I have full custody and my ex has visitation Wednesday 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm and Thursday 4:30 pm to 8:30 Friday morning. My ex moved to Seattle in March and hasn't seen the kids since March 10th. He calls once a month maybe twice. What can I do now that he is trying to get custody.
Family Law Attorney
Trying to get custody? If you have been served court papers take them to a local attorney ASAP. This is serious. If he is just threatening to get custody, ignore him. Talk , without action, is worthless.
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Family Law Attorney
In what way is your ex-whatever (ex-husband?) "trying to get custody"?
If he's filed a motion to modify the custody and parenting time provisions of your custody judgment, then you need to file a response. You must do this within 30 days of being served with the motion, and must send him a copy. The court will then schedule a hearing date. In between now and then, there are all kinds of things you can do to gather evidence. The legal standard for custody decisions is, what is in the children's best interests? If you've had primary legal and physical custody for some time, he's unlikely to change that; but he will have the right to see the children, and to modify the parenting plan to reflect his new residence. The court may yell at him for ignoring the kids, but he won't be prohibited from seeing them in the future on that basis alone. Courts have a mandate to encourage a relationship between a child and both of their parents.
If you do not file a response in time, then he may win his motion automatically, however poor his case might be otherwise. So if you've received any legal documents, don't delay in dealing with it. You should consult with an attorney in private if you're needing to file things in court and have questions about the process.
If you have not received such a motion, then don't worry about it until you do. I agree with Ms. Gruber - talk is cheap. However, if he's just asking to see the children, you should probably let him. Courts look with disfavor on parents who seek to interfere with the relationship between their children and the other parent - even if that parent hasn't made it easy.
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