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I'm looking to get full custody of my daughter because my ex has 0 income and is not stable. Do I have a chance?

Tacoma, WA |

My ex lives in Michigan, and I live in Washington. I am thinking about fighting for full custody due to her being unstable, her husband and her are constantly breaking up and moving in and out of places. Also, she reports to have $0 income, besides the child support that I give her every month. I would provide my daughter with a stable and loving home, right now I do have visitation however it is hard to do this because I live in WA (I have a really good job out here). My ex will only allow her to come out here for a maximum of 2 weeks (I pay for the travel expenses as well)..

Do you think I would have a fair chance of custody, because I would be able to provide a stable and loving home for her. I am also more financially capable than my ex.

Thank you for your time.

Attorney Answers 3


You should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your state. I will say that 'financial stability' is generally not the most important factor to a court in deciding custody, especially given the fact that child support exists. We look at what is best for the children, which certainly includes stability, but isn't limited to money issues.

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It might not be sufficient for a change in primary custody, but if there are no negatives about yourself, you should at least be able to get a better residential schedule than two weeks a year.

In addition, you should not bear the full cost of transportation for your residential time; the support order should be modified. See RCW 26.19.080(3), which provides in part: "Day care and special child rearing expenses, such as tuition and LONG-DISTANCE TRANSPORTATION COSTS TO AND FROM THE PARENTS FOR VISITATION PURPOSES are not included in the economic table. THESE EXPENSES SHALL BE SHARED BY THE PARENTS IN THE SAME PROPORTION AS THE BASIC CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATION." (emphasis added)

With the help of an experienced local family law attorney (the modification should probably be filed where the original orders were entered, if one of you still lives in that state), you should be able to improve your residential time, and financial burden.

If this answer is helpful or the best answer, please say so. Legal disclaimer: In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. No information disclosed in these questions and opinions will prohibit this lawyer from representing a different client in the matter.

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If the court orders regarding your child are in Michigan, you need to talk to a Michigan attorney.

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