What are the grounds for a judge granting full custody instead of joint custody? 14 Answers as of September 05, 2013

Looking into an uncontested divorce but my wife is fighting me saying she wants full custody since I am currently unemployed but I still see my kids and keep them on days whenever necessary. I was paying support but not since I lost my job.

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Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
You can ask for joint legal custody which is different from physical custody and protect your rights in decision making.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 9/5/2013
Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson | Eric Johnson
In Utah, the factors a court routinely considers in making its child custody determination are: 1) First and foremost to the children's primary caregiver is. "Primary caregiver" is stupidly defined by most Utah courts to mean whoever spends the most time in the physical presence of a child in caring for a child. This means that if a husband and wife have agreed that the husband has the superior earning power and will work 9 to 5 to provide his family with the necessities of life, while the wife stays home to care for unsupervised children personally on a daily basis, the wife if "the primary caregiver." Never mind that what enables the wife to stay home with the children and provide personal care to them during the day if the husband working 9 to 5 during the money making that possible. As you can see, I don't think the primary caregiver factor in the way it is defined in Utah is fair or equitable to parents or children, but I don't make the laws. 2) Parental fitness. Obviously, primary caregiving isn't very important if the caregiver happens to be an abusive or neglectful parent. 3) Residential environment. If a parent wants sole or joint custody, but lives in a van down by the river, that parent's prospects are poor. 4) Parent schedule. Although our culture is changing, men still work outside the home more than women, and women are full-time homemakers in larger numbers than men. So if a man wants sole custody or joint custody of his children, but works 40 hours or more outside the home, that makes sole or joint custody unworkable. So to the unemployed man who asked the question, "Can I get joint custody of my kids?", the answer is, maybe, and your unemployed status actually helps you make a claim for joint custody because, as you stated, you can take care of the kids when your wife is working. Where there is a fight over child custody in a divorce, I can't imagine trying to obtain a joint custody award without an attorney's help. Best wishes.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 9/5/2013
Glenn Milgraum PC
Glenn Milgraum PC | Glenn P. Milgraum
Finances and visitation/custody should have nothing to do with each other and as such should not be a concern. The custodial parent usually has the power to make final decisions as to education, health, extra-curricular activities and religion. By obtaining "joint custody" you are basically agreeing to sharing the decision with regard to those aspects of the child's life. These are concerns that most parents believe make it worth fighting to keep their rights and not to blindly turn over to the other.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 9/5/2013
Diane l. Berger | Diane L. Berger
The amount of support you pay, or the amount of support ordered, should have no bearing on custody.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 9/5/2013
Shur Law Co., LPA
Shur Law Co., LPA | Tonya VanBenschoten
In Ohio, the courts really stress the importance of both parenting being involved and like shared parenting whenever possible. That being said, if your spouse has primarily been the caregiver for your children, the court is going to take that into consideration. Overall, the standard is best interest of the child(ren).
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 9/5/2013
    Buchanan Law & Mediation Center | Terry Anne Buchanan
    The payment of support does not impact a parents rights to custody. If uncontested then both of you would agree on the parenting plan which it doesn't appear. Meeting with a Mediator to discuss your issues would be beneficial and be the best to keep you as amicable as possible for the children.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/5/2013
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    Joint legal custody is a determination that allows both parents to make health, education and welfare decisions for the children. Physical custody is the actual time share the parents have with the children. The courts support a joint legal and shared parenting arrangement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/5/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    Being unemployed for the most has no bearing on the custody and placement arrangement.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 9/5/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Generally the grounds are that the children would be in danger if with the parent that does not have custody. Working, not working, arrogant or a wimp, generally do not matter.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/5/2013
    Henry Lebensbaum | Henry Lebensbaum
    Is there a present order?
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/5/2013
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation | Elizabeth Jones
    It sounds like you should have joint custody. And it also sounds like you could get spousal support and child support if she is working. Remember the old adage. "What is good for the gander is also good for the goose".
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/5/2013
    The Powers Legal Firm, LLC
    The Powers Legal Firm, LLC | Natalie Powers, Esq.
    Answer: There are many factors for child custody. In South Carolina there are 13 factors for child custody. Your employment and payment of child support could be one thing the judge considers. If you have an uncontested divorce you and your spouse would need to agree on everything. It sounds like you do not agree on custody, therefore uncontested would not be the appropriate path for you. I would recommend speaking with an attorney regarding your case. Custody is very complicated and can hinge on many factors, which vary by each judge. Do not enter an agreement regarding custody especially just because your spouse is saying you should. I would recommend you speak to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 9/5/2013
    Law Office of Brent R. Chipman
    Law Office of Brent R. Chipman | Brent R. Chipman
    The court looks at the best interests of the children and makes a determination on whether or not the parents can work with one another to implement a joint custody arrangement. The court will also look at which parent has provided the majority of care for the children during the marriage and whether either parent has been impaired by drugs or alcohol in the past. The court can also look at the prior arrangements between the parties dealing with custody and parent time. If you are unemployed, you are actually able to spend more time with the children and therefore it might be more likely that you would be awarded joint legal custody. Ultimately, it may be more important how your parent time is defined (how much time you spend with your children) rather than what the custody arrangement is called (joint vs. sole).
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/5/2013
    My friend, everyone wants an uncontested divorce. Unfortunately, if you and your wife are not in agreement what you have is a contested divorce. Honestly, it is hard to say anything about your potential custody claim based upon the tiny amount of information you provided. However, being unemployed is not going to be a mark in your favor in trying to get custody.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/5/2013
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