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Father's chance of 50/50 custody?

Boise, ID |

I've had majority custody of my 4 year old since she was born with the father only able to see her every other weekend. Recently he has been wanting his child support back so he's filing for 50/50 custody. He's had 2 DUI's, a drug charge, theft about 6 years ago. multiple driving without privileges, three or four failures to provide insurance, two or three failures to use seat belts, and two or three major collection cases against him. Also he hasn't had the same job for over a year and often is 18-20 days late on his rent. He recently text me and demanding his tax money back that went to me because he was delinquent on child support because he needs to pay fines and get his driving privileges back and he's been driving lately. What are chances of getting 50/50? Thanks for your time.

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Attorney answers 2


In a contested child custody action the court must determine what custody arrangements are in the best interests of the child. In your question you have done a good job of trashing the father. What will he say about you? And where will that leave the judge? Better to come in with a plan that will provide appropriate and safe contact for your child. Unless you change your perspective, you'll be totally blind-sided when he shows he has matured and sincerely wants to carry his fair share of the parenting load.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


A court will look at the best interests of the child when determining whether or not to grant the father's petition to change the custodial arrangement.

The Court should consider (1) the wishes of the child's parent or parents as to his or her custody; (2) The wishes of the child as to his or her custodian; (3) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parent or parents, and his or her siblings; (4) The child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community; (5) The character and circumstances of all individuals involved (this is where the criminal convictions and issues with the law come into play); (6) The need to promote continuity and stability in the life of the child; and (7) Domestic violence as defined in section 39-6303, Idaho Code, whether or not in the presence of the child when the Court makes the decision about changing a custody arrangement. The court may also consider any other relevant evidence as to the best interests of the child. If the father is able to provide evidence to support these factors, he would have a legitimate chance of changing custody.

If there is a custody order in place, the father also has to prove a substantial and material change in circumstance to modify the current custody arrangement.

Also, some judges will not allow a person who is in arrears in child support (i.e. not paying child support) to petition to change a custody arrangement without first correcting any issues with the child support.

Response to this question is the opinion of the attorney. Response to this question does not form an attorney client relationship between attorney and the individual posing the question on AVVO.

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