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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136 Comments

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Jayde - posted on 07/13/2012

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Hiya, I'm not certain but I think as a single munn you can get help with lawyer costs not sure how it works but worth looking into. But with his criminal convictions I would say 99% sure he wouldn't get full custody its very rare for dads without convictions to get custody, he's probably just trying to hurt you and whind you up, just say ok see you in court :-) x

Nicole - posted on 07/12/2012

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Hi, I am also going through an extremely difficult split. My husband and I have three kids and I am doing whatever it takes to protect them for him... while my husband has notified the police, my doctors, my friends, the whole Facebook world of his lies about me. I found an amazing book that I want to recommend to ANYONE facing a divorce/break up from someone who is blaming them. It's called "Splitting", they have it on Amazon. Read it. Have your support group, your therapist, your lawyer READ IT to help protect you and learn what to do. Document anything and everything, you will find ways to prove his lies untrue. Here in California, it is extremely difficult to get anything but joint custody, so I'm fighting an uphill battle myself! Best of luck, form a good support team.

Also, when you are ready to face what's happened and try to learn from it, there's an amazing book called The Betryal Bond by Patrick Carnes, also found on Amazon.

Loren - posted on 07/12/2012

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Well I would start by taping every conversation u have with him. And since u both have custody I would give him supervised visits but wouldn't let him take yr son get support from yr family get the best lawyer u can good luck wish u and yr son welll

Davia - posted on 07/12/2012

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trust me you have enough on him to continue to have full custody of your child. he should not threaten you because you want nothing to do with him.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/12/2012

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I know for the most part it depends on your state or province. I'm from NY and I was granted full custody- I believe it was partially because my ex is career military. Joint doesn't work for everyone- before you agree to doing joint custody do your research because joint (at least back in NY) requires both parents to be willing to communicate on everything and come to a joint decision. It doesn't necessarily mean that the child lives with both parents equally and it also doesn't mean that one parent won't have to pay child support.

One of my friends lives in AB (I live in BC now) and her brother is fighting for full custody of his son becuase the mother doesn't take care of the child and took her across provincial lines.

Everyone who has been posting about getting legal advice is right. Contact legal aide and get a lawyer.

Alexandra - posted on 07/12/2012

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You need to get a laywer, if you dont have money go to Dave Ramsey's website and find an ELP that would take your case.
If your boyfriend has that history, I doubt he could get custody, but it is always possible.
Do not allow him to yell at your children. If this happens, then get out of the house and comeback later or something. I do believe that's very damaging.

Angee - posted on 07/12/2012

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I don't know the law either but if a boyfriend, husband, or whoever EVER spoke to my child like that he'd be out the door. Definitely see a lawyer and start making better decisions. Sounds like you have been making some "not so good" choices in men. You say how much you love those children so start making choices based on their well being and not what you feel at the time. They have no say in it and it's a shame to bring them into a world of anger and abuse. God Bless you and your children. Don't ever let someone treat you or your children like you don't matter. Be a strong, independent woman who can stand up for herself and her children. This makes me so sad!
BTW, do you know that statistics show that those who abuse animals usually will abuse children and other humans? Please be careful!

Arielle - posted on 07/12/2012

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Definately go talk to a family lawyer. They usually do free consultations. Talk to a few different ones. And if you talk to all the best ones in town, your ex won't be able to hire them. Unfortunately, yes, if your ex has a good lawyer and you don't, there is a real chance he could get custody. That's what my ex husband did to me. All I can tell you is make sure you keep your son with you. Notify his child care provider that under NO circumstance is his father to pick him up, because without a custody agreement, his father could take him and then accuse you of abandonment. You've heard "possession is 9/10ths of the law"? Well, it's very true in this situation. And above all else, don't let him intimidate you. It sounds like you are the more stable parent. Even if you can't get a lawyer, if you go before the judge and respectfully stand your ground, hopefully the judge will rule in your favor. Good luck.

Tinika - posted on 07/12/2012

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Melissa I know everyone on here means well but the only advice you need to take is from a family law lawyer. They are giving you advice from personal exiperence and old school myths and the law is not that black and white it is grey. The law is applied differently from state to state, city to city, county to county, and judge to judge. So the best advice you can take from this board is to seek a lawyer and if you cannot afford a lawyer talk to legal aide or visit your State board website it may have a Q&A for family law.

