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Unwed custodial mother wonders if father's new marriage improves his chances of changing custody

Your Question:
My son's father recently got married a month ago and has fathered a child with the woman he's married to and now he wants sole custody of our son, but he pays child support and is consider the non-custodial parent. My question is how does this affect me as far as being an unwed mother and what are my rights?

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My Answer:

Thanks for writing.

So long as the father's wife is not a threat to your child, it has very little bearing on the custodial arrangement and child support orders.

If they split up, and he ends up paying child support for his other child too, it may have an impact on you and his current wife, wherein each of you might receive less child support because of the other's child support orders (i.e., in some states, any child support orders are deducted from the net income, prior to calculating a new child support assignment).

If the new mother is bad for your child, it's a change of circumstance, and you may seek to modify the custody/parenting arrangement. The term "bad for your child" means something serious like child abuse, molestation, violence, etc. It doesn't mean something like not feeding enough vegetables.

If something has changed in YOUR home since your last custody ruling, wherein the child's welfare has been seriously threatened, that would be the only substantial grounds on which the father could convince a court to give him sole custody.

So, simply because he wants sole custody doesn't mean any judge will agree with him.

Don't worry about it, unless you've really neglected your own parenting responsibilities. But if you're an average (or better) parent, you're fine.


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