Is it possible for my sons father to get full custody??

Melissa - posted on 07/10/2012 ( 136 moms have responded )

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I just broke up with my boyfriend of 2 years... Our son is turning 1 on August 5th. Since I refuse to get back with him, he is saying he is going to get a good lawyer and take me to court for full custody. I have a full time job. When I get off work, Im caring for my kids. (I have a daughter with someone else. Her father is not around, so she calls him Dad..) I dont have any criminal history. Im a good mom! I live for my little angels!! Him on the other hand, has a criminal history, including animal cruelty, aggrivated DUI, several traffic violations, and I think he has some charges for fighting in a bar. He doesnt beat on the kids or anything. But he does yell often, mostly to my daughter. But when my son was 2 and 3 months old he would scream at him in the middle of the night to "shut the F up"... He yells at me often also.. But when I go to court I know he will lie about it! I dont have any proof or evidence.... His family has money.. So Im wondering if it is possible for him to get full custody if he has a good lawyer? I dont really have any money... The money I do have goes to the kids. I went to the court house to file for custody but they gave me a website. I know NOTHING about the law!! I need help!!!!

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Tina - posted on 07/11/2012

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I don't know what State you live in, but I am a legal assistant in Florida (family law is not my speciality) but I do know about certain laws. NO parent can get full legal custoday of a child, unless they have committed some type of hanous crime such as murder or life in prison. In your case, your good on that issue. You will most likely be awarded legal custoday of the kids and he will have NO rights to your daughter, just his son and with that it usually works for one overnight during the week and every other weekend. Now if your concerned about his criminal past, please bring that up and be sure you advise the Judge, you can REQUEST that he sees your son SUPERVISED so that you can feel better about having to allow him to see your son. In whatever state you live in, they have a legal aid society and as long as he is not using them, you can! They are some great people who do that. Also try your local bar association, lot's of attorneys do pro-bono work (they are required by law to take atleast 5 cases a year), try that. I wish you the best, keep moving forward and don't look back. At some point your ex's anger will subside and he will get "bored" with it all and stop harrassing you. I wish you the best and if you need anything, please let me know, I have access to some great family law attorneys, but again, I live in Florida. We can send stuff through our personal e-mail. Tina.

Heather - posted on 07/11/2012

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You have asked a legal question to lay people. While I am an attorney barred in several states with years of family law experience, it would be irresponsible for me to presume to provide you advice on a paragraph of information. The procedural advice I will tell you is this, you likely reside in a town with legal aid organization. If you do not financially qualify for their assistance, they are required to have a self-help website. In my current state of practice, we have a lawyer referral service that connects you with a local attorney. The initial consultation is $50. My local family courthouse provides a free ask a lawyer program once per week. If you are lucky enough to have a local law school, they also provide free services.

While journaling dates of care is a good idea, nothing replaces the legal advice of a local attorney who not only knows your state laws, but also the judges, their past ruling and prejudices. Lastly, please don't listen to advice of well meaning friends. You would not expect to obtain a medical diagnosis regarding a lump on your chest from your sister, this situation is the same. Good luck!

Katherine - posted on 07/11/2012

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2 things you want to find a way to prove:
1. You are the primary caretaker.
2. You will not inhibit a relationship between your son and his father.

Document EVERYTHING.

He will most likely not have any visitation granted for your daughter without your consent. Your son will very likely be 50/50 unless you have a judge who actually cares about the best interests of the kids and will limit his interaction.

Hopefully any attorney worth his/her salt will recommend that you come to a mutually beneficial resolution.

Also, I'd advise him in writing that all further interactions between the two of you will be recorded, and then do that. And then keep your mouth clean and your attitude in check.

And next time your dating a jerk, cut him off on the first offense. They don't get better.