Barbara - posted on 07/12/2012

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I would get a lawyer but it's extrememly doubtful and rare that they give full custody to the father. I wouldn't worry too much about that. Call legal aid in your state and ask them how to proceed. Good Luck!

Crystal - posted on 07/12/2012

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Melissa, we have confidence, and you must have confidence as well. It is interesting sometimes when you go and talk to an attorney they sometimes cut you a deal on the price after they have heard your story; not just in custody issues. Spend the initial consultation fee, it is normally only $200.00 and find out where you stand.

Heather - posted on 07/12/2012

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I have seen where more & more fathers are getting joint custody and even full custody with Mom only having visitation! But that all depends on how you have handled the situation, if you have let him see the kids, and if you go to court Wanting him to keep having visitation you should be ok! Legal help should be in every state! I hope you have already checked into this by now! I don't know why some people keep saying no one can have full custody, that would only be true if you were not married & he left leaving the kids with you, you then went & filed for support, the kids are in your care but their is nothing worked out for custody or visits. Good luck.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/12/2012

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I thought ads on here were against COM rules. Guess the trolls come out when the site's down.

Anyway from personal experiance it is highly unlikely for a father to be granted full custody even without the list of offenses your ex has. But you need to get a lawyer who knows family law and good one at that because if not you'll be talking to a wall. And you need to keep everything written down.

I've been divorced from my older daughter's father for 7 years- he's military, but I have full custody and primary custodial guardianship so Tina and Natasha are wrong. I was even able to move from NY to BC because my ex showed himself to be selfish and only interested in his own needs. My ex BTW lives in GA now with his new wife and their kids. He doesn't even talk with our daughter.

I wish you luck and highly advocate getting a good lawyer and keeping records. I believe part of what helped me win (besides my ex's arroagance and superiority complex) was the fact that in February of 2007 he came to my house demanding our daughter for an unannounced visit because TX approved it not NY- the state my daughter was born in and I lived in at the time. He had to be forced away by my town police and was nearly arrested. The same guy who accused me of being unsetteled because I have ADD and bi-polar threw a hissy fit infront of the cops because they wouldn't give him his own way!

Shatara - posted on 07/12/2012

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First, take a deep breath! Now, if what you just described is true then you have nothing to worry about. The court will only take the child away from the mother if there is some sort of abuse of the children or drugs or if there is neglect. Do yourself a favor, begin to keep a journal of all you do for and with the children on a daily bases. It'll show the court who's doing the day to day caregiving for the child. From now on out do not verbally correspond with the ex via telephone, keep it strickly email and text message.by keeping everything via email or text you'll have a paper trail, something to refer back to.if you live in the same state, contact him via email and offer some sort of visitation schedule, that'll show you have made an effort to openly allow contact with the child. Did the two of you live together? Whose apartment/house did you two live in?

Jessica - posted on 07/12/2012

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Not likely hunny! Moms normally recieve sole custody of children unless they are proven to be unfit.. Which from what I read your doing good:) I don't ever believe that money has anything to do with it. My ex had a laywer and I didn't. The funny thing to me though was that I felt really good about myself because he never said a damn word his lawyer said everything, so I felt good knowing that I was speaking for myself and standing up for myself! No just because he has a laywer and a good one means nothing. As I mentioned I didn't have a laywer, and I recieved sole custody of my daughter. Do you mind if I ask what the website is? I'm not laywer or anything but maybe I can help. Just shoot me pm if you want to talk.. Try not to worry about it to much, it's not even a 1% chance in my book that he will recieve custody.

Sally - posted on 07/12/2012

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I doubt if he can get full custody of your children. You would have to be a drug attic or harmful to your kids and your not so I don't think any judge will take a child away from his or her mother.
Don't listen to the ex bo. I am divorced but, I had a dad who wanted no part of seeing the kids but 2 hours a week on a Wed. no nights or weekends ever. That was hard with no sitters or any free time to catch my breath. The kids do have emotional damage from his lack of love. Don't worry ok. Hope you have family to talk with to make you feel better. stay strong Melissa

ok

Dorothy - posted on 07/12/2012

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you need to be prepared. seek legal counsel ASAP. judges are unpredictable i have
seen strange decisions made. get to church. find spiritual support. keep your act
together and do what is right , so nothing can be used against you. most of all, pray.
for God to keep you strong,comforted and steadfast.

[deleted account]

Hi, Melissa.
I've been there. His parents paid for his lawyer. I represented myself. There are websites in your area regarding "public access to court information." Find what you can on his arrest record, and print copies of what you find. Spend time in your local library looking up the codes his lawyer cites in all documents filed in the court (which you will be sent copies of), so that you know what they're talking about. My ex's lawyer filed a paper that had old, repealed statutes in it, and since I looked them up in the public library's "Arizona Revised Statutes" I was able to go into court and request the document be rejected by the court as the statutes were erroneous. I then asked the court to require that Councel only use current codes as that was all I had to work with. I'm sure I humiliated her. The fact that I held my own in court, combined with his inability to stay clean, his statement that he'd never been arrested (when he had, and I produced the documents to prove it), and his utter failure to follow his attorney's advice, she eventually asked the judge if she could be removed from the case. I won full custody of our daughter and he has supervised visitation (not through the courts, but through me or my representative - it's cheaper that way). I refused to allow child support to be set, as he was looking at jail time for one of the stupid things he did after we split up. I saw no reason to put him immediately into arrears. He was going to have a hard enough time getting re-established when he got out. Between the $7,000.00 he owed the other ex in back child support and medical, and his own past due medical bills (over $10,000.00), I figured it was for the best. It's been 9 years since all this happened, and it made me a stronger person - I know I can handle whatever comes my way - and so can you. Best of luck!

Tia - posted on 07/11/2012

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Tina, you mention no parent gets full custody of the kids, well I hate to say this, I got full custody of both my kids. I was able to prove that my ex was lying in court. I had the check that he gave me for pictures and I didn't cash it. I will say this, a judge can tell who is lying and who is not.
I wish her the best in keeping her kids.

Vy - posted on 07/11/2012

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Don't let him phyc you out as he has no real chance of gaining full custody unless you have been proven to be an unfit parent... Secondly, he is more than likely simply bluffing and has no intentions on pursuing the matter.. Most court houses have free law centers and if he does file, you can get free assistance with the paperwork from them.. bottom line, don't sweat the threat as that is probably the extent of it..

Vy

Angelica - posted on 07/11/2012

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I do not know why anyone here is saying no parent has full legal custody becuase that is not true. I took a day off from work and spent a day at the family court house (Manhattan, New York). Custody, visitation, and child support are three separate issues. I won full legal custody and child support without a lawyer. Our visitation agreement was handled amongst ourselves. Which is he doesnt call me on nonsence any more. If you lived with your boyfriend then he is more likely to get joint custody. If you always had physical custody, never lived with him and support your child then you get full custody. You two could just work out a visitation agreement through the court. Best of luck.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/11/2012

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There is people at the court house that will help you.Maybe you can try the Ann Davis Society,they are usually helpful.

Katherine - posted on 07/11/2012

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I agree that a good lawyer is worth his weight in gold, but if you can't afford one, and many locales don't have legal aid for family law, there's much advice available from those who've been thru the system in your area, I don't know where you are, so I don't know where to refer you. You could contact a battered women's shelter, this prick is abusive, and if they can't help you directly, they should be able to give you advice on where to go. Also, nearly every lawyer will give you a free consultation. Take advantage of that.

Crystal - posted on 07/11/2012

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Go get a lawyer and in the filing, request that he pays for your attorney fees. That is what my daughter is doing right now. I don't know if the judge will rule in her favor but it is worth a try.

Nicole - posted on 07/11/2012

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I got one thing that would help and that is if hes barely one and IF YOUR STILL BREAST FEEDING I DOUBT IT that they will take him from you(*although that depends you will see as i state below)!!!! either way play nice remember that little baby you love is half him so if you hate daddy or daddy baby hates you that's like hating half your baby and kids specially baby's REALLY pick up on behavior and actions(TELL YOUR EX THIS TOO!)!!!! I know you don't wanna get with him but you both should work it out because ITS NOT ABOUT YOU ITS NOT ABOUT DADDY ITS ABOUT BABY!!!!! and tell your ex the same ITS ABOUT WHATS BEST FOR THE KID ANY JUDGE WILL TELL YOU THAT!!!! OH AND I DON'T WANT TO FORGET IF BOTH YOU THINK EACH OTHER IS A "BAD PARENT" (*which in that case breast feed or not)THEN THE STATE CAN TAKE THE KID(LOOK IT UP!)! just something to throw at both of you to help add the fear of work it out like the "GROWN UPS" you both think you are!!!!!!! because if you "BOTH" think your an adult ACT LIKE IT!!! {digging up crap on each other only tells the state neither of you deserve custody go dig up all the good things you do as a mommy say nothing bad about him let him do that himself (smile wink!)}.. tell him this and then see if the ass wants to take you to court!!!! good luck mommas be strong don't lower your self and do what you need to for you and your baby's!!!

Andrea - posted on 07/11/2012

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Most judges wont take a child away from 1 parent or the other without proof. So I think that you are looking at a 50/50 custody. My ex-husband was the same way and sadly I didn't have much proof and we got 50/50. But it also depends on your state. I live in KS and its a "mother" state so they almost never take kids from their mom. It can be really hard on your kids to not be with mommy.

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!

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.

Natasha - posted on 07/11/2012

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Hello he can't get full custody no parent has custody even though we as women have the child. If the child live with you he will have to go for visitation rights, by law if he takes him you will have to fight In court for the same thing. A judge or child protective service only takes a child for abuse or proof of child neglect. It's not a simple as he thinks.

Jessica - posted on 07/11/2012

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If you have a journal and have written any of the things in it that have happened this can be used as legal evidence. 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.

Bethany - posted on 07/11/2012

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Let him waste his money – even if he had the Johnny Cochran of attorneys he has the two biggest things against him in getting custody – 1) lack of ability to support himself and any child. The court requires proof of income – not just that you’re able to mooch off a family member; and 2) a criminal record that includes instances of cruelty, abuse & neglect. He’ll be lucky to get visitation. You, however, should seek out an attorney to make sure your case is solidified against him and possibly prevent him from having any sort of custody/visitation. Almost every city or county has a Bar Association chapter that you can call and they’ll help you locate an attorney you can either afford or one who takes on pro bono cases. If you live in a bigger city please also consider looking up your local Neighborhood Legal Services. They will help you for little to nothing. Make sure they know that he’s seeking custody solely for the fact that you wouldn’t go back to him. That speaks volumes of his character.

[deleted account]

Call the state bar in whatever state you live in. They usually have a referral service with no or low cost consults. You sound like a smart woman, you just need to be pointed in the right direction, you can do most of it yourself. Let him waste his money, with a criminal record like that, no lawyer is going to get him full custody, period.

Lesia - posted on 07/11/2012

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In most cases the children are put in the custody of the mother. He is not the biological father of your daughter so he will not have any rights to her at all. As far as your son the typical arrangement is he will get him every other weekend and holidays usually get divided up. It does not matter how much money he has as long as you have a clean record and are not found to be an unfit mother the courts always lean towards the mother. You can usually represent yourself in court you can actually in most states file for custody on your own, just fill out the paperwork that is required. If you feel you need an attorney ask for legal aid since all that you make goes to take care of the children. You should be awarded child support also for your son.

Louise - posted on 07/11/2012

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Any family lawyer will help you. If you have any abusive texts they can be used as evidence.

Melissa - posted on 07/11/2012

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He himself doesn't have any money, his grandma pays his way through life... He works maybe 2 days a week. His criminal history is public, I can get that from the county's website. But the abusive talk I have no proof of.. I'm praying to god I can find a lawyer that will help me!!

Louise - posted on 07/11/2012

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You do need legal representation and advice. Most courts would not award full custody to a father if there is no evidence of physical, verbal abuse or alcohol or drug abuse. He may get 50/50 but if you get legal help they may be able to advise what action to take. I know this is expensive but hopefully worth while. Don't roll over and give in because he has money, that counts for nothing in a family court. If he is going to play those games file for maintenance!

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