How will the courts view custody if the mother works full-time and goes to school 2 days a week and her husband is a stay-at-home dad?

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How will the courts view custody if the mother works full-time and goes to school 2 days a week and her husband is a stay-at-home dad?

I work 40 plus hours a week, and pull a full-time college schedule. I am home at night unless I am at work. My husband stays with the kids but is on medication for scizophrenia and bipolar disorder, he also has anger tendencies. As long as meds are taken he is OK with them but if I don’t make him take his meds he is not safe. How would a judge look at costudy placement since I work full time and go to school and am not home much. My children are 8, 7 and 5 years of age.

Asked on July 10, 2011 under Family Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no set or general answer to this, since alot will depend on what is deemed to be in the children's interest going forward; for example, if the reason your husband is stable and good with children is because you are there to make sure he takes his medicine, and without you in the home, that is less certain, that would tend to argue against his custody. That said, however, and stressing that the children's best interest is the touchstone for the courts, courts do place a great weight on the domestic arrangements that have been prevailing, as long as they seem to work; that's why, for example, stay-at-home moms will usually gain custody over working fathers, since demonstrably, that makes sure someone is home for and pays attention to the children. If the situation you describe, with your husband staying with them, has been what the children are used to and what has been working for them, a great deal of weight will be given to that.


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