Legal Question in Family Law in California

I am father of two kids (16yo, 13yo), I have not been with the mother for 8 yrs (never married). We have had a "flexible" arrangement with the custody of the kids for this time. They spend most of their time at their mom's, I spend many weekdays at the mom's house with the kids. I am no longer interested in continuing this arrangement. I want to have my kids with my 1/2 time. What obstacles will I face?

Asked on 8/02/11, 3:12 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Rhonda Ellifritz Law Offices of Rhonda Ellifritz

You really need a consultation with an attorney who can ask more questions, but off the top of my head, I can tell you two things that will have a significant impact. 1. How the children feel. Although they don't make the decision, their feelings do count when considering their best interests. 2. How close you will be living to mom. If you live an hour away from their school, don't count on sharing 50/50. A 730 evaluation may also be ordered, and they can be expensive.

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Answered on 8/02/11, 4:43 pm

Patricia Van Haren Law Office of Patricia Van Haren

The obstacles that you may face could be that mom may argue that the court should maintain the status quo. As your children are 13 and 16, their wishes may be taken into consideration in ordering a change in custody and visitation. If you live in close proximity to their friends and school, it will make it easier to argue that the children's lives will be minimally affected by the change in visitation. You should consult with a family law attorney which is familiar with the local courts in your area. They will be able to advise you as to how the courts would likely decide in your case.

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Answered on 8/02/11, 5:56 pm

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