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Should I continue to fight for custody of my 14 y/o child after judged ruled his father gets primary custody?

Bakersfield, CA |

I went seek legal help when my ex refused to co-parent and alienate me from our child a yr ago when I was going through medical issues and asked him to "help" me more with him. We went to mediation and I asked to keep the verbal schedule we had of a 50/50 custody arrangement that we've had for the past 3 years and also wanted him to allow me access to his medical records that he denied to me & for us to take parenting classes. Before this I was the primary parent of our child who is now 14. We have never been to court before and he has never paid child support. But because he better off financially and has lied to the court he has won. Also due to his manipulation of our child and he now chooses to be with him because he has a better lifestyle with him at the moment. Is it too late?

Attorney Answers 3


Depending on when the judge made the ruling, you may be able to appeal or file to correct an error. However, if there is no basis to appeal or move to correct errors, then you would need a change in circumstances since the last order to seek modification.

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If you believe it is in your child best interest you should continue to "fight" for your child. I suggest that you contact a local family law attorney and have the attorney review your file. Modification of the present orders may be possible if they were obtained through fraud and/or there have been changed circumstances that justify modification of the present custody orders.

You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established

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First and foremost, make sure you have an attorney who specializes in family law. He or she can review your file and let you know what your chances are. Based on the facts listed here, you may have a child with Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), and PAS cases are some of the toughest custody cases. Nevertheless, this is your child you are talking about, and if you want to continue to fight for custody of this child, you may be able to do so depending on several factors. First, it depends on whether your order is final or is a temporary order. If it's a temporary order and there are more court dates, then your case is not over yet and you can present evidence of parental alienation. Your lawyer will be able to help you do that based on the information you give him or her. If the case is over and the order is final, you will need to show a substantial change in circumstances to modify or change the current order. You may be able to appeal it, but it's difficult to overturn a lower court order on appeal unless the lower court made serious errors. Discuss your strategy with a competent family lawyer. There are several issues present here but not all facts are clear. However, it appears that your child may have parental alienation syndrome. Also, your child is 14, so he is going to have a "say" in where he lives. That doesn't mean he has the final say, but his input will be significant. A good family lawyer can help you present evidence of parental alienation.

Tina Tran, Esq. is licensed to practice law in the State of California. Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship with Tina Tran, Esq. To schedule a consultation, please call (925) 357-0431. Thank you.

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