What are my chances of getting 50/50 time?

Archive of Ask A Lawyer answers provided before April of 2005. Many of these answers can also be found in the current Ask A Lawyer section.

What are my chances of getting 50/50 time?

Unread postby dadsdivorce » Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:39 am

I am currently living in TN and my ex-girlfriend is in Wisconsin with my daughter. I send her money every month though I am not required by any state nor have I signed anything saying I had to. I want a 50/50 ( 6 month each) relationship with our child. She says she will never allow that, not even when she is older. She says she has a letting go problem and she just wont let her be with me. She is very immature and she lives in a tiny hole in the wall town, not to mention she went to jail while pregnant and was dishonorably discharged from the military last year for drug abuse. Her reason for doing it was for depression and acceptance. She is not a strong woman and is very dependent. She is currently with a man who is manipulating her and they are going to get married and have another child soon. She wishes for my daughter to grow and know him as her dominant male or father figure in her life. She says she will breast feed as long as she can so the courts wont rule for 50/50 custody. I have much more experience with kids from all ages then she does. I have been around foster children and have gotten to know more about the mental side of children as well, because my family has been a foster home for over 100 children and we have adopted 3 of them into our family. We both live with our parents and both have jobs and means of transportation. I send my daughter packages every month plus money so she doesn't have to buy her clothing and the money pays for her diapers and other small expenses. She collects WIC and and breast feeds so she really doesn't pay for a whole lot as far as my daughter is concerned. So what can do? Do you feel the court will side with her or do you think I have a chance in getting the 50/50 ruling (or the closest one possible)?
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Unread postby dadsdivorce » Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:40 am

I cannot answer your question specifically to the laws of Tennessee or Wisconsin, as I am not licensed in either of those States to practice law. I do not know of a court in my jurisdiction that would consider ordering a six month exchange of custody with any child, much less a very young child. So the short answer to your question is that I believe you have an extremely slim chance of getting a fifty-fifty custody order in your situation. That stated, why in the world would you want a fifty-fifty order based upon the facts presented. The mother has a history of mental illness, drug abuse and a criminal record. You have a better chance if you ask for sole physical custody. Basically her problems that you are concerned about are significant enough that she should not have custody or they are not significant enough and would not warrant you getting custody. You lose the right to argue the extreme of her problems if you ask for joint physical custody.
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