My question involves a child custody case from the State of: California.
I have 2 daughters, 1 is 15, the other is almost 13.
Custody is presently set at 85% for my Ex Wife and 15% for me. Reality is more like 20%, as I have been hosting my 13 Y/O last and likely this summer.
The elder daughter attempted suicide 9 months ago, but is doing well since. She likes living with her mom. The younger one has been discussing with me to move in with me.
The presently share a small 10 X 12 bedroom at my Ex's house. Bunkbeds and a small room seems extreme for girls at that age.
I have plenty of reasons to be concerned for both of their best interests. I would go after both, but the elder daughter is set with her high school and gets preferential treatment at home and would resist moving in with me. Besides, I am remaried and our condo is way too small for both girls full time. We both work from home and the second bedroom is my wife's office.
My Ex has so many issues, I cannot even start, but without going into detail, I would say that some of these would help in if I had to fight for custody. I even have recent emails from her demanding I take my younger daughter. But, when I try to discuss this, then she backs off. We just cannot talk together as adults. I have tried so many times and all ever here is spite and lack of fortitude to move beyond the past and build communicate for the behest of the girls.
If the younger one agrees to full commitment to express her desire should this go to mediation or a court battle, I am ready to go the extra mile. This would involve not only custody, but selling my condo to get a bigger residence for my daughter to have her own space.
So, my question is simply this: Would the court be able to understand my only seeking 1 of the 2 daughters?
I do feel they would both benefit if I were able to get them both, but there is no way that would be possible for the short term in this small condo. The younger one is treated much poorer than her sister and they fight all the time. It would really be better for the girls and even the ex to remove the stress to her from handling both at the same time.
Anyway, please help me with this decision with any words or experience.