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Is there any reason why I wouldn't get joint physical custody?
Married Life / 5:11 PM - Friday January 16, 2009

Is there any reason why I wouldn't get joint physical custody?

Married for 5.5 years. Daughter just turned 3. Wife just took everything and moved to her Mother's and will be filing for no fault divorce. I made about 40% of the income so I am paying half rent on my buddies 3 bedroom and taking his spare. My wife has said she wants full custody and is completely floored that I would want joint physical custody (50/50) because I do not attend church and make less money than her. She is convinced there is no way I will get that. I haven't spoke to a lawyer yet but is this so unusual for a Father to want this? Is it likely I cannot get this simply because I make less money and am the Father and not the Mother? State of Oklahoma btw.

Update: January 16, 2009.
She is leaving because she is not happy and she claims I have not been emotionally available. I would like to jump out and get a 2 bedroom place but I make 25k a year and my wife has left me with a nice steep car payment to pay for which will be paid off in a year. Add that to half of the child care costs and potential lawyer fees it seemed in my best interest to room with a friend. He's a stable working person although he does have his girlfriend of 4 years and her 8 year old son living in his house. My current living situation would make it hard for me to obtain 50/50 custody? Is it possible that a timetable could be sat in place? Say, 90 days to provide a room for my daughter etc. etc. ? Do the courts do such things?

- Asked by Male, 29-35

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To hell with that stuff. Not only are you entitled to joint custody she should be happy you still have an interest in the child. I divorced when my son was 5. His mom was the custodial parent but I had rights as well. If she won't play ball, take her to court. Unless there's a damn good reason, you'll get your rights. Good luck.

- Response by righter439, A Creative, Male, 46-55, San Antonio, Artist / Musician / Writer

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Since you didn't mention the reason for the divorce it's hard to say. If your daughter's safety and welfare are or would be compromised being with you--she may win.

Obviously she is out to make you pay for something, so I would be hiring and lawyer in Oklahoma pronto to find out your parental rights.

If things are on the up and up--it's not unusual for father's to want 50/50 custody. Custody is not dependent on income I don't think. It's on the welfare of the child. If I were you though, I would be getting some form of a "home" as opposed to a "room" with buddies because that will not work in your favor.

In some states, child support is based on percentages for example a 50/50 might mean that both of you would have garnished wages depending on what the 50/50 arrangement is.

Good luck. =0)

- Response by uasked, A Career Woman, Female, 56-65

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There should be no reason you won't be granted joint custody.

Get an attorney, soon, though.

- Response by utahmom, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Managerial

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its very possible you could. consult your attorney.

the judge usually gives physical custody to the mom, especially if the kids are young...... but its very possible. Make sure you have a stable environment for the child (i.e. bedroom or bed and cooperative roomie)

- Response by teach123, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Teaching

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I wouldn't think there would be a problem with you getting joint custody of your daughter. Please contact a family lawyer in your area - there are plenty who will help pro bono (free).
Unless you are into drugs, promiscuous sex and child abuse, there is no way you shouldn't be allowed to have joint custody with you soon-to-be-ex-wife. xoxo Jenny

- Response by jennylf, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Managerial

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No. It is not. She is wrong. In fact, you would do better to file for custody first if you two cannot work it out. Go for joint physical and joint legal custody. Ask her to agree to it first because this will save you both a lot of money and a lot of bad feelings. In this day and age, men are getting the recognition they finally deserve in the importance to the child. In fact, some forward thinking states are passing bills that mandate joint custody unless there is a reason not to do it. Also, judges are looking at which parent is more supportive of the other parent to see who is more likely to be a better parent. Just to err on the side of caution, start looking for fathers rights groups in your area now so they can educate you fast on what you need to do. BTW, since you have no custody agreement now, technically your daughter is also yours and can be with you, not her.

- Response by keldog4511, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Philadelphia, Managerial

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Most of the time the courts grant joint custody regardless of the situations you presented above. With that said there joint custody and there there is joint physical custody. For instance my ex-husband and I have joint custody although I am the one with physical custody of our son i.e. he lives with me, thus he pays child support and expenses are split. Now when you have joint physical custody the child usually lives with one parent one week, and the other the next week and there is no child support ordered for either parent. You have equal time and equal responsibility. Hope I haven't confused you too much!

So in the end I wouldn't worry about this too much! Unless she can prove that you are an unfit father then you will more then likely be granted joint custody. She can't take full custody just because she wants to. You do have rights as this child's father.

- Response by kdtxchic30, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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It is not unusual today for fathers to want and get joint custody. Courts do work out time-tables but they almost always have to be done through lawyers so you do need a lawyer ASAP. Your ex may want a no contest but I can almost guarantee you will be in for a hugh legal fight soon. I suggest you call Jon Hester before your soon-to-be-ex does. He is excellent. I cannot attest to his fees but if you want to come out of this with anything intact you need to best lawyer you can find and he's one of the best. Oklahoma law almost always favors the woman unless you have a lawyer who will go to bat for you and Jon will. My ex beat me to him and I almost got killed. If my best friend had not been a lawyer I would have lost everything. Only thing is my friend is in banking law but he put in a lot of extra time getting information to help me out. Call him ASAP. Good Luck.

- Response by bigdog52, A Father Figure, Male, 56-65, Oklahoma City, Science / Engineering

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Unless you can get full custody there is no use in getting joint custody. You are then obligated to get the child every day that the court awards you. You will still have to pay child support anyway and she will still be in charge of Medical stuff anyway. Make a break, set up visitation and then just move on. See your kid on the designated days, but give yourself room to get your own life together. Also, even though you should see your kid you are not court ordered to do it on those days if you do not have joint.

- Response by william45, A Career Man, Male, 46-55, Chicago, Teaching

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