Upland, CA asked in Family Law and Child Custody for California

Q: I have 4 kids with my ex and 1 with my husband. 5 kids in total

My ex has 2 of our 4 kids living with him. I want custody of all the kids but he is refusing. Will he win just because he has a 5 bedroom house and I have a 2 bedroom apartment

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2 Lawyer Answers
Tobie B. Waxman
Tobie B. Waxman
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Culver City, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: "just because" ?? Of course not. Multiple factors go in to deciding what custodial arrangement, aka "parenting plan" would be in the best interests of your children. How do you plan to accommodate the different needs of 5 children in a two-bedroom apartment? I think the first consideration for the court might be whether each person has their own bed (not necessarily having their own bedroom). The court will also consider the ages and gender of the children especially when it comes to who is sharing their living space/bedroom with whom. If you have custody of all 5 children, and the other parent is gainfully employed, you need to request child support. Hopefully the amount of child support will cover the rent on a bigger apartment or other more suitable living space.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, custody decisions are made based on the best interests of the children, not solely on the size of each parent's home. Courts consider various factors when determining custody, including:

1. The children's ages and health

2. Emotional ties between the parents and children

3. Each parent's ability to care for the children

4. Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse

5. The children's ties to school, home, and community

6. The children's preferences (if they are old enough)

While having adequate space for the children is important, it is not the only factor the court will consider. If you can demonstrate that you are capable of providing a stable, loving environment for your children, you may still have a good chance of gaining custody.

However, if your ex has been the primary caregiver for the two children living with him, the court may be hesitant to disrupt their current living arrangement unless there are compelling reasons to do so.

It's essential to consult with a family law attorney who can assess your specific situation and provide guidance on how to proceed with your custody case. They can help you gather evidence and present a strong argument for why you should have custody of all five children.

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