How do I go about getting custody of a child, when there has already been a custody decision by court

Asked almost 2 years ago - Manhattan, KS

Ok my husband has a six year old son and his ex-wife was granted custody about 4 years ago. He is in the military and since the divorce she has married once to another solider, and moved to Colorado then he got out of the service and they moved to oklahoma about 2 months later they divorced and she moved to California a month later with a new soldier. She had the child's last name changed to the previous husbands last name and makes him call my husband by his first name we think she is providing a very unstable life for him and want to file for custody but since there has been a custody case already we are not to sure how to go about it. The divorce was in Kansas and we currently reside in Oklahoma and have been stationed here for about 4 years

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Ronald W. Nelson

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . You need to talk with a qualified family lawyer in order to have your question answered. And you need to do it in a confidential setting so that you can tell the lawyer everything the lawyer needs to know in order to advise your husband properly on what actions he can or should take.

    The first -- and one of the most important issues in your case -- is what state would have the power to decide any change of residence issue. You indicate that your husband's divorce occurred in Kansas, but that neither he nor the child's mother nor the child now reside in Kansas. That probably means that Kansas does not have the power to make any modification to the existing child custody orders -- and that any modification must be made in the state in which the child now lives. This issue is governed by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCEA). And so you should first contact a family lawyer in the place that the child now lives who has a good and detailed knowledge of the UCCJEA.

    After you talk with a lawyer about which state has the power to make a child custody modification, your husband should then explore with the lawyer the specific facts he believes should lead to a modification -- and how he wants the orders modified. No matter what the situation, it is probably well worth making some changes to the existing child custody orders given as much time and changed circumstances as it seems have occurred since the original child custody order and the moves that both parents and child have made.

    This response does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am licensed... more

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