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Modification from 50/50 to full custody

Chicago, IL |

We currently share 50/50 custody but this arrangement has never really worked. The Father has made some very poor choices for our son including giving him beer at 3 years old, forgetting his epipen on numerous occasions, feeding him almonds when he has a peanut allergy, failing to apply topical cream when required. I've been respon. for all dr./specialist/dentist etc apts and pay for all prescriptions. I also fill out all school paperwork. My son is confused b/c our parenting styles are so different. Despite mediation/counselling requests the Father will not communicate with me. We are now going to court to modify. I am engaged with a stable income and a huge network of support. My son now has a half-sister he adores. What are my chances. Honestly.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

I think your story sounds good. You need to get the details into a shape they will be admissible into a court hearing so the judge can decide.

Asker

Posted

In your expert opinion, and it is truly appreciated, what details would a judge most value? I have documented everything negligent over the last 3 years and finally found myself in a situation where I *had* to do this (we suspect drug use). Calendars, journals, I even invested in CustodyXChange SW. As well, dr. notes verify I take care of all apts. and we've been able to provide a letter from daycare stating their observations and recommending custody for us. Is there anything else I should be getting? I'll do whatever I need to do to keep my child safe, as long as it's legal and moral.

Posted

Predictions are tough in family law. What I can say is that the adjudication process of a 610 petition (A modification of custody) is even more difficult than an initial custody proceeding - especially in Cook County.

If money is tight, contact legal aid for assistance. Otherwise I would highly recommend retaining an attorney. Your case will live and die on how well you conduct discovery, along with any recommendations from the Child Rep/GAL and/or 604b evaluator. In many cases, the pretrial is the "make or break" for most disputes, and you'll want your ducks lined up in advance.

Again, it is an amazingly complicated process. Talk to an attorney in your area for specific guidance. Best of luck.

Asker

Posted

I should have noted that I live in Ontario Canada, so I understand your advice may be limited. There are no good legal forums here to ask for advice, or if there are, I haven't been able to find them. I have documented everything my ex has done that's put our son in danger and have letters from his daycare providers attesting to him providing him with food that contained nuts. Money is not tight. I have counsel and he does not. He will not be able to prove that I'm a bad mom in any way, because I'm not. I also have almost 10 character references from colleagues, family and friends; and we go to church. Mainly I'm worried that my ex will carelessly land our son in the hospital or worse and am frustrated with how long the process is taking.

Posted

Honestly? Not terrific. Your specific case definitely shows that he is not parenting in the right manner that he should be, but absent some actual uncontroverted evidence showing that he gave him a beer (besides a he said she said situation), coming back in to change custody is not easy. Be prepared for a long expensive battle. I'm not telling you it can't be done, but be prepared for big-time fight. And also know that if you have no evidence, your word is not good enough, unfortunately.

This should not be construed as legal advice or the making of an attorney-client relationship. this information is purely for informational purposes and should be treated as such.

Asker

Posted

The evidence I have would be in the form of a witness, if they will testify, who was there with them at the time. As well, I kept a calendar of events for the last 3 years and wrote everything down as it happened. I filed a Police information report and added to it when he was negligent. Daycare will attest that he provided nut-included food and no EpiPen on his weeks and the Medical Records prove that I've been the only one taking him to any appointments. I've got quite a lot of evidence and people who are willing to testify. Honestly? i don't care how much it costs, I'll do anything to keep my son safe.

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