Going From 50/50 to Full Custody
The Judge Ordered 50/50 Custody, Now What?
When the Judge orders you to share 50/50 custody of your child, it means it’s in the best interest of the child that both parents remain in the child’s life. Just because the other parent has a bad attitude, gets on your nerves, or doesn’t treat you well, doesn’t necessarily mean they are a bad parent.
When a custody order is placed, it will not likely change. Getting a different Judge, hiring a different attorney, or just trying again, may not change the outcome.
However, if there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances that affects the minor child since the last order was placed, you may be able to go back to Court. These change in circumstances can include:
- Physical or verbal abuse of the child
- Consistent and frequent use of drugs or excessive use of alcohol when with the child
- A parent can’t provide a stable and safe environment for the child to live in
- Develops mental health issues that affects the child
- Fails to get the child to school on time
- Not providing or getting the proper medical care for the child when needed
- Breaking the custody agreement
- Child neglect
- Domestic violence issues
Any of these situations or any other equally as serious issue can be grounds to change the custody order. Remember, custody decisions are all about what is in the best interest of the child, not anyone else. If you fear for your child’s safety and well-being, a Judge will hear you out.
Getting Full Custody
When you suspect inappropriate behavior from the other parent, start to gather proof. This can include:
- Keeping a journal: Write down dates, times, and descriptions of each incident
- Screenshot texts, emails, or social media posts: Screenshot any communication that can prove any wrongdoing. This is why communicating over texts/email is important
After gathering evidence, speak with your attorney. Show them what you collected and they will be able to tell you if it’s enough to go back to Court. If it’s not, they’ll be able to advise you on what to do next if you’re certain the other parent is unfit.
Regardless of what the other side is doing, it’s crucial that you’re doing the best you can on your end. This means:
- Sticking to the agreement: Just because the other side isn’t following the rules, doesn’t mean you get to break them too. When you do, you also risk losing custody rights.
- Keeping your child out of the drama: Whether your suspicions are right or not, keep the drama away from your child. No good can come from you putting the weight of your worries on them.
- Caring for your child: Don’t get so swept up in getting full custody that you begin to neglect the needs of your child. Continue getting them to school or appointments on time, spending quality time with them, and focusing on their well-being.
When you continue to do your part, getting full custody will be a lot easier on you and your attorney.
If you’re looking for a family law attorney, please reach out!