Custody change


#1

I am currently separated with an agreement in place my wife has primary physical custody of my two children 6 and 8. I have “liberal” visitation, standard every other weekend, 4-weeks in the summer, etc. At the time of separation 8-months ago I left the marital residence, I was dealt with thousands of dollars in debt, my interim move was good but not perfect for my children. At the time and because of their age I felt it was in the best interest of my children to stay with their mom and try to keep their world as right as it could be, same house, same school, mostly same routines, only difference was dad was not living at home any longer, not knowing what this divorce was going to do to them emotionally I decided it was best to have custody this way. I’m a great dad, very involved with school, after school activities coaching, my children love and miss me when I’m not there. It rips my heart out when I talk to them at night and they want me to come home, or they bust into tears telling me how much they miss me, they want to spend time with me more then they are getting, I really saw this during the summer when we were basically splitting every other week. My situation has changed I have rented a place very close to my kids and their school, they are super excited about dads new place and have been talking about spending a week with mom and then the next week with dad like some of their friends who’s parents are divorced. I have not put this bug in my kids head they bring it up all the time. FYI I am also on time with my payments.

My question is simple, do I have enough change in my situation to ask for shared bi-weekly custody before the divorce goes final? Or because I gave up the time in the separation agreement did I seal my fate? Wife will fight this to the end mainly because of the support money so there is no negation (however I will try). This will also end the nice factor from her end with lots of resentment to follow if I get shared custody or not.


#2

Since you put custody into the agreement, then that will be your custody arrangement moving forward. However, unlike with property and alimony matters, you cannot permanently contract on the issues of custody and child support. So, you can always later file for custody if you choose to do so. If you put it in an a SA, it is not guaranteed that that person will retain custody forever. It can always be challenged, but to successfully file to modify custody, you will need to prove to the court that the circumstances have changed in such a way that affect the children’s best interest.