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Custodial mother shocked that father is now seeking joint custody

Your Question:
my sons father is seeking joint custody of our son who is 9yrs old he is stating that unjust restrictions were put into father and sons visitations this is not true from my behalf my son has always seen his father at his convenience i have never intervened with visitations father has recently married and i have not yet met his wife or seen father living conditions.this has been a shocker everything was fine with us .any suggestions ?

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My Answer:

Thanks for writing.

I asked you if you oppose joint custody, and if so, to explain why.

You responded (not posted) that you oppose it because your son has always lived with you, that he's stable in life, that he's doing well in life, and that children should not have to live in two homes.

You ignored my request to provide any details or examples of anything wrong the father has done as a parent.

You wrote (not posted) that the back-and-forth would cause "great stress and anxiety" on your son. You ignored my inquiry if a mental health professional made that diagnosis, or if you made it yourself.

Unfortunately, when parents fail to maintain one home, the reality is that they have created two homes for their children. I agree with you that it's not ideal, but it's the reality.

If the father were satisfied with the arrangement and had as much access to the child as he desired, there would be no reason for him to file for joint custody. So, your perception of the situation may not be the same as his perception of the situation. If it was a shocker for you, it seems that you and he are not on the same wavelength regarding the situation.

Though it's irrelevant to child custody for you to meet his wife or examine his living conditions, it indicates to me that you don't trust the father. Why else would you have to inspect his living conditions to assure yourself that it's appropriate for the child? If the father knows that you don't trust him (and perhaps vice versa), that could likewise explain some of the communication barriers.

I suggest that you sit down with the father (or do it via calm correspondence) to figure out what he thinks is best for the child and see how much of it is acceptable to you.

Growing boys need their fathers (and of course still need their mothers). If a new arrangement sends your son into a tailspin with declining grades or emotional distress, then the new arrangement isn't in the child's best interest.

At this point, it seems it's up to you to decide if you let a judge decide what happens with your son, or if you want to take charge and try to figure something out with the father.

Good luck.


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.

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