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What rights do I have to change our custody agreement?

Sacramento, CA |

My ex and I have a written agreement between the two of us that we share 50 / 50 custody . We have never been to court . He is a great father but is lacking in the responsibility department . I just found out that the boys have been tardy to school 20 + times this year . They gave me a printout of the dates and they are all on his time . The boys homework is often not done which makes it so on my days we are playing catch up and doing homework until wpm at night so they can turn it in . Their grades are dropping and test scores are horrible for their weekly spelling tests due to not studying the night before . I don't know what I can do or say . I talked to him when it was only at 10 tardies and told him if they were tardy again I would have to change the schedule and he promised they wouldn't be late

Attorney Answers 4

  1. I would suggest having another conversation with the father and point out to him the issues as you have done here. Because you do not have a court ordered agreement, the two of you can work together to come up with a schedule where the children are with you during the week until their grades improve or the father steps it up in terms of making sure school is a priority. If the two of you have been able to work out an agreement this far, you should try to do so without the time and expense going to court would require. However, if the father refuses to cooperate you may want to have to get a mediator involved to work with the two of you on a revised schedule or ultimately seek a court ordered plan. In your initial discussion with the father you should point out to him that a judge would likely modify the schedule so that the children are with you during the school week given their declining grades and poor attendance. Because ultimately the court's decision is going to be based on what is in the best interest of the child. Hope this helps.

    By posting on this site or answering/responding to questions does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended to be an opinion only. My opinion is not intended to be a guarantee or promise of any outcome or result in your matter.

  2. I agree with the excellent advice of counsel above, I would like to just add that often times discussing the ramifications with having to resolve the problem in court, goes a very long way in achieving a successful resolution. In that respect, I would point out that: (1) you would be forced to retain an attorney to motion the court for an order confirming the children are with you during these problematic times; and, (2) that you would incur attorney fees which you would request the court order him to pay. If you found this helpful please check the helpful box on the side, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and best of luck.

    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.

  3. As both counsel above mentioned, attempting at least once more to communicate these concerns to your ex is a good idea. If you still feel that he is not working to remedy the problem, I suggest filing a Motion with the Court to address these custody issues. This will involve some significant paperwork, but seeking the court's intervention here may be necessary to ensure that some specific parenting parameters are put in place and enforceable. A court order would legally hold each of you accountable to the terms. To file a Motion, you'll need to include the facts leading up to your request and the basis for the relief that you are seeking. If you have not yet consulted with an attorney, now might be a good time to do so in order to fully understand the child custody process before you file anything.

  4. I agree with all the good advice given by all the attorneys above. But I would add that you should seek a local family law attorney.

    Thomas Neil is a Sacramento family law attorney, with 20 years experience, representing clients in court in Sacramento, the Bay Area, and surrounding counties. Or, if you cannot afford full representation then Mr. Neil can instead write you the forms and declaration you need, help you serve them, and tell you what to say and you can go to court by yourself. A well written declaration by an attorney, supported by proper evidence, will GREATLY increase your chances of success in court. Our office takes credit cards.

    Thomas A Neil
    3224 El Camino Avenue
    Sacramento, CA 95821
    (916) 446-4153

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