Can a stay at home mom get child custody? 25 Answers as of July 12, 2013

My soon to be ex had an affair & moved out at the beginning of the year. I am a stay at home mom with 3 children. The youngest has a serious medical condition. He wants to fight me for custody and says he will win as I dont work. Is this accurate?

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Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Being employed isn't a prerequisite for child custody. Being a good, caring parent is. You should be represented in your divorce and custody matters by an experienced Family Law Attorney, and you would likely qualify for an Attorney Fee order.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/21/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
Your employment has nothing to do with custody. The Court will award custody based on the best interests of the children.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/20/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
No, he is far from accurate. In fact, you are the one who has the most contact with your children and he doesn't.When the medical condition is also taken into effect, it is very unlikely he will have much of a chance for custody. Do not let him intimidate you further. Consult with a knowledgeable matrimonial attorney for more specifics. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/17/2011
The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Vanessa Reed
No, this is not accurate. Child custody is based upon many statutory factors, which are set forth in the Virginia Code. In Virginia, the court is guided by one standard, "the best interest of the child." In making this determination, the court must determine all of the statutory factors enumerated in Virginia Code 20-124.3. In any case in which custody or visitation of minor children is at issue, the court may order an independent mental health or psychological evaluation to assist the court in its determination of the best interests of the child. There are two separate and distinct types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody relates to major decision-making responsibility for the children. The court may award "joint legal custody" where both parents have a role in making decisions for the child, or "sole legal custody" where one parent is ultimately responsible for making decisions in the child's best interests. Physical custody relates to where the children spend their time. "Parenting time" is another term gaining popularity. The term is used to describe physical custody and/or visitation. "Parenting Plans" are another device and are gaining popularity in the arena of child custody and visitation. Despite popular belief, physical custody of a child will not be given to a parent as a reward, or deprived from a parent as a punishment. Rather, custody will be awarded based upon consideration of the statutory factors, and a determination of "the best interest of the child." The parent who does not receive physical custody of the child, the "non-custodial arent," will receive visitation with the child. A visitation schedule will be set by the court, if the parents cannot voluntarily agree upon satisfactory arrangements. Child custody and visitation are always modifiable, based upon a "material change in circumstances" after the date of entry of the last custody/visitation order. Please feel free to visit my website for additional information on this topic.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/16/2011
Palomino Law Firm, P.C.
Palomino Law Firm, P.C. | Debra Palomino
Absolutely not accurate. There is a very good argument given your history that you remain a stay at home mom, finances allowing.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/16/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law there are a number of factors the court will consider when deciding the residential placement of the children. A primary factor is which parent has been providing the majority of the care for the children. If you have been a stay at home parent, then likely you have been providing the majority of care for the children. Assuming the children have been residing primarily with you since your husband moved out, that is also in your favor as clearly you would have been the primary parent during that time.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    No, if you are a stay home parent you should be preferred as the custodial parent. He is wrong.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    He is wrong. The child's best interest is the deciding factor - not who has job. Many factors are considered in deciding best interests, but the basic premise is that it is not a one parent or the other argument. Both parents need to be involved in parenting and question is how that responsibility and privilege is to be shared.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Yes, staying at home is not a reason for custody.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    In Michigan and Ohio, many factors go into what a parenting plan will be. Sole custody is a rare concept anymore, although that does not stop parties from threatening it. Please meet with a domestic relations attorney near you for the whole story.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    A lot depends on the law of the state that you live in. Do you live in New Jersey? Or does the other person live in New Jersey?
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    No. Whether someone is working or not has relatively little to do with who is likely to get "custody" of the children. There are a number of other criteria that the court does look at. A few of these criteria are: who has taken the greater responsibility for the day to day care of the children; who are the children more bonded to; what arrangement is going to be least disruptive to the children; and what is in the best interest of the children.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Yes, you are likely to be awarded custody. See (e) below. Oregon law provides: In determining custody of a minor child, the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests and welfare of the child. In determining the best interests and welfare of the child, the court shall consider the following relevant factors: (a) The emotional ties between the child and other family members; (b) The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child; ( c) The desirability of continuing an existing relationship; (d) The abuse of one parent by the other; (e) The preference for the primary caregiver of the child, if the caregiver is deemed fit by the court; and (f) The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    He can certainly seek custody of the children, but I would not expect the court to hold it against you that you have been the primary care-giver for the children. That would not make sense when considering the best interests of the children.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Theiler & Mourtos Attorneys at Law
    Theiler & Mourtos Attorneys at Law | Devan J. Theiler, Esq.
    The fact that you are a stay at home mom will improve, not hurt, your case for custody since one of the biggest factors the Court will consider in awarding custody is which parent has been the primary caregiver throughout the marriage. As a stay at home mom, it seems likely that it would be you. The issue of custody is entirely separate from any financial considerations. Your work history, or lack thereof, and ability to return to work now are issues that affect the financial aspects of your divorce, such as alimony. I recommend that you speak with an attorney licensed in your State to learn more about your rights and how best to protect them.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    The simple answer is "no," he won't automatically win custody, merely because he is employed. But you should retain a divorce lawyer as soon as possible to help you present the best case you have for custody, as well as to help you with all your rights and options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Work is just one of many criteria considered by the court in determining primary physical residence. It sounds like you would benefit from meeting with an attorney to discuss in greater detail.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    No. That is not accurate. The court will consider the children's best interest. Assuming you get custody as a result if his abandonment, he will have to pay child support. Depending on the length of marriage, you may be entitled to alimony. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    He is wrong to assume that he would automatically receive custody simply because he works and you do not. The fact that you are a stay-at-home mom actually helps you in a case for custody because it shows that you have been the children's primary caretaker. However, you should speak to a family law attorney in much greater detail in order to get a better assessment of your chances for success.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    That is not accurate. The disparity in incomes will be addressed through support, but the fact that you don't currently have a job isn't grounds for denying time with your child. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Given the very few facts stated in your question, seems highly unlikely that a judge would rule against you remaining as the primary custodial parent. Such comments by your husband seem like a common threat that is often made in a divorce. To learn more about such common tactics, you can read the following legal guide I drafted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    The courts do not discriminate against stay at home parents versus working parents. The custody is generally based on the bond that each party has with the children and the best interests of the minors. There is no "automatic win" against a stay at home mom.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    First of all, stop listening to a cheat and get a lawyer. Stay at home moms often win custody, unless they don't get lawyers. No one can predict your case except to tell you that you need counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    A stay at home parent is not in and of itself a reason to deny that parent custody. In fact, it can be an advantage in showing that you are the primary care parent. You need to discuss the details of your case with an attorney to get an idea of the viability of your custody case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
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