Tabitha - posted on 12/30/2012

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I have a 3 year old little boy. His birthday is August 5 as well. I am 22 years old, and i love my son to death. my sons father is in his 50s. We have not been together sence i found i was pregnant, and untill july 25 of this year i have been with another man whom my son calls daddy, and i work full time, and my sons real father never made any attempt to see my son, and never helped, i never put him on child support because i just didnt want to dill with him. He has two grown sons, who are bothe in the system allready, there. they were raised around drugs and guns and taught how to be dope boys. he has a 4 year old little girl also who he has full time because the mother doesnt want to be apart of her life. but i got into trouble, my charges are being dismissed, i was arrested on july 25, and now i am beginning pti. i was arrested in Miami florida where i was residing at the time. And brought back to south carolina. Florida family court gave full custody to my sons father, so he says. i never sighned any papers, and wasnt able to be present during court, because i was on house arrest at the time. i have visitation rights, but not set time through any court, its said that it is between me and my sons father, and now because i dont want to try and rekindle any relationship that we had he is keeping my son from me. my son is what i live for i know deep down that his real father does not even want him, hes keeping him from me to hurt me. what i want to know with this being said as a mom can i do to get my son back. i am 22, and he is my only child, he 54 with three other children, he has had his chance to be a dad. i want my chance to be a mom. I am a great mother and always put my son first. i want to take him to court but i dont know what steps to take. can someone please help me ?

Dove - posted on 07/10/2012

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You need a lawyer. Check out Legal Aid in your area.

Typically speaking there is no way you would lose custody. The 'worst' that could happen is 50/50, but.... if you have no proof of your claims, he's got money for a good lawyer, and he's a good liar.... there's no telling what could happen. Without proof of anything it's his word against yours. You say he has a criminal history, but you don't have proof of anything.... the police station that has filed charges against him WOULD have the information though and your lawyer would be able to request it for you.

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Jennifer - posted on 08/31/2012

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nope ...dont worry about it. let him take you to court. but get a lawyer!!! you will not loose custody. IF anything you will get shared or he will get a visitation



about the threats .. he is abusive and that is a scare tactic. DO NOT give into it. read about abusive behavior please!!! this guy sounds like a classic case of emotional abuse.

Helena - posted on 08/29/2012

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Yes, but it depends on the situation of the breakup, and whether or not you can care for your child:mentally, physically, and financially. However, it takes a lot for a father to be granted full custody from a judge.

Wendy - posted on 08/29/2012

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Best thing that you can do right now is get a notebook and start to write down any and all occurrences, like date and times of "not so good" dad/partner behaviour. If he has previous charges you can go to the police station and get copies of those occurrences (freedom of information act). Most court systems still lean towards the mothers side for custody, especially if the child(ren) are under 7 years of age. See if you qualify for legal aid, if not you can also go to your local court house and talk to a duty counsel for free. Even if his family has $$ everything comes out in the wash. Judges are trained to spot the liars and the bad parents. This is coming from past experience (total nightmare). Try to get some legal advise as fast as you can. Good luck and God Bless you and your family.

Brandy - posted on 08/28/2012

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Let him do it, it will back fire in his face and have to pay you child support. You have nothing to worry about he is just trying to use the kids because he thinks that will get you back because he knows what gets to you the most hang in there everything will be okay :D

Cnb423 - posted on 08/28/2012

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the courts look at what parent would be better for the child, my parents went through the worse custody battle ever, becaus eyour son is to little he cant choose the best thing for you to do is to patition the court for full custody fist it looks better on you, i would look into legal aid in your area as well, a good lawyer dosent usually matter to a judge its all about the parents, i would bring up his criminal record that way you have more on your hand, good luck

Kirsten - posted on 08/27/2012

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Get your kids to see a counselor. Since your son is so young, he won't be able to tell them anything, but if your daughter is old enough to talk to one, she can express what home life is like. Having a counselor as a witness in court was key to my husband gaining full custody of his stepson. (NOTE: I said stepson. When he married his ex he became step dad to him, bio dad was just a sperm donor and bio mom's behavior hurt her in court. Our son talked about it with the counselor and she was able to report the facts in court; she was our "star witness". It helps to have a credited third party witness that is unbiased to the situation.)

Shannon - posted on 08/27/2012

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My ex husband threatened all this with me too, it is their reaction to get you back for not giving them another chance. Get a lawyer but today most custody cases end in shared custody unless the other parent can be proved totally unfit.

Maria - posted on 08/27/2012

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yes i agree get legal help. my sons dad tried to do the same but as long as you are showing that you are a good mom theres no way he can get full custody, only visitation rights. just make sure you have someone capable enough to take care of your kids. it might come up at court that you are working and dont have time for them but your excuse will be that you need to work to give them to eat , to maintain them.

