How do I go about getting full custody of both my children?

Sophia - posted on 09/16/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I have 2 sons ( 3 yr old and 2 month old). My 3 yr old resides with his dad -- who is giving me a hard time to see him (my son) -- and my 2 month old lives with me. How do I go about getting full custody of both my children? ( the father and I were never married.)

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Ronda - posted on 09/16/2012

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If he is being difficult about this and trying to make things difficult for her when she attempts to visit the oldest, you have to think about whats best for the kids. In this case, and it is just my opinion, they were not legally married when either of the kids were born. Not only does paternity of both children need to be verified (which is something a lawyer may ask you as to who the children's father is and the circumstances of their birth as well as the reasons the two of them are not together), it all matters. Either way before you can determine if joint custody is even possible at this point, I am willing to bet you anything that the lawyer that someone has to be designated the primary care/custodian parent. Then the determination could be made as to who and if either one gets primary custody or joint custody. Which is one reason I suggested to document everything. It may seem silly to keep notes, but trust me, in the end it will save you alot of heartache and trouble. Like I said, I went through alot of this myself. What saved me was things such as police reports, notes of not just myself but witnesses who were deposed by both lawyers. It is entirely possible that an emergency hearing to determine who gets primary custody will be scheduled.

Ronda - posted on 09/16/2012

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It actually depends on what the law of your state is. First thing I would do is not let him know that you want and are trying to get custody of both of them. It might be difficult on getting custody of the older one if he has established a residence with the father for so long, but not impossible. First thing I would do is consult with a lawyer who specializes in family law and do it quickly before he is stupid enough to try to leave the state with him/her. I do not mean to cause you to panic about this, but custody definitely should be established. Some states even recognize common law marriage so that would be something to check into as well. And definitely DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. If it's not documented, it didn't happen and you have no proof and/or evidence that anything was ever said/done/happened. Protect yourself legally. I've been through this legally myself only in my case my older daughter's father and I were married and it all came out in the divorce. It might even be a good idea to do the exchanges or visitations in a public place that way he might not be dumb enough to try something in public. If he did, it would be usable against him in court.

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Ronda - posted on 09/17/2012

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I hate to say this but it reminds me of that little boy that was on the news this last year. The mother was from Cuba I believe....or was it Rio? I would have to look it up. She took the son from the father and went back to her country somewhere in South America and it took the father years and miles of red tape before he finally got his son back and that was only after the mother had died shortly after remarrying I think. Again, I am not saying this to scare you, but please definitely seek legal help on this right away. Definitely tell them how the child appears to be hostile and alienated towards you because of all of this and most definitely let them know about how he took your son to Cuba for as long as he did without saying anything to you about it. Protect yourself and your son and prevent him from leaving the country with him again. I wish I had more legal expertise and experience, but definitely get a lawyer right away. If you cannot afford one, talk to someone in Legal Aid. Most states do have legal aid and lawyers who will either work pro bono or for a lower fee.

Sophia - posted on 09/17/2012

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Well, the children are separated because their father took my eldest son -- when he was about 2-3 months old -- and left to go to Cuba, without telling me anything. He stayed there for about 9 months... The only way to communicate with him was Facebook, and he didn't even bother to respond to my many emails.

When he finally came back, he started to threaten me. He would not let me see my son. And only allowed "supervised visits" which were rare.

Somehow, we decided to work things out again. I got pregnant by him. Months later, he started the " you have to be supervised to see your son" all over again. I even tried to find out why, but still have no clue.



He hasn't attempted to see my youngest child, ever since he was born. I have seen my eldest son a week ago, "supervised," and noticed that he is being very aggressive towards me, and doesn't even recognize me as his mother.



I think the children will be better off with me.

Ronda - posted on 09/16/2012

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Oh I wasn't saying that he should be treated differently, my point is that she needs to talk to a family law lawyer because if they were not married (either living together or common law married) she should get it established as to who has custody because if not then he could take the other child across the state lines or even out of the country and not be required to tell her anything.

Jodi - posted on 09/16/2012

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Whether they were legally married or not makes no difference. They are still 50% his children. She hasn't explained what she means by hard time, which is why I asked the question. Give the OP the opportunity to explain why she wants full custody and not joint. There is absolutely no reason why one person has to have primary custody. There just needs to be court ordered custody in place to avoid this hard time she is talking about. Plenty of women give their exes a hard time about visitation and don't lose their custody. A man should be treated no differently.

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