Ask A Lawyer: What Do I Do About My Ex’s Instability And Our Son?


I am in a pending divorce because my ex was having an affair.  I don’t want the divorce, but feel I will lose custody of my son if I don’t file first. Our court date is set for September 24th 2009. The temporary custody orders gave us joint physical custody with my ex being primary and myself secondary. I currently pay my ex child support although she refuses to work.

I moved thirty miles away to Fort Smith, Arkansas, in the hopes of stopping our arguing in front of our three year old son. I have an apartment, car and new job, and have seen my son at least 48 hours weekly.  She’s living in her mother’s house which was just sold on Monday, and now my ex has about seven weeks to find a new home. I feel terrible about this, but also think I would lose everything that I’ve gained by leaving her if I cancel the divorce at this point.

Further, I’ve asked for sole custody of our son because her past shows that she has been and is still currently unstable. She at one point stated that she wanted to work on our marriage and end the divorce, but I’ve since realized it was a play in the hopes of getting me to help her gain more stability in her life.  She refuses to move in with me now, and won’t talk about our marriage without getting angry and arguing with me.

Do you have any advice for me?



Discuss with your Oklahoma licensed attorney, but generally you should stand your ground until she makes moves that look real. Your moving out of state, even though it is close, may have an effect and that needs to be discussed with an Oklahoma attorney. Do work on developing concrete evidence of her instability.


Erik H. Carter is a Senior Attorney of the Cordell & Cordell, P.C. office in Indianapolis, Indiana as well as the Litigation Manager of both the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh offices. Mr. Carter has practiced since 1993 as an attorney. He is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania as well as the Northern District of Indiana and the Southern District of Indiana.

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2 comments on “Ask A Lawyer: What Do I Do About My Ex’s Instability And Our Son?

    Goes both ways
    Remember that mental or social instability can go either way. It’s just in this case the attorney is responding to a man who asked the question about his wife. The advice could be reversed as needed.

    I am about sick of the men out there claiming a woman to be unstable! For the most part, it is a fact that the large majority of women make about 50% less than what a man makes in the career world. Not only are we expected to work, be good moms, and in some cases good wives! But if a man chooses not to support his wife or mother of his child, and she is forced to go live with her mother and father, does not make a person unstable. I believe that some of you men try to turn people’s point of view around as a last ditch effort in not having to pay child support. Grow up. Be a man, and take responsibility in creating a life. Now, if she does drugs and actually proves herself as being unstable, that is different, but I think it’s ridiculous to make accusations of women being this way, because some men are control freaks. I’ve been through it myself. And it’s not right.

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