Legal Question in Family Law in California

Unstable Home Life

My husband shares 50/50 physical custody of his daughter with his ex-wife. His ex has a very unstable home life, she is married for the 3rd time, now for almost 10 mnths. However, in the past month her husband has left her twice and come back again. The child's life is very disrupted by this, she is always very upset when this happens. The last marriage ended just after a year in the same manner. Always back and forth. This cannot be good for the little girl (she's 9), she told my husband she doesnt understand why her mom does this. Is this ground enough to sue for full custody? The last time the husband left, he called our house and wanted to speak to the child ''to say goodbye'', but later (after they got back together, the same weekend)he claimed that he had never said that, that he had called for a different reason. (At the time he called he spoke to my husband, as the child was not home). Is this all ''hearsay'' as it is not possible to prove it? Except the time he moved out, and the neighbors saw the moving van? Though I dont think they would say anything in court for us.

What are our chances? We have shared 50/50 custody for 1 1/2 years now.

Asked on 10/06/04, 1:49 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Patrick McCrary Law Office Of Patrick L. McCrary
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Re: Unstable Home Life

THE FACTS THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN ARE SUFFICIENT "GROUNDS" FOR A MOTION TO MODIFY THE CUSTODY ARRANGEMENT, THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU WOULD BE SUCCESSFUL. THE STANDARD IS STILL THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD AND THERE ARE MANY CONSIDERATIONS, INCLUDING STABILITY WITH THE SAME CUSTODIAL PARENT. I WOULD SUGGEST THAT THE CHILD SHOULD BE IN COUNSELING BECAUSE OF THE INSTABILITY IN THE MOTHER'S HOME, IT HAS TO CAUSE SOME CONFUSION IN THE CHILD'S MIND, INCLUDING HOW TO DEAL WITH A MARITAL RELATIONSHIP. AFTER SOME COUNSELING, YOU MAY ASK THE COUNSELOR WHAT WOULD BE BEST FOR THE CHILD. THAT WOULD BE MUCH CHEAPER THAN STARTING OUT WITH CUSTODY LITIGATION AND MAY ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL QUICKER WITH LESS TRAUMA TO THE CHILD. GOOD LUCK, PAT MCCRARY

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10/07/04, 2:10 pm

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