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My ex wife is threatening to take me to court to modify a custody agreement because she can not hold up her responsibilities.

San Jose, CA |

The custody agreement specifies that travel be shared equally. She is claiming hardship, does not own a car does not work and has had 3 additional children (with others) post our divorce. She wants me to do all of the travel approx 250 miles round trip two time a month for her to see our son. I work 60 hrs a week and provide 100 % of my sons support. Given my past experience with the California family courts I would like to hire an attorney. Do I have any obligation to provide an attorney for my ex. The current agreement has been in place for approx 5 yrs and has only been broken by my ex ( she moved out of state without any notice or attempt to work something out with me for 2 of those 5 years). and had basically no contact with our son.for that time.

One attorney response to this was that I was not obligated to help my ex with an attorney but that she could always request attorney fees. Does that mean that even though she is initiating the court proceeding because she can not hold up her responsibilities that I might have to pay her attorney fee's in the event I decide to be represented?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

Any time that there is a disparity in the parties' earnings, the court can consider awarding attorney's fees to the lower earner.

As for the other questions, which you did not ask, the responsibility for travel related to visitation usually is shared, but sometimes falls completely on the shoulder of the parent who moved - especially if their move was done without discussion with the other parent or the court beforehand.

While is is possible that the court could order you to do all of the transportation, I do not see this as very likely.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.


No but she can always request attorneys fees. How old is your son and who does he want to live with?
You need to talk this over with an Attorney

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none.


No, you do not have an obligation to provide your ex with an attorney.

Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek a full consultation with a licensed attorney before relying on any advice offered through this website


While I agree with the responses from the other attorneys, nevertheless your ability to take action is suspect. If your wife moved out of state for two years and you did nothing, and had no contact with your son, why are you now suddenly going to have the gumption to stand up at the plate and take action and pursue your legal rights? Hopefully retain legal counsel and do the same.

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Thank you for your response, but please re-read my question and additional information. My son was with me for the two years my ex chose to leave the state (and still is). It was my ex who did not make any attempt to see or contact our son for those two years. It is my ex who has now moved back closer and wants to resume the custody agreement she ignored for 2 years with the following exception: the custody agreement calls for equal responsibility with respect to travel for visitation. My ex does not want to do any of the traveling/driving necessary to see her son; she wants me to do all of the driving for her.



In addition, after carefully re-reading my question and additional information, I find your response to be indicative of the same unfair gender bias in favor of the mother I have had to contend with in the family court. There is a child involved and someone is being irresponsible; must be the guy right? Couldn't possibly be the mother. No need to carefully review the facts I'll just go with my gut on this one and give this guy a piece of my mind. This is the attitude that prompted my question about attorney fee's in the first place. I have represented myself in court in the past and due to the the rampant gender bias have never had fair and UN-biased treatment. I thought an attorney might help get me a fair hearing based upon facts.



I hope that my comments don't get me blackballed on this site because I truly find it to be an exceptional resource and greatly appreciate the attorneys who take there time to try and help provide guidance. I tried very hard to just leave it at my first comment, but I guess my gumption got the better of me.

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