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#758721 - 02/01/13 12:48 AM Multi-state custody issue..
jeg779 Offline

recently joined

Registered: 02/01/13
Posts: 1
My wife's ex husband is in the military. They divorced in TX, but he now lives in Illinois and we----south Carolina. The issue comes in that he wants to have the child the entire summer. Now he did not first visit until the child was 2. Then at three they went away for a week, and its been about once year for two weeks at most ever since. Even on major holidays. But the child's behavior changes everytime he visits him and he states he doesn't want to go. Now at 6, we fear for his development being away from his primary parents for that long. Do we have a leg to stand on in a custody battle? And what state would handle a situation such as this.

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#758722 - 02/04/13 07:03 PM Re: Multi-state custody issue.. [Re: jeg779]
javajunkiee Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 3200
Loc: SC
What the child states is not relevant to the court. There will be no custody battle as your wife already appears to have primary physical custody, what the father is requesting is his visitation. If it's in the order that he gets the entire summer, not sending the child will be considered custodial interference, and if he presses the issue your wife could find her custody status being changed.

I get that the child has issues with spending time with what has been an absentee parent. Even if the absenteeism was due to deployment, it still meant he wasn't around, and sending a child for an entire summer is likely scary for both the child and mom. What you can do is to try to do a gradual step-up of shared time prior to the long term trip in the summer. Give the child a chance to get used to dad being around.

If dad is unagreeable with this, you can attempt to go to court in SC to require reunification counseling. SC is the court that matters since that appears to be the childs legal residence.

Honestly, though, if dad isn't a proven child abuser your wife is going to be better off trying to demonstrate she is supportive of their relationship. Calm the childs fears as best as possible, setup a time for skype during the visit, and deal with behavioral issues when he returns. After the first few days the child could adjust if given the chance.

Family court judges have seen everything - every excuse, every type of situation, and heard every fear you could imagine. Your wife will need a major problem in order to get a judge to interfere with an ordered custody arrangement.
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