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My ex-wife has sole legal and physical custody of my kids. Can this be changed?

Cincinnati, OH |

I signed papers granting this 3 years and at the time didn't realize there are two types of custody. I'm wanting to know if I take her to court what's the possibilty of a Judge giving me half legal custody of my kids.

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Attorney answers 3


You should hire a family law attorney and petition the court to modify custody. It is hard to determine based on the little facts you have given whether a judge will modify the custody agreement. However, a judge will take many factors into consideration when making a decision.


Custody is always subject to modification throughout the minority of the children. However, first you have to show that there has been a change in circumstances since the prior order, and second, you must show the court that the change you are advocating is in the best interest of the children. Courts tend to favor shared parenting, however, if you are serious about getting it done, you really should contact a family law attorney and do it right.

IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: Mr. Piper's response set forth above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Mr. Piper's responses to all questions posted on AVVO are intended to provide general information based upon the his understanding of the facts stated in the question, and are for the general educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual. Also, a particular case may involve additional facts and circumstances which might invalidate some or all of the concepts provided in this answer and therefore you should not rely upon this answer in any individual situation. In order to offer legal advice about this or any similar situation, a qualified attorney would likely need to consider many factors not stated in the question and would need to question the potential client in order to clarify the specific facts operable in that case. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, it is recommended that you contact an attorney in your state. Mr. Piper is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio, and may be contacted directly via email at:


Based on the brief description, you may want to focus on what has changed in the last 3 years. You must be able to show a change in the circumstance since the last time you signed your "papers". Ohio has a preference for shared parenting but will want to see evidence that your prior orders are no longer in the best interest of the children. This may sound simple, but custody cases are quite tricky to navigate without counsel and your question suggests that you may not have been provided all of your legal options the last time you were before the court. I would be happy to "flesh out" the issues in your case with a free consult (614)207-1673.

Disclaimer - I am a practicing attorney in Ohio. The law varies state to state. This is being offered as general legal education. There is no explicit or implicit offer to provide legal representation.