My son’s wife abandoned him and their three children, two of which are biologically his.
What should be his initial course of action?
It would be best for your son, at this point, to file for divorce and in the complaint for divorce, request that he have primary physical custody of the children.
As the divorce is pending, the court would then issue a temporary order regarding custody, parenting time and child support, which would provide your son with an enforceable order in the event your son’s wife attempts to remove the children from your son’s custody.
He would then have the ability to enforce the custody, parenting time and child support order to ensure the children remain in a safe and stable environment.
When determining an issue such as custody, parenting time and child support, the court will look to what is in the best interests of the children by applying a series of factors to determine whether one parent or the other should have primary physical custody of the children and then determine an appropriate parenting time schedule.
In your son’s case, it appears that the court would award him primary physical custody of the children that are his biological children based on her abandonment. The child that is not his biological child could be addressed as well; however, the court will look to whether the child has contact with the biological father or if the biological father has abandoned the child as well.
In the event that the other child’s father abandoned him/her, your son could petition the court for a specific custody and parenting time schedule based on the fact that he has been the primary caretaker of the child and that he would like to continue caring for the child and the biological father has not had contact with the child.
This issue would need to be discussed further with an attorney licensed in his state to address specific issues involved in this process. I am sorry that I cannot provide you with a more direct answer, but these suggestions should give you some assistance on what to ask when you meet with a lawyer in your jurisdiction.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general divorce tips for men, so please consult with a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”