Stefany - posted on 08/24/2012

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From what i have seen most of the time and what you say about his criminal history he will not recieve full custody. He would have to prove you "in the wrong" somehow. Where i live they are starting to get more into the 50/50 custody. But if he has a criminal record you might not have to even worry about that. A lot of the time its about what you can prove in court and if hes been arrested that can be proven. I would definatly get a lawyer though.

Nicole - posted on 08/24/2012

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I am not sure what state you are in, but usually custody falls to the mother unless he can prove that the child would be better off with him (i.e. you are an "unfit" parent) and the burden to prove that resides with him. I would get a lawyer, like everyone has here. Although I myself did not use one for my particular situation I would recommend that you do. The court will ask you questions like who does the child live with? For how long? Does the father attempt to play an active role in the child's upbringing? These are a few examples. They (the court) may ask if you want to share custody (assuming it appears it would be in the best interest of the child), but most likely you may receive full custody with some sort of visitation arrangement. I'll be praying for you and best of luck.

Heather - posted on 08/23/2012

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if he has anything on his record and you have a clean one and you are the mother its very rare the judge would ever grant the father full custody he is just trying to puch your buttons.

Casey - posted on 08/22/2012

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It is possible for either parent to get full custody. It really depends on who has documented evidence of what. I would say although I am no legal expert that you would be able to share custody with him. This is if he actually takes you to court. I also would advise you to watch what you say and do. Start taking notes and recording conversations. printing out anything you get from him in email or off Facebook that can help you in your case. Save as many text messages as you can from him. All of these things can help you in any situation you my walk into in a court room. I wish you luck!

Yvonne - posted on 08/22/2012

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Also you can file for a court appointed lawyer if you ask the judge for one. Some agencies are funded for women in your situation.you have to do your home work or put yourself in some debt unfortunately. Its a bit less complicated if you weren't married.

Yvonne - posted on 08/22/2012

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First his criminal record and verbal abuse against the children won't help him out. There is no reason for a judge to take a child from its mother unless she has a history of being an unfit mother. If the child his a good home,school, support system then if yo are willing to compromise on custody sharing then, his threats are basically a way of controlling yo and the fact that you are done putting anymore effort into the relationship. Don't let him bully you with big words.In the end the end the judge an lawyers will decide where the children will go. If your as good a mom as you say you are then be strong and call his bluff and vet your own lawyer. Be warned its a long hard process and you may need support. Keep you self guarded and don't say anything unless its to your lawyer. People will try to control things with words and threats don't give them any info go work with.

Danielle - posted on 08/22/2012

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NO! If you are abusive, no stable home, neglectful, or a dead beat mom, then he has a fight. Get a lawyer and share custody. Just because you two didn't work out as a couple, doesn't mean y'all can't work out as parents. Right now things are tease. In due time, forget and forgive. Don't let that child see y'all acting like idiots, and then you will have worst problems to deal with. Also, report every threat to the police. Don't talk to him unless it's about that child!

Brandi - posted on 08/21/2012

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if there is any doubt of danger threats physically or mentally you have every right to watch out for your kids best interest, I'm going through the same , supervised visits is the way to go

Lauren - posted on 08/21/2012

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At least one person noted you have to show you will not inhibit a relationship between your son and his dad unless an issue arises where you are concerned for your son's safety. And for your son's sake, be open-minded with the time he sees his dad AS LONG AS HE IS SAFE!

On another note, get recommendations from co-workers, friends, family, etc. who will speak to your parenting skills and ability to provide for your children. When it's he said--she said, it's always good to have others who can speak for you (but not necessarily AGAINST your boyfriend).

Remember it's about your ability to care for and love your children, not his inability...again, unless it comes down to safety. Share the good things about their dads with your kids and continue to love them. And be excited when your son comes back from time with this dad happy--and try to make that special time with your daughter when your son is gone w/his dad. It's a confusing process, but remember the easier you make it on yourself and the more you keep your children's needs at the forefront, the happier everyone will be. Good luck!

Gina - posted on 08/21/2012

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I disagree with most of these posts. If you live in California and he is the only father your daughter knows he can get custody of her too. My husbands ex-wife had an many affairs and one resulted in my step daughter. Because he accepted her as his own we have custody of her and her sister and their mother has them 2 weekends a month for daytime only visits. She lost custody mainly because she wasn't taking them to school but she is a very good liar and had a lawyer when we started everything. We had 50/50 custody to start. You will most likely end up with 50/50 also as that's what most courts do but You may have to give visitation of your daughter also unless you can prove she is not a child of the marriage. Like his name is not on the birth certificate. I am a paralegal in Ca so I did most of our paperwork. It took 3 years to get everything settled.

Loma - posted on 08/21/2012

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First off, get legal advice. Cases concerning custody vary from state to state, so it is best you consult with an attorney or legal aid, most attorneys will give free advice. They only start charging is a case is actually filed. But to put your mind at ease, since you were not married to him and he has a record (and you don't), I wouldn't believe a judge in his right mind would give him custody. If you were married to him, I would say worry. Money or not, your a good mother, try your best not to worry, your kids will pick up on it and all you will be unhappy. Also, tell him you will counter sue for child support, that usually shuts jerks like him up in a heartbeat. I am by no means an attorney, just a single mom, who has been round for round in court with her son's father and I have maintained fully custody of my son for 21 yrs.

Susan - posted on 08/20/2012

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Get a restraining order right away, you don't need to prove the abuse. Here in my small town there is a Crisis Line for abused women, call the one in your area and they will help you. My sister got out of a very abusive relationship and they helped her with the court papers, restraining order, and went to court with her. I found this number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) they will help you so you don't have to be afraid any longer.

Susan - posted on 08/20/2012

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Get a restraining order right away, you don't need to prove the abuse. Here in my small town there is a Crisis Line for abused women, call the one in your area and they will help you. My sister got out of a very abusive relationship and they helped her with the court papers, restraining order, and went to court with her. I found this number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) they will help you so you don't have to be afraid any longer.

Christie - posted on 08/20/2012

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I don't know what state you live in, but it is very very hard to take custody of the children away from the mother. He would have to prove you unfit, and children services would most likely get involved and they would speak to you and the children one on one so they know they are not being coached. Your daughter is your evidence on his yelling and cursing at the children. Also you should be able to get a public defender and the court will appoint a guardian a litem to the kids for the best interest of the kids. Hope this helps ease your mind a little,

Sincerely,
A single mom that has been thru similar experiences.

Lucy - posted on 08/20/2012

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THE COURTS RARELY GIVE CUSTODY TO DADS. You did not say how old you are, not that it matters but I am guessing you are very young. File for child support, don't mess around doing that, just do it. Also apply for day care assistance. Alos, file for child support from the little girls father. You just have to turn in the paper work. The Attorney General's office does all the rest of the work. Keep you chin up and don't let this get to you.

Renee - posted on 08/19/2012

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Is he on the birth certificate as the father? If no, no way. If yes, get an attny. Get attny anyway but if he is not on the birth cert then slim to none are his odds. Be ware of trash mouthing him without proof bc his attny will have option of tossing it right back in your lap by 1 little statement, "you knew and still made a child w him." my x 's attny used that 1 on me... I was furious. Work more on your position of what a good mom you are, trust your new good attny. Dont date at all until its over. 1 more word of caution. If he is on the birth cert he has just as much right to the kids as you as far as law goes ( in marriage seperations...not sure about your arrangement) so...you should be dilligent on attny, removing his name from school pick up forms, daycare forms etc.

Kam - posted on 08/19/2012

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Most courts don't award full custody to any parent unless that parent is unstable, criminal history, ect....The courts look at whats in the best interest for the child and obviously most courts feel both parents should be in the child's life if they are both stable and good providers. Now he would probably be able to get joint custody as long as he is stable, but full custody is hardly ever rewarded (even to mothers)if the other parent is stable and wants to be in the life.

Staci - posted on 08/17/2012

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You can get a decent public defender. You don't need money. Let him threaten all he likes because the truth is unless he can prove you unfit he has a fat chance of taking that baby away from you. Be prepared though. Some courts want drug testing from both parties and alcohol testing too. It is no big deal. Also alot of courts don't care about alot of past issues. They are more interested in a child having both parents as they believe that is the child's rights. He will get visitation and it is important when you do go to court to say "Our" son instead of "my" son. The court frowns on little things like that. Good luck. I know how hard it is. Take him to court first. Don't let him take him until you have it in writing that you at least have temp custody until court proceedings are over with because usually the person who has custody at the time of the hearing, keeps that custody....even if there is nothing to say that. They usually don't change it.

Faith - posted on 08/17/2012

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Depends on what state you live in. I'm going through something similar. I'm representing myself and unless he has proof of you being neglectful or endangering your children he won't get very far even with a lawyer. Most courts favor the mother. You may be required to share custody if he pays child support. But he will not recieve full custody!

Erin - posted on 08/14/2012

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If he has not filed yet he may not! I have a similar situation, and he makes threats about court in heated e-mails then will call and leave a passive message that he is not going to waist his money in court. Then he'll do it again, over and over and over he threatens, it is very stressful and always in my mind that some time he may actually do it but as of yet he has not. So until you get notice I wouldn't go pay a lawyer.

Joanna - posted on 08/13/2012

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If u have a droid or iPhone download the app "record a call". Talk to him and get hum to day things about his past. He can't do anything to u. Don't let him scare u.

Heather - posted on 08/13/2012

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I have sole legal custody of my two children. My ex refused to get a divorce lawyer and the judge awarded me everything. Ex has visitation every other Saturday SUPERVISED. He has never exercised his rights.
My ex has no rights to the kids, I don't even have to legally tell him if we move.

Helen - posted on 08/13/2012

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Melissa, Pay for a background search. They arent that inexpensive on the internet. Tell the court you feared for your children and thats why you broke up with him. Tell them he has patterns of reckless, abusive and violent behavior and you do not want to expose your children to this. The other choice is to move to another State and start over. It would be hard for him to follow I believe.

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No. The only way he can get custody is if you are heroin addict that has been neglecting your children, or have been put in jail. I was married to a family practice attorney for several years, and have been divorced three times myself.

Claire - posted on 08/13/2012

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Get a lawyer, for one. Two I doubt he could get full custody unless he can prove you are an unfit/neglectful/abusing mother. Dont sweat it too much. If he does take you to court, def get a lawyer!!!

Stephanie Hanning - posted on 08/13/2012

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oh, been there! every county is different. my son's dad tried to get custody when he was an infant. he didn't get it. he has no criminal background either. i didn't have much to use against him either. the court had no reason to take my son away from me so I got him. i think your ex's history will hurt him. i find they typically give custody to the mother unless she is addicted to drugs, or found to be an unfit mother, which it doesn't sound like you are. i know it's hard not to get upset about it and worry, but i believe you have nothing to worry about. get a lawyer and tell him about your ex's history. he can look up all the proof there he needs to get you your kids. i don't even think he will get much visitation.

good luck!!!

Kirstie - posted on 08/13/2012

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I am going through the exact same thing n I wish I knew how to help or even had advice but I thought I'd just let u know u are not alone n u actually helped me by knowing I'm not alone thank u :) n I hope everything goes well for u

Kendra - posted on 08/12/2012

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Depends on the judge! But I wouldn't think so with his passed. Good luck and ill be praying for you

Kendra

Allison - posted on 08/11/2012

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Aww….I’m divorced, but had to take my ex back to court for custody changes…due to his 4th OWI and more. I go to school, work a couple jobs, and take care of my boys. I cannot afford an attorney and have been fighting this for two years now, cause his daddy pays for all of his attorneys. It’s frustrating. Now there’s a child abuse and Neglect order against him, and he only has supervised visits. He used to tell me the same thing. Have NO worries, judges aren’t blind. My ex lies ALL the time too. Karma has it’s ways.

Just keep everything documented and get copies from physicians….anything, his court records (public records), everything!

Good Luck!

Tabitha - posted on 08/10/2012

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Been there done that. The court will always hear the moms defense first and it sounds like ur a great mom and will have no problem having custody. I have full custody of my children and i still worry about when the dad does actually see them. But everyone tells me theres no way id ever lose them until they get old enough to make their own choice of who to live with and by then they will have learned what kind of person their daddy is My ex has just as many problems as urs plus more kids by 2 other women. So tho its confusing for my kids all I can do is make sure i do the best job as a mom and be there for them. If anything ever went wrong with my kids that i had evidence about i could do so much more harm to my ex by having the law after him. so just be sure u get a real good lawyer and get full custody bc that will be ur best advantage over him. Just keep in mind that ull have to make the best decisions possible when/if your child goes to see her dad bc u will be responsible for it. But sounds to me she is better off with you just as mine are with me. :) good luck

Belinda - posted on 08/10/2012

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i can't tell you a whole, but 1 thing I know for sure, is that they will look at who takes care of the kids while your working. Make sure they are good, and a relative (if possible).

Kathia - posted on 08/10/2012

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NOOOOO!!! i just finished going through a custody battle the court is looking in the best interest of the child and that means that both parents have the right to share time with that child your not on crack and dont worry trust me i know from experience!!

Lessie - posted on 08/04/2012

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Contact your local Department of Human Resources or Legal services. They may be able to help.

Dawn - posted on 08/03/2012

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i have been going through this as well just make sure you do your reserch on a good attorney and file FIRST!! 9 times out of 10 the person who files first wins.. let your attorney work for you the courts will do what is in the best intrest of your child.

Milisa - posted on 08/03/2012

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Legal aid, at least in my state, only helps people who are trying to get a child away from an abusive parent. Screaming at a new born is abusive in my book, you might ask legal aid but I am not confident this will work. DHS often sees this as bad parenting, not abuse.
Having no legal custody agreement, I have found, is not much different than having one. The laws need to be changed but even if you have one and one party is not obeying it you cannot do anything about it except go to court. He will not get custody of your son unless he has proof that you are abusing your children. He will have visitation rights with a custody order but you don't have to give the child to him. He would have to take you back to court to have them enforced. That works both ways, he doesn't have to give the child back either, you would have to take him to court as well. The person who does the initial filing of the paperwork has the most expense.

Sounds a bit like he is using the children as pawns to show power over you. If you ask me he doesn't respect them as human beings and he doesn't want them anyway. Sounds like he is a head case. I will give you a recommendation, having been through the same thing, but it is not a moral one, it is just one way to work the system when the system is not working for you. Keep your kids away from him until he does file the paperwork, then at least the cost will be minimal to you. If you really don't have the money at all then show up to the court dates without your kids inform yourself on custody and represent yourself.

Even though it is not right for a courts to discriminate against fathers, almost always awarding custody to the mother, it will work in your favor. there is a strong belife in our society that children belong with their mother and no court is going to give them to a father unless the mother is proven to be abusive.

Chaya - posted on 07/30/2012

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I'd suggest you don't even email him, but if you have an iphone or a microcassete recorder, you can record his messages.

Chaya - posted on 07/30/2012

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My first question is this: How does one commit aggrevated DUI, did someone hold a gun to his head and force him to drink/drive?
I doubt he could get custody, but if his family has more monies than you, it's possible. No matter what, with custody battles, immediate or potential, hire a lawyer. It may not be cheap, but how much are your children worth? If you have a 211 system in your community, perhaps they have access to cheap or free lawyers,if not, call the bar association.

Michelynne - posted on 07/30/2012

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I do know a little abt law. You definitely need a lawyer. Document everything he does, no matter how trivial. If possible, record one of his little tangets. I have sole, physical, legal custody of my son, who is now 10. His father and I divorced when he was 4. Tell your lawyer everything. And I mean everything.

Kate - posted on 07/24/2012

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I am happy to say that the law is firmly balanced in the favour of Mum's. If you are looking after the children well and that is they are well and clean and happy. You would have to be very bad to loose the children. If he tells lots of lies about you to the lawers and they involve social services. Be calm and reasonable take their advice and you will get a good report. The only thing he will win is contact and weekend/holiday times with them. However you can and you should make sure that he is impatient with the children especially at night and that you don't think it would be a good idea until the children are five that they stay overnight with their Dad. Do go and get yourself a lawyer if he does, you should get legal aid. They usually do a first appointment for a fixed fee and is not charged to you anyway until you are refused legal aid.

Hope this helps, hang in there it does get easier. I brought up three on my own and lived to tell the tale. be Kind to yourself.

Katherine - posted on 07/24/2012

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Your child's last name has nothing to do with custody.

Do not take his calls anymore. If he calls, email him back.

Don't say anything negative to the kids about him. Don't try to coach them at all.

Do your parents live nearby? Could you stay with them?

Holly is right, keep all other men out of the picture for now, document like crazy and keep your nose clean.

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