Advice from someone who has been in your shoes
  Search entire web
Supervised Visitation Directory
Return to list of questions Return to topic groups
Father of young child and three children from prior marriage now facing another divorce

Your Question:
My wife has just filed for divorce and no teporary hearing for custody has been set yet. Our son is 4 years old and I want shared custody but she does not. I have 3 childern (11,13,15) from my first wife and got custody of all 3 after the divorce. At the time the yougest was 6 months old. The youngest was 5 years old when me and my current wife were married. A few years ago all partys involed thought it was in the best interest for my oldest to live with her mom and we went to court and made it so.

Qurstion: What is the best way to get shared custody? I live in Iowa

Custody and visitation problems? We can help. can help you win custody, change custody, or reduce child support. Recommended by mediators and therapists and used every day by thousands of parents and families worldwide.

My Answer:

Be sure to read my What You Must Know page. On it, I note that whomever has the lion's share of custody with the temporary orders is likely to have it upon final judgment; barring any significant evidence showing it to be detrimental.

In deciding upon the temporary orders, the judge will want to know who has been primarily taking care of the child for the past 6 months and/or most of the child's life. That person has an advantage going into court.

If you can get your wife to be reasonable, you may wish to propose something like, "I know we disagree on what the final parenting plan should be. But let's just do a 50/50 schedule temporarily, so we don't have to spend a lot of money on temporary hearings and attorneys. Then we can get a final ruling at trial, and whatever that ruling is, I'll go along with it."

Then you've set the stage for a 50/50 parenting plan, and to make her happy, you can even insert language into the first stipulated temporary orders, "Subject to modification by the court upon trial."

If you could swing that, it'd be in your interest to delay the trial for many months; which wouldn't be tough to do.

By the time you get to trial (six months later), the argument would be that the child is doing well with the 50/50 plan, so there's no reason to disrupt it.

If you can't convince your wife to temporarily agree to a 50/50 schedule, spend all your available time immediately taking care of the child. Cut your work hours, stay home, etc.

It's probably to your favor that you've had custody of your kids (and was willing to modify the schedule for the best interest of the older one). It shows that you're a capable parent. ALSO, you'd argue that the four year old is bonded to the older siblings and hence needs substantial time in your care.

Above all, of course, make decisions that are best for the child. That goes without saying.


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

© 2005 ~ 2022 All Rights Reserved.