How can I stop my ex-wife from repeatedly threatening to modify our child custody agreement?
Every time we have a disagreement, she threatens to take me back to court and to take my custody rights away from me.
Is there anything I can do to protect myself legally from her threats?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Illinois divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to prevent your ex-wife from threatening to attempt to modify child custody.
However, whether she will be successful in doing so depends on the facts of your case, and the amount of time that has elapsed since the last order regarding custody was entered with the court.
Where I practice, if it has been less than two years since the last child custody order was entered, your ex-wife would have to meet a very high threshold in order to bring a motion to modify custody.
In order to bring a motion to modify custody, she would have to provide affidavits showing that there is reason to believe that the child’s present environment may seriously endanger his physical, mental, moral or emotional health.
If it has been two years or more since the last custody order was entered, the burden is slightly lower, but your ex-wife would still have to show that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or the parents since the last order was entered, and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interest of the child.
While you cannot prevent your ex-wife from filing a motion to modify, you may be able to seek attorney’s fees from your ex-wife if the court finds that the modification action is vexatious and constitutes harassment.
Therefore, if she continues to bring motions to attempt to modify custody that are baseless and harassing in nature, you could ask the court to award you attorney’s fees incurred in responding to her motions.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction. If your ex-wife files a motion to modify custody, or if you are concerned that she is going to do so, you should contact a qualified domestic relations law firm, such as Cordell and Cordell, to discuss the facts of your case and determine the best course of action.