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My ex-wife is trying to take me back to court to change our 50/50 agreement to 80/20

Redwood City, CA |

I already have an order from the courts 50/50 no support everything is even,except i am the primary on the location of the school. I was in the Army and was divorced a couple years ago from her. Instead of staying in Kentucky with her kids she chose to leave and come back to CA.Leaving our two daughters in my sole care.Upon mu honorable discharge and return to CA we agreed on 50/50 custody we switch every week. After living here for a year now she wants to take me back to court asking for 80/20 and child support. She lives about 35 miles from where our kids go to school,after she was fully aware what school the kids were going to, she still moved that far away.Now after driving back and forth on her weeks she is trying to change it after agreeing to it.Do I have a chance of losing my girls

I live in San Mateo county (where the kids go to school) and she lives in Santa Clara county. The case is being held in Santa Clara county.She also is saying that my oldest daughter does not want to see me when it is my week, she does cry when I pick her up but she tells me its because she is worried about her mom and that she never does anything with her. After about 10 minutes of being in the car she is fine. Then she also cries a little bit when it s bed time only when I tell her to turn off the TV, but if she can watch TV she's fine. Recently my ex-wife got her some counseling app. so she can talk with someone about her issues and why she cries. I make it a point to be at every event my kids are a part of and since my girls have started baseball I have not missed a practice game nothing. My ex wife on the other hand has missed a couple practice and on 3 occasions now have refused to even bring the girls to their games.

Attorney Answers 1


The courts like to do what is in the best interest of the children. However once a custody order is in place generally courts do not like to change them unless there has been a change in circumstances of the case. It does not sound like that is the case based on the facts that you have supplied. Based on age the court may listen to want the children want if they were asking for a change (if it was too hard on them going back and forth each week etc). I would definitely continue to put your daughter in counseling so she can talk out whatever issues that you have.

Do you know why your wife wants to change things now? Is it just the school - or maybe she is having a hard time with money and is just trying to get child support. You may be able to work this out in mediation.

Either way custody issues are serious and I always suggest going through an attorney if you dont think you and your ex can settle this easily in mediation. Our advice on Avvo is general but an attorney you meet with can get more details about your particular facts.

If you cannot afford an attorney there is Bay Area Legal Aid in your area. If you do not qualify for them you can contact my office, we charge on a sliding scale based on income and family size.

This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents. My firm is All for the Family Legal Clinic, Inc. a nonprofit public benefit corporation that charges on a sliding scale based on income and family size. For a consultation contact us 510-999-7732 or at our website

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I believe the whole reason she wants to go back to court is the driving back and forth to school everyday, its an inconvenience on her. She lives in her boyfriends grandmothers home so I don't think money is an issue. They both have jobs and she isn't even with the kids all the time he is with them two days a week while she is at work and they are with their aunt a lot. I just don't see how I can go from having the girls 100% of the time to 50% and now she only wants to let me see them 20% when I have done nothing terribly wrong to my kids I am a good dad. I don't work right now I take them to school and pick them up I am their baseball coach we live a good life. I just don't see why a court would take my kids but I know that they will.

Pamela Janet Ross

Pamela Janet Ross


from the facts that you have posted it seems like you have a good case to keep custody the way that it is. I would suggest getting an attorney to help you through the process if you feel at all overwhelmed. Local court houses here in CA have a Family Services area that can help you with court documents if you choose not to get an attorney. Make sure that you meet all response deadlines.



I talked with someone about court and they said that for the first court date just show up without a lawyer and ask for it to be continued. I was just served yesterday and today I am going on a 7 day vacation and my ex- wife knew about it and court is less than 3 weeks away, do you think there is a chance of the courts giving her a temporary order until I get a lawyer? Also the girls start school less than two weeks after that same court date and my youngest is starting kindergarten this year and we have her orientation two hours before this court date. She just has bad timing and everything points to the fact that she doesn't want to drive them to school.

Pamela Janet Ross

Pamela Janet Ross


I am sorry you are going through this. Of course it is always possible of her winning a temporary order,but as I stated before courts like to maintain stability for the children. Additionally courts do not like to change existing orders unless there is a change in circumstance. Based on the facts that you have stated it is likely that the temporary order will be to stay as-is until you guys can mediate. Even though your daughter's orientation is on the same day (and even though you are likely to sit around the court house waiting to be heard) make sure you are there - even if it means having a family member, friend, or baby sitter take your daughter to orientation/ go for you to a parent orientation. If you do not show up then she is more likely to get her order approved.

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