Child Custody Q & A — Can behavior with children from prior marriage affect time with child in a later marriage?

by Janne Berry Osborne on November 12, 2012

in Child Custody, Domestic Relations, Q&A

This is a Child Custody-Family Law question that I answered on Avvo.com but continues to be relevant.

“My ex relinquished his rights and responsibilities to his children from his first marriage when they were about 3 and 4. Now because he doesn’t like to drive so much (he moved several hours away) he said he wants 50/50 time. I say this strips too much stability from a 2 year old who sees him rarely anyway. Would this pattern of behavior (this is exactly what happened last time) be considered in deciding this case? I offer 5 days once a month but he wants 50/50, yet never even calls on the phone. Should I be worried? My son needs more stability than that.”

MY ANSWER:

You ex’s conduct with respect to the children from his prior marriage and your description of his current conduct clearly indicate to me that his demands are not only unreasonable, they are not even rational. I respect Alexandra’s comments on collaborative divorce, but from what you are saying, you and your ex-husband do not appear to be candidates for such a process. I urge you to immediately contact one of the very experienced family court attorneys in the Myrtle Beach area. Horry County is, I believe, one of the counties which mandates mediation, so your ex-husband will have you, your attorney, the mediator and, hopefully, his attorney, explaining the facts of life to him.

The longer you wait before initiating procedures which will delay the time until a schedule which is in the best interests of your child can be implemented.

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