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I there anything I can do if my ex has four roommates with child visitation?: The mother of my daughter just move into a house with four roommates- 2 males and 2 females, has not paid child support going on 5 months. I have primary. I just don't feel comfortable that my daughter will be in a home with two males that are non-family. Is there anything I can say or do?

Asked 7 months ago in Family

Eric’s answer: I agree with all of my colleagues' points above. This may or may not present an issue for your child's best interest, and civil communication and coparenting is your first stop in making sure that everything is OK. Going to court should be a last resort. It's always better to be able to work things out amicably and keep up a good channel of communications between you and the mom, solely in the interests of your child's happiness and well-being.
That being said, you would not be being unreasonable to request some information about the new roommates--again, in a civil manner. It's a good idea--perhaps even a duty--to seek info about people your child may have regular contact with during the mother's possession periods. You don't need to make demands that are invasive of these people's privacy, but at least ask your ex about these roomies' names, ages, lifestyles, line of work, and background. If you sense some red flags, then you may want to consult a local family lawyer to discuss further investigation.
Another question--the mom just moved into a 5-person dwelling. How many times has she moved previously in the last few years? Are there other signs of instability? (Falling behind on child support could be another indicator, although as my colleague correctly states, failure to pay child support alone is not a factor in custody issues). Since she is not the primary--I assume you are, since you receive child support--her residential stability isn't as critical to her as it would be if she were establishing the kids' primary residence. However, if she's frequently changing residences, that might be a sign of some other, underlying instability in her lifestyle that you may want to monitor.
It's good to be not too paranoid or controlling over the other parent, but also watchful for signs of behaviors or lifestyle that could affect your child in your absence, when in her care. Signs, signals and statements from your child can also be indicators. Such as--it's rather normal for a child to be grouchy for a few hours after returning from the other parent's house, because the transition is often hard on kids. But if your child seems withdrawn, defensive, or mentions something that causes you concern, follow up on it with your child, and with the mom.
If you feel truly worried, call a family law attorney. Many of us offer free initial consultations. Such a visit or phone conference can go a long way in helping clarify these things for you. All the best.

Answered 7 months ago.


Can a court order in a civil court custody case be ruled illegal even after the final order has been signed?: My custody case has MANY inconsistencies in it regarding standings to bring suit. If the case were to be brought before a court to modify could it, if proven true, be ruled illegal?

Asked 10 months ago in Child Custody

Eric’s answer: If in fact a custody order was drafted defectively or is legally unclear, such problems could be addressed by a motion to clarify, or possibly a motion to modify, depending on the circumstances. These are very technical questions requiring guidance from a lawyer to review your custody order. If you are interested in changing or clarifying your custody order, seek confidential advice from a family law attorney. Some lawyers (including some active here) offer no-cost or low-cost initial consultations to evaluate a case.

Answered 10 months ago.


Advice on what I should do? : I was suffering from depression 6 months ago. I believe it was my pregnancy. I let my ex take care of our 2 daughters. He said he would give them back to me but now he doesn't. He has a video of me saying I didn't want them. He has recordings and pictures that he says will take my kids away if I fight for custody. I have four kids living with me. Could I lose custody if I take him to court? I'm looking for an attorney to fight for custody but I don't want to lose all my kids either. I'm taking parenting classes and I'm looking for counseling as well for me and my daughters. I have nothing on him that can prove what he has done to me all I have is his domestic violence record.

Asked 10 months ago in Family

Eric’s answer: Definitely schedule a consultation with a family law attorney. You say he has possession of "our" two daughters, and you have four kids living with you. If the other kids are not his children, he can't take them away from you. But your explanation is a little unclear on that, and whether there is an existing custody order. You need to sit down with a lawyer and go over all the details to formulate the best plan of action for you. Some lawyers offer free initial consultations, so I'd suggest you start looking right away, at least to get advice and counsel if not to commence a proceeding. You have parental rights and you've made some decisions to deal with a challenge in your life--now it's time to get more information to make some decisions on how to get things back on track. Best of luck to you.

Answered 10 months ago.