doesn't need to ask for his input on anything regarding the kids.

Anyways, sorry to be so long-winded. Wanted to provide what I know about the case. The question we have is, does he have a fairly decent case for changing custody or proving a change in circumstances? He doesn't want his daughter to end up as a high school dropout or worse. He really wants to help his daughter. He wants to know where he stands and if he should retain an attorney or not. Thank you for your time.



I don't know if this will help you, but I read info on Nolo.com regarding modifying custody agreement that might be useful to you. It is in the Family law part, custody, modification of agreement (if I remember correctly).

Good luck!

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential