Is there anyway I can establish custody without getting a lawyer?

Jessica - posted on 07/22/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I left my ex about a year ago. we were together for four years, and have a four year old son together. we made a verbal agreement, that he was to see our son every other weekend. I soon found out that he was going out to party with his friends while my child was in his care. he would leave my son with his mother who is mentally unstable. she encouraged my son to disrespect and hit me among many other things. I know my ex drinks excessively and does drugs. I have pictures to prove some of the times he went out to party. I can't afford a lawyer, I have had to get a protective order against him and his mother. I was told I cant keep my son from them until we go to court..

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Ev - posted on 07/22/2013

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Actually, since there is not custody agreement from the court, he could actually come and take your son and keep him and even move out of state too. The only thing he could not do would be to go out of the country without you signing the passport papers too. But you could also move out of state and he could do nothing unless you do have a court date set.

THat was just saying what could be done by either of you since there is not court order for custody. Your verbal agreement is just words spoken between the parents. This does not hold up in court or in the eyes of the law. You both have as much claim to that child as the other does.

All this being said, If you are worried about the child being in his care and that of his mother; you need to have proof of his drug intake such as being arrested with drugs, his drinking would have to be proven with an arrest for being DWI or DUI, there would have to be similar proof about grandmother being unfit in any shape or form and could cause mental, physical, or neglectful harm to the child. Otherwise it is all he said/she said. Pictures of his using drugs or drinking is not proof he is unfit. Lots of people drink at a party and get a pic taken of them. You need to document everything said, when and how and why. You need to keep track of his pick up and drop off of the boy and everything else.

Honestly, you could try to get custody without a lawyer, but its better to have one. If he had one and you did not, they could do a lot in court to make you look bad and without a lawyer to help you get through it, you might not keep your child.

Just some things to think about.

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