Jeffrey Leving is the nation’s leading Fathers Rights Attorney and offers FREE Family Law advice for Men on SingleDad.com. This month, learn about a Divorced Dad who discovers that his ex-spouse elopes during the holiday. Read more.
Ask a Lawyer on Single Dad: My Ex-Wife Elopes
Jeffrey Leving is the nation’s leading Fathers Rights
Attorney and offers FREE Family Law advice for Men on SingleDad.com. This
month, learn about a Divorced Dad who discovers that his ex-spouse elopes
during the holiday.
Question or Comment:
My ex just eloped over the Christmas holiday while I had the
kids for holiday visitation. The man she married she has only known for 4
months. I have never met the man and know very little about him but now he will
be around my kids every day as a step dad. What are my options? I would love to
fight for full custody of the kids but even though I make 50% more than her I
cannot afford daycare. My kids are 4 and 5 years old.
Thank you for any advice.
Answer from Jeffrey Leving:
You are in a challenging situation and should consult with
an experienced child custody attorney
right away. First of all, it is a good idea to determine whether your
ex-wife’s new husband is safe for your children and is not placing them
at-risk. An experienced family law attorney can help you perform
the necessary background checks and put you in touch with a skilled
investigator such as Detective Wayne Halick through my office, who can provide
a thorough, and necessary, investigation of your children’s new step
dad. You may also be able to perform a preliminary search on your
own on-line. For example, Illinois publishes certain background
information, such as whether the subject is a registered sex offender. A
good rule of thumb is "when in doubt, check them out."
Next if you want to fight for sole custody of your children,
you have a couple of options. One option may be to have your
ex-wife agree with you in writing to a modified custody arrangement and have
the court enter it as an order. Once entered, the arrangement
should be enforceable by the court’s contempt power. This arrangement
should be reviewed and approved by a skilled family law attorney before
entering to make sure it is done properly. However, if your ex-wife
doesn’t agree to a modification granting you sole custody, you may need to file
a petition to modify custody. If the new spouse is violent, the
court will be more inclined to grant you a change in custody.
Further, you may also be entitled to a modification of your
child support obligations based on a change in circumstances. Some
factors the court may consider include a decrease in income or an increase in
costs associated with raising your children. Child support laws vary
state-by-state, so I would suggest you contact me for a referral or
consultation to address your specific situation. For more information
about child custody and child support, please visit me at www.dadsrights.com
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