– from Louis K. in Barton, WI

Question Details:

I am a divorced father of three kids. At the time of divorce, my ex-wife was awarded custody. After about a year, she began to have difficulties with them, so we went to court and agreed to a custody change. I had them for about two years. Then, the kids wanted to try living with their mother again. About 10 months ago they began living with her, but we never formally changed custody. Now she has informed me that she is taking me to court for sole custody and child support. Even though I still legally have custody, can she take it from me?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Each case is decided upon its own individual circumstances. Just as an example, some joint custody agreements may still have child support payments in them, which upon first glance may not seem correct. This case is no different. The courts will decide based on the details of your case. With that being said, contested custody hearings are known for being complicated and bitter.

Learn how to be your child's support system during a divorce.

I can give you an example of how a similar case was decided, but remember that it's only one example. In the case of Tieberg v. Ehlke 137 Wis. 2d 228, 404 N.W.2d 84 (Ct. App. 1987) a mother and father experienced the same reversal of custody several times. On the last run, however, the wife did not have a court award. after several months she filed for custody. The court granted her request. the father appealed, but the court of appeals affirmed. The appeals court did not find an abuse of discretion, therefore it did not find reason to reverse the trial court's decision.

I advise you to contact an attorney right away in order to devise a strategy for proceeding.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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