I have been divorced for 6 months and live in Nevada. In the joint filed divorce petiton we agreed on tues/thurs for 3 hours and Saturday overnight for our son who is now 3.5 years. We agreed to joint legal custody and I have physical custody. I have been the primary caregiver and have stayed home with our son every day of his life. I work 2 nights a week (in a nightclub) and our son is with his father those nights. I have upheld the divorce decree and visitation 100%.
My ex husband did not want the divorce. He has been very hostile and verbally abusive since I filed the paperwork in october. January 2013 he filed an emergency "ex-parte"? Custody motion citing I was abusing/neglecting our son. He also accused me of being on drugs and demanded drug tests. The emergency he claimed was because i nurse our son still, I was exposing him to drugs. The motion was denied with a hearing scheduled. He later dropped the motion and claimed it was a misunderstanding.
It has been 3 months and now he has filed a modification of custody/child support and every other year tax credit claim. He wants to modify what he pays in child support as well. He is asking for Thursday 3pm until Sunday 3pm. This would be incredibly disruptive to our sons schedule. He stated that I "needed sleep?" Also that the original agreement was made because he worked out of town, even though he missed his tue/thurs visitation from october to december. And that he has a bigger apartment so its needed for father and son to form a better bond. He has a 13 year old son from a previous relationship (he has visitation with only no custody) and states our son needs to be with him more to "bond" with his brother as well.
Extra pertinent details: he is a convict with extensive rapsheet but good for about 9 years. I've never been arrested or in any kind of trouble. has friends who are convicted murderers (he takes our son to play at convicted murderers house) he is also friends with a known drug dealer and is seen out at bars with this person. his new bigger apartment is in a bad part of town next to a bar. He has called me deragotory names while holding our son. In this new custody modification he states that I never give him extra time with his son as he requests/I have texts showing I invite him to watch movies, pick up son on off visitation days for a couple hours etc. I have 6 people willing to be character witnesses in court for me.
What I want to know is will a court recognize he is motivated not by what's best for our son but what he wants as well as need to punish me for leaving the relationship? He has a good lawyer but does that hold up against my having been primary caregiver, providing a safe stable home for our son ? How should I proceed to contest this motion?
1 Answer from Attorneys
You have stated that "[h]e has a good lawyer." Then you ask, "How should I proceed to contest this motion?" The best answer: you should get a good lawyer. There are too many things that could go entirely wrong for you without representation. If you cannot afford an attorney, there are other options. You can seek pro bono help by and through Nevada Legal Services or Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. You can also take free classes on custody, taugh by law students from UNLV's law school. Whatever you do, don't go about it on your own.