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What are the odds of him getting joint custody if he hasn't been around for over a year?

Woodland Hills, CA |

I have a 5 year old daughter with my ex boyfriend. We used to live together but spilt up over 2 years ago. he hasnt handled it well so i decided it was best to stay away and try to communicate strictly for our daughter.Then, He finally got the child support court order and that same week he called me and said he wanted nothing to do with me or our daughter. H e was upset because he was going to have to pay. Ever since he hasn't been around at all!!! Its been about a year now then all of a sudden I get served. We have court on the 17th. We weren't able to settle at mediation because he wants 50/50 joint legal and physical custody but I proposed to him every other weekend. He is asking to pick up EVERY Thurs at 7 Pm and bring her back Mon at 7 pm. what are my chances?

Attorney Answers 2


It's impossible to "predict odds" on a child custody dispute, even with a knowledge of all the facts, but it seems unlikely that, all other things being equal, a judge is going to change the child's routine from what SOUNDS like almost no contact with Dad for the last year, to 50% of the time, including all weekends, with Dad.
You should speak to a family law attorney with substantial custody litigation experience, so you can review ALL the facts of your situation, and explore your best options.

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He will most likely be awarded some visitation. A likely scenario would be a plan that starts out with a little visitation and gradually increases over time to give him a greater time share with your daughter. Without knowing more detail about your particular situation, it is hard to predict. Courts in this situation are going to look at what is best for your daughter.

It is very possible that he will get joint legal custody (the ability to join in all the decisions that affect how your daughter will be raised), however judges are human, and their preferences vary widely from courtroom to courtroom. The fact that he has been absent from your daughter's life works against him.

Good luck. Please contact an attorney and arrange for a consultation to get a more in-depth answer to your concerns.

The Law Offices of Erin E. Dixon is an Estate Planning, Trust, Probate, Divorce and Family law firm serving Southern California with offices in the Santa Clarita Valley and the South Bay.

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