Child custody

I am assuming in responding to this post, that you have a separation agreement or court order already which outlines your custody arrangement with your daughter.

If the only way custody will change is through your ex-husband taking this issue to court (meaning, you will not agree to change custody), then your approach should be two-fold: first, you should prepare yourself mentally, financially and emotionally for the possible trial. How can you do this? The first rule is, do not just be a great parent to your daughter, be a great visible parent. Make sure other people (your child’s teachers, doctors, coaches, clergyperson, etc)see you being a great parent and would be able to tell a judge how great you are. Think about who some of these people are, and make a list of them including phone numbers and addresses. Your lawyer will want to meet with these people early on in preparing your case.

Second, do what you can to keep a positive and open relationship with your daughter. You do not want to alienate her or resort to manipulating her, the way it sounds like your ex-husband has. Bad parenting is bad parenting, and judges know it when they see it. Additionally, at 14, your daughter is maturing and entering an age when her wishes regarding her custody arrangement may be taken into account by the judge. So keeping a good honest rapport with her will be important as well.

Good luck.

Erik L. Mazzone
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

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I have reason to believe that my exhusband (sep’d over 3 yrs, and legally divorced) is secretly conspiring with my 14 yr old daughter to seek custody. I read a letter he wrote to her, in which he says, “Remember what we talked about the other night? I will do anything needed to see that you are in a position to lead a happy life. What are fathers for?” and it goes on.

I had custody of our two children since our sep’n, and then when I moved 2 hours away a year and a half ago, I let our son live with his dad because he was in his junior year in high school. Our daughter moved with me, and visits her day every 3rd weekend. I have recently married and have two stepchildren part time. It seems my daughter has decided she want to live with her father, and has possibly told him this. She has told me on several occasions, that it was good her brother lived with dad, so he wouldn’t be lonely. Well, her brother graduates this year. When I questioned my daughter as to why she wanted to live with her dad, she says she is more comfortable there, and that I have my new husband and his two kids, her dad only has his girlfriend.

My question is this: What do I do? Her father will not admit anything to me. I am fairly certain that secrets are being kept and lies are being told. What should I do to prepare for possibly going to court? That is the only way he will ever get custody.