Can a father take custody of child from the mother? 20 Answers as of July 03, 2013

I am trying to obtain full custody of my son. His father is a convicted felon, and an alcoholic. We share custody as of now.

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
The Court will establish a parenting plan in the child's best interests.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/24/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
I cannot tell who is asking this question - the mother or the father. Regardless, the issue of custody is really an issue of what is best for the child. Sometimes, a felony conviction would hurt a person's chances of gaining custody and sometimes it won't. It depends on many factors. I have represented convicted felons and have succeeded in getting primary residence and I have also lost. Again, it is case specific and more details would be necessary.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/10/2011
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
There are myriad factors to be considered. This is one of those situations where "it depends" is the best answer you are likely to get given the limited facts given.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/9/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
Colorado has abandoned the use of the term "custody" to reflect that what is best for a child is to have two parents involved in parenting. If the parents cannot agree on a Parenting Plan that will serve the best interest of the child, a judge will have to establish the terms of a Parenting Plan. A parenting plan must allocate parental decision-making authority, time in the physical care of each parent, and financial obligations. Clearly, one parent may be better able to serve the best interest of a child than the other, but that doesn't mean that a parent will be denied access to the child (through scheduled Parenting Time) unless he/she represents a danger to the child.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/8/2011
Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
Custody is one thing (decision making) but placement is another. Sounds like your focus might be more on placement. It depends when the last order was entered. It involves a court process and guardian ad item - unless he will agree to your proposal, then just complete a document that you both fill out and sign.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    If the Court found that it was in the child's best interest to be with the father then the Court could award custody to the father.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend you retain a divorce attorney as soon as possible to discuss all the facts, along with your rights and options. The judge will ultimately decide, generally, what is in your child's best interests, but your lawyer can help you put forward your evidence. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/7/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    A father can take custody of a child, but shared parenting is more the norm in Ohio. Your circumstances may be the exception. Please consult with a domestic relations attorney about your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/7/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    Yes. California uses a "best interest" standard and when alcoholism interferes with custody then the other parent can obtain custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    I am confused by your question. Unless you were married or he legitimated the child, you already have sole custody.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    "Custody" is determined by the courts in accordance with what is in the best interest of the child.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    All things being equal, the law does not give a preference to mothers or fathers any more. The conviction of the felony may have an effect, depending on the recency of the conviction and the seriousness of the crime. If the father's alcoholism is uncontrolled and not being treated, it will also be a factor in any change of custody lawsuit. If, however, he is an admitted alcoholic but undergoing treatment or is in remission and going to AA, it may not be counted against him.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    I am not sure that I understand. Either parent may seek and be awarded custody if the court believes it is in the child's best interests. If custody has already been determined by a court, a party seeking to change custody must do so by showing that the child is endangered and that the benefit of the change outweighs any harm caused by the change. A felony conviction alone may not be enough to change custody unless it affects the welfare of the child.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Linda C. Garrett Law
    Linda C. Garrett Law | Linda Garrett
    A father can take custody from a mother IF the facts and evidence make clear that it is in the child's best interest to change custody from mother to father. Factors the courts look at include, but are not limited to, are health, education, living situation, basic needs are met, risk of danger to child, etc. Custody issues are heavily fact-driven, not rule driven. I suggest you speak to an attorney-as least for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    How the court is going to arrange the parenting plan and custody in your case will depend on a number of factors. There is a long list of factors that the court is supposed to consider in crafting a parenting plan in Washington. Some of those factors include: Has there been domestic violence. Has there been sex abuse. Has there been child abuse. Does either parent have a problem with alcohol. Is there drug abuse in the case. The relative strength, nature, and stability of the child's relationship with each parent. Whether a parent has taken a greater responsibility for performing the parenting functions relating to the daily needs of the child. Whether there are any agreements between the parties. Each parent's past and potential for future performance of parenting functions. The emotional needs and developmental level of the child. Each parent's employment schedule. Now, the fact that your spouse is a convicted felon and has an alcohol problem may make it difficult to get custody. However, it is not impossible.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    The concern you raise rests on what is in your son's best interest. If his father is a physical or psychological danger to your son, the father's parenting can be curtailed or even suspended. Each situation involving custody, visitation and the child's best interests must be examined carefully on a case by case basis. I urge you to meet with a skilled family law attorney to discuss the specifics of your case for determination of your legal options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    If no agreement can be reached with dad, then you need to file a custody modification motion with the court. I'd suggest contacting a local family law lawyer for assistance with such motion. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    A court will look at what is in the best interests of the child. There is a presumption in the family courts that in making a determination of the best interest of the child in, the court shall, among any other factors it finds relevant, consider the habitual or continual illegal use of controlled substances or habitual or continual abuse of alcohol by either parent. Where there is a parent who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the judge may order that the parent has monitored visitation until they are able to maintain a significant amount of time without drugs or alcohol. If you have a concern about the other parent, you may request that the court make orders for drug and alcohol testing prior to setting up unmonitored visitations. I have had several cases where a parent is unable to refrain from active drug and alcohol use or where the parent refuses to comply with orders for drug and alcohol testing. In those circumstances, the court may suspend visitations until the parent complies with drug and alcohol testing. You should immediately contact a family law attorney for assistance in this instance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
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