Ask a Lawyer on Single Dad: Fathers Rights
Get Family Law Article Advice from our Ask a Lawyer Topic Section on SingleDad. This month, our members submit Child Custody, Child Support and other Family Law Fathers Rights questions. Read More.
Ask A Lawyer:
My name is James. I have two sons 13 & 11, and live with me 75% of the time. I had more custody when they were younger due to the mother having been arrested for drug related charges. Her boyfriend at the time is now her husband who has also been associated with drug use and jail time.
The present custody schedule with my ex-wife is she gets my boys every Tuesday overnight and every other weekend. She is asking me for more time and has made verbal threats to me that she will “make up” false accusations about my parenting skills. I am spending a lot of money on court fees and attorney fees; how do I make her stop these unfounded and false claims against me? Is there some time frame or law that protects me from this harassment?
My Ex uses the public attorney that we all use our tax dollars to pay for and I use my own attorney that I pay out of my own pocket. This isn’t fair. I feel that my attorney is giving in to these multiple requests and court dates. Should I change attorneys now?
For the record, I would be happy to allow 50 /50 custody schedule if my ex-spouse could prove to me and the courts if she could stay clean, hold a job and live in the same residence for more than 1-year.
My final question is this: At what age can my son’s speak for themselves and tell the judge what is best for them?
Thank you for your e-mail.
Let me give you a quick rundown on your questions with some brief advice and then we can further our conversation with a free consultation in person. You bring up a few good topics on California Family Law.
Your Question: At what age can my sons speak for themselves?
Answer: In California, the courts must take into account a teenager’s input of 14 years or older. Normally the court will not separate brothers on custody schedules. In addition, the 13 year and 11 year old can give their input to the court through their minor’s counselor or though the Family Court Service mediator.
Therefore how the 13 year old feels will influence the court’s decision for both your sons. You may want to approach Minor’s counsel and see if she will interview the children regarding the children’s desires. Ask your attorney for a counselor referral.
Your Question: Should I change attorneys?
Answer: If you don’t believe your attorney is advocating for you, you need to replace your attorney.
Your Question: I am frustrated with the whole Judicial System. The Judge seems to listen to my Ex
Answer: The best solution is for you to write up the history of your case and file it in every response every motion the mother files. Your case seems to be complex and the judge may not understand your Ex’s prior history. Furthermore, the Judge needs to know your Ex’s prior history of drugs of criminality. Her current husband does not seem to be a stable individual in the household. Her being married to a felon should carry some weight and attention to the judge.
In your write-up make sure you include mother’s arrest for drugs and attached the documentation to the write up.
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