Question #53: In need of advise, I live in NY State left marital home1 year ago because of constant fighting and verbal abuse to each other,not a healthy environment for a child and was effecting her behavior. I thought I was doing the right thing by giving my daughter age10 a choice to decide for herself whether to stay or come with me when explaining that I was leaving. She decided to stay with father at that time because he never worked and I was the one working 2 jobs, therefore better relationship with father. I took her feelings into consideration when leaving, I was the the one always diciplining her and he let her run the show, I am stable and involved in new relationship and would like her to be with me,also trying to figure out a separation agreement but uncertain how to handle this because of her being with him, can I just take her and let him go for custody? How much damage did I do to myself by giving an 10yr old a choice? What would my chances be of getting physical custody if he was the one to play the mother role while I was out there playing his role?

You did hurt your chances somewhat by allowing your child to choose to stay with her father. The Courts will
not want to upset a custodial situation which seems to be working . You cannot just take the child away without
first working it out with your spouse. The courts would not look kindly at such an act.
You will have to convince the court that your family environment is much more stable for the child than your spouse’s
and it would be in the best interest of the child to be with you.

If you are living in the NYC metro area, I strongly suggest you call me to arrange a meeting between the 3 of us to discuss mediating the custody and separation issues. You will have a much better chance of success in mediation , it will be faster, cheaper and less emotionally draining than litigating in court.

Call me; I can help!

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions