My ex-wife has primary custody of our son, but I would like to know if I can modify the child custody schedule due to his poor grades.
Over the last several years our son has failed the majority of his classes and gotten in trouble at school, including a recent suspension.
Is the fact that he is failing out of school and is routinely in trouble because of his poor behavior enough of a reason to attempt to modify child custody and have him live with me?
This answer only includes general divorce help for men since I am only licensed to practice in Indiana and am thus unable to provide any divorce advice on child custody laws in other states.
Child custody will be determined by what is in the child’s best interest. If there are no other factors that would weigh against you having custody, then these would likely be sufficient grounds.
The court, however, will have to look at all the circumstances around the change in custody. In other words: Is there some physical danger to your son living with you? Is the move mid-year going to further hinder your child’s education? Are you able to take care of your son? Would your son prefer to live with his mother? Is there a health reason that would mean he is better off with his mother? Is his educational outlook better with you or his mother? Does his mother agree to a change in custody? Is there any other reason that your son is better off with his mother than you despite his performance in school?
If there are not significant advantages to your son in changing custody, then the court is unlikely to do it. I would suggest that you argue, that your son will succeed if he is with you and show why.
If you simply say he is failing with his mother, which is not evidence that he will succeed with you, that would not warrant a change. It will likely make no difference to the court who your son lives with if he is going to fail wherever he lives.
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 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 Nathan A. Hacker, an Associate Attorney in Indianapolis, please contact Cordell & Cordell.