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Noncustodial father wants to increase timeshare with son, does he have a case?

Your Question:
My husband has a son who is now 7 (will be 8 in two months) who he fathered while a junior in high school. My husband and I have been married for 2.5 years and bought a house almost 2 years ago. The house is pertinent because we moved further from our workplaces and to an area (in the local mountains) which is complete inconvienent in order to be closer to his son to allow us to be more involved. My step-son recently played football for which my husband was a coach and I have been fighting an uphill battle with his teachers to try to get more involved in his schooling. The whole plan for moving to the same school district (within ten minutes of biomom) was to gain more custody of the child. My husband has talked to him and asked if he has wanted to spend more time with us, and he has always said yes. Biomom called tonight, furious that we have even considered it. She put my stepson on the phone and he was crying that he wanted to stay with his mom. The issue is that he gets away with everything at his moms and he has rules and structure at our house. He is also an only child at his moms and he has a younger sister with us. The other issue is everytime something does not go his way he cries that he wants his mom. Everytime we are somewhere together he throws a crying fit and she gives in and gives him whatever it is that he wants. he is just a young kid so i know that he will typically want to go where he gets what he wants, but it breaks my husbands heart that he can't spend more time with his son. He tried to tell her on the phone that he never said he was going to take him away, but that he did want 50/50 custody. she is adement against that because that is what her parents had and she didn't like it because it was unstable (nevermeind both parents have been married 4 times each and there has been a mix of 16 step siblings in and out and her mom has been in and out of rehab and has done jail time). She also stated that she marked on her calender that she only had him 37 more days than us last year (which can't be true since she has him all week and we get him every other weekend and every Sunday). Can this hold up in court? How easy would it be for us to just write down whatever we wanted to make a counter point? We just don't know what to do to get his son to want to spend more time with us and to get his mother to agree. Please help!!!!

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My Answer:

I think it was in poor form to put an 8 year old child in the middle of this debate. Neither parent should ever make him pick one home over the other (or more of one at the expense of the other), as it's pretty much the same as slicing his heart in half-- the kid knows that no matter what he answers, one parent will be displeased. The child should be allowed to love both his parents, and it's up to each parent to try to effect change that is in the child's best interest.

It's the FATHER'S responsibility to build a case for why it's important to modify the schedule right now for the welfare of the child. It's not the CHILD'S responsibility to make the decision.

It doesn't matter what the Dad wants. Nearly 100% of separated parents probably want more time with their kids. Dad needs to adjust his thinking.

The mother's childhood history is irrelevant. Do you wish to be held accountable for the bad decisions of your parents?!

I suggest that you and the father need to put together an argument explaining why it's so important for the child to spend more time with Dad.

That argument should be supported by evidence.

You moved much closer to the mother, but that's not part of the best interest argument. However, it DOES eliminate distance as a reason to deny the father's request, so that's a good thing.

Finally, it doesn't seem like you really have a grasp on what's relevant in child custody matters. I encourage you to read more of this website, visit other websites in my Links section, and look at my book reviews to see if any appeal to you. Right now, you have a big disadvantage in not knowing how to effectively build your case-- and it's up to you to change that.

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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