Can my son's dad get custody if I already have sole custody and he hasn't been in my son's life? 9 Answers as of November 01, 2013

I have full sole custody of my son. I got custody not long after his father and I separated. His dad moved away to Florida. He has only seen my son a handful of times. My son knows who he is but doesn't connect with him. He doesn't know anything about my son. My son has medical conditions which needs to be attended daily. I own my own home and I have a full time job. I take my son to every doctor's appointment. His dad doesn't have his own home. He lives with his family and he works from 7 pm to 7 am. He has told me before that he doesn't think my son needs to be on his medications. My son is 6 years old and doesn't want to talk to his dad. On the rare occasions that his dad has called to talk to him, my son would lay the phone down and continue with what he is doing or he would hang up on his dad. He doesn't know what to talk to him about. My son acts like he's bored with the same questions that his dad always asks and when my son answers him, it's like an automatic response. When my ex filed for custody recently, he didn't even have all the correct information. He put a phone number on the paperwork that I haven't had in 4 1/2 years. The sad part is that he has my correct phone number. He didn't even file in the correct district. He filed in a district that I haven't lived in for over a year now.

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Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
You have an advantage since he has not been involved in the child's life so I think if you have been a reasonably good parent and are not addicted to illegal substances you should retain custody but you need to hire a Lawyer to have the best shot.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 10/31/2013
Law Office of Joan M. Canavan | Joan Canavan
Your son's father will have to file a Complaint for Modification in the county in which you presently live. The Complaint for Modification needs to be filed on the grounds that there is a material change in circumstances, i.e. that your son's father has moved back in this area and wants to see his son. He has an uphill battle to prove to the Court why he should see him now after not seeing him since he moved to Florida and not having any communication either since that time. If your son's father and you were never married, he will have a more challenging time to get visitation. I would also suggest that you seek child support from your son's father in the event that he has not been court ordered to pay you.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 10/31/2013
Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
It sounds like it is likely that a judge wouldn't not grant full custody but may do something slowly with short supervised visits at first leading up to possibly some time together. I would make sure to tell the judge all of what you said and bring documentation as to your son issues etc.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 10/31/2013
Provda Law Firm
Provda Law Firm | Bruce Provda
Well if his filing was so incorrect I'm not sure what your concern is. If he gets a hearing then you need to get an attorney and oppose him.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/1/2013
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Don't try to outsmart the dad regarding technicalities - you are not a lawyer and you don't know the law.? You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to advise and represent you, without delay.? Your case doesn't move to accommodate your moves.? It stays in the same Court in which it originated until and/unless a party files a request to change venue and the Court grants that request.? The dad likely filed in the proper Court. When you (or preferably, your attorney) file the response to the dad's custody papers, you can set forth your correct phone number (if in Pro Per), or your attorney will set forth his/her correct phone number in your responsive papers.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/1/2013
    Padove Law | Burton A. Padove
    Yes, your ex could get sole custody. Whether a judge would grant the order is a different question. The court makes a decision on what is in the best interest of the child based on the evidence admitted into evidence. You should contact a local family law attorney who will know how to present the evidence in the correct way.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 10/31/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Get an attorney, it would appear that his actions give you the possibility of terminating his parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/31/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Your ex won't get custody, but he will get visitation because the court's have an obligation to maintain the parental relationship with both parents. Also, if your ex filed where the original case was heard, that is proper. It may be appropriate to ask for a change in venue, but because custody is a continuing issue, the original court has jurisdiction unless it waives it. Finally, you should be aware that your ex can make a big deal about you not encouraging your son to maintain the relationship. You should not allow your son to put the phone down, etc. You may not like your ex anymore, but it is your obligation to help in maintaining the parental relationship also.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 10/31/2013
    Kevin H Pate
    Kevin H Pate | Kevin H Pate
    If he filed where the case originated, he filed correctly until the case is transferred. A decision to change custody rests with the court, using the standard of best interests of the child. Absent something missing from this story, there does not seem to be any material change in circumstances that would warrant a change in custody. All the same, it is your child, and your happiness, and you should engage counsel to represent your interests, and request that separate counsel, to be paid jointly by you and your ex, be provided for the child.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 10/31/2013
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