I’m looking for advice on divorce to handle a delicate co-parenting situation.
My ex-wife has primary child custody of her daughter, my stepdaughter. While living in her home, my ex-wife is allowing her daughter (who is a minor) to have sex in the house.
I am not of the opinion that she should let boys spend the night in bed with my underage stepdaughter.
Would this be basis for modifying our child custody agreements even though I am not her biological parent?
This answer only includes general divorce help for men since I am only licensed to practice in Oklahoma and am thus unable to provide any advice on child custody laws in your state.
As for the custody issue, I am afraid you are in a difficult position. As a stepparent, unless you have legally adopted your stepdaughter, you will likely face an uphill battle in your efforts to gain custody.
If you pursued a charge of neglect and were successful in having your wife’s behavior declared neglectful of your stepdaughter, the court would likely next consider placing your daughter with her other legal guardian; her biological father.
If your stepdaughter’s biological father is unwilling or unable to exercise custody, then the court would look to alternatives. You could certainly ask the court to consider you, and you’d likely be given the opportunity to make a case for yourself being given child custody.
However, without knowing the specifics of your situation, and your stepdaughter’s family structure, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how a list of potential guardians would be constructed and how those potential guardians would be evaluated by the court.
Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For a more in depth discussion of fathers rights and legal advice on divorce, I urge you to contact a family law attorney.
To set up an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell mens divorce attorney, including Christian D. Barnard, an Associate Attorney in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.