My ex-wife took my 6-year-old camping where a family friend taught my child how to shoot a gun. My child told me about it even though he said his mother told him to keep it a secret.
Do I have grounds to modify custody if my ex-wife is allowing my child to participate in dangerous activities at such a young age and then telling him to lie to me about it?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Pennsylvania child custody laws where I am licensed to practice.
Technically, you can pursue a modification at any time after the last order. Based on the information you provided, it does appear that there are issues with regard to custody and serious safety concerns.
A Petition to Modify Custody may be filed when a custody order in place and you are simply asking the court to modify the terms of the previous custody order. Generally, a custody determination and/or subsequent modification must be made based on the best interests of the child.
Depending on your jurisdiction, it can sometimes take several months for a custody modification hearing to be scheduled. However, if the court considers an issue serious enough they can act on an emergency basis and conduct a hearing much sooner, sometimes in the same week as a petition is filed.
Typically, the child must be in some immediate danger that will cause serious and irreparable harm and a determination of what is “serious” enough is completely within the court’s discretion.
There are many factors that the court takes into consideration when determining a modification of custody. Judges usually want the child to have ongoing and consistent contact with each parent.
However, if the court deems contact with a parent to be irreparably harmful to a child, the court, in rare and limited circumstances, will award one parent sole custody and suspend and/or terminate another parent’s custodial rights.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.