Q: Am I able to get full custody back for my son after having joint custody (never married)?
My son’s father and I have never been married but since our separation we have gotten joint custody and I regret this decision. Reason being is there is always a communication gap on his end, I have to always follow up to ensure that my son is doing his schoolwork, given his medicine when needed, etc. Since we’ve separated he has gotten married, which is totally fine with me but when I found out and suggested that we all meet up w/ my current boyfriend and I He and his wife so that everyone can become acquainted and so that I can get to know her the suggestion was declined for his own selfish reasoning and it’s like if things can’t go his way it’s no way and it’s becoming a real frustration for me because I can’t have an adult convo with him without there being some sort of backlash or some sort of offensive line put up and I feel it shouldn’t be like that. We should be able to have a civilized conversation for the sake of our child. Please help!
A: Can you get it back? You can certainly try. If you and the father were awarded joint legal and joint physical custody you only have to show that it would be in the best interest of the child for you to be awarded physical custody. This is called the Couch standard named after a case called Ex parte Couch 521 So.2d 987 (Ala. 1988). This is easier to prove than the more difficult McClendon Standard which requires you to show that there is a material change in circumstances and that a change in custody would bring a benefit that overcomes the disruptive effect of changing custody. Nothing in any of this can make the father easier to deal with.
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