Do I have a chance at sole child custody as a father? 31 Answers as of September 01, 2011

Mom does very minimal w/8 yr old daughter. Mom has 2 older kids who have had numerous problems in school (detention, is school suspension, tardies, att. prob.) Mom goes out w/friends 5-6 nights per week until at least midnight. I (dad) am primary care provider. I do most chores around house.

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Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
Whether you can get sole custody or not will depend on whether you can convince a court that the statutory presumption in favor of joint custody can be rebutted and is rebutted, That is a very high standard to meet. You sound like someone who could get primary residence and perhaps final decision making on major issues (this is the functional equivalent of sole custody, just without the label).
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/11/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
In Texas both parents are equal in all respects until a court say otherwise, so without knowing much about the facts or case, I have to say yes. By way of explanation, it is a myth that Mom gets custody automatically in Texas or that Mom has some advantage in Texas because she is Mom. That is a very widespread myth that just won't die. Now, let's add your facts, that you are the primary care giver, that is a point in your favor. Mom's other children are Children in Need of Supervision as you describe them, play to that, it is a point in your favor. However, if you and Mom live together, that fact can bite you too. You have to distance yourself from the problem - ie: they are mom's kids, your step-children and mom has made it clear you are not to discipline, that is her choice and decision so although they are your step-children, you are not a "parental figure" in the traditional sense. I do not know if that is a true fact, but it does make my point.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/11/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
It looks like you have a good case. The court will adopt a parenting plan in your child's bests interests.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
Unless one of the parents is UNFIT as a parent, the court will likely award joint custody. Occasionally, sole custody will be awarded when the court finds the parties are completely unable to co-parent. This is an unfortunate outcome for the children whom generally benefit from having 2 parents in their lives.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/8/2011
Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
Best interest of the children determines that. Sounds like you are keeping their best interests first and foremost.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 8/3/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    Sole custody is a very difficult proposition in Louisiana, and is usually reserved for the worst parents; drug addicts, abusers, etc. You do however stand a good chance of becoming the primary domiciliary parent-the parent with whom the child resides most of the time. The mother's habits would be a legitimate issue in that determination. If you were the primary domiciliary parent, you would have certain rights regarding the upbringing of the child, and be entitled to child support.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/3/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Yes
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/3/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    While I am not sure what you mean by sole custody, if you are currently the primary care provider, then there is a good chance a Washington court would have you remain the primary care provider for the child by having the child reside with you a majority of the time.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/3/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    Yes. You may have a chance. However, how good a chance you have will depend on a number of statutory factors. It is pretty much impossible to tell which ones apply to your situation without significantly more information. My suggestion would be to meet with an attorney to go over your situation in detail.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/3/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    In Illinois, the law states that neither parent are given preference based on if they are mother or father. In practice, it is unusual for a father to be given sole custody, but it is not unheard of and certainly not impossible. It is very important that any filings made clearly lay out your basis for being awarded sole custody and that those reasons follow the statutory guidelines of how custody is to be determined.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/3/2011
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
    In the past, there was a rebutable presumption that the mother would get custody of the children in the divorce. However, the parent's gender is no longer a consideration in determining custody of minor children. If you are able to show that you are the more fit parent, you should be able to get primary custody of your daughter.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Dad always has a chance at being the sole custodian, just as mom does. But it is far more likely in Ohio that the court will insist on a shared parenting plan with one parent assigned as the residential parent. Please discuss your concerns with a local domestic relations attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Any parent may obtain custody. Ultimately, initial determinations of child custody are made based on what a court believes is in the child's best interests. How you present the facts of your case can be critical to the result. As a result, it is always advisable to hire experienced legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Sole custody is very rare and typically seen in cases that involve abuse, neglect or total abandonment. While under these circumstances you may be entitled to the great majority of the parenting time, sole custody is not very likely. I suggest you consult a local Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    In California, there is no preference as to the sex of a parent in awarding custody. It is unlikely that either parent will get sole custody, but you could end up with primary custody based on the fact that you are the primary caregiver. A court looks at many factors to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Some factors which will be the time that each parent has for the children, drinking issues, etc. Courts also look at which parent will make the child more available to the non-custodial parent. Since the mom has two other children, the court will also look at the bond between the children in making orders. You will likely want to hire a family law attorney so that you can present your case in a way which will provide you with the best outcome.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In Georgia, rarely does a Court award anyone "sole custody." You have, however, presented a good argument for why you should be the primary physical custodian.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    The circumstances you set forth would justify a request for sole legal custody and actual physical custody to be allocated based on the limited time share the mother is exercising.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    There is no gender preference in Nevada law. S
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    You haven't given us any information about existing custody orders to begin to analyze your situation. If you are seeking a change of custody, it is imperative that you see a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    It is certainly possible to get custody. You will need an experienced divorce attorney to present your case to the judge. Custody battles take time, money and emotional strength. If you are prepared to see it through to conclusion you may end up with sole custody, residential custody or in the worst case as the non-custodial parent.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that you retain a divorce attorney concerning your rights and options. While no one can predict how a court will rule concerning child custody, we have been successful before in representing fathers in custody cases. So, it is possible. Good luck! >
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    Florida doesn't have "custody" anymore. Rather it is a shared parenting State, which means that both parents share parental responsibility and time and the financial responsibility for the children. The facts you have stated would not rise to the level of you being entitled to sole parental responsibility; however, it is possible that you could obtain 50/50 times haring or perhaps even greater than 50/50. You should immediately consult with an experienced family law attorney who practices in the county where you reside, as much more information would need to be learned in order to more fully ascertain your unique circumstances. If your existing or potential case is in or near the Central Florida area (Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, Marion, and nearby counties),
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    You certainly have more than just a "chance" to be actively involved in raising your daughter. Colorado no longer uses the term "custody" to describe what is how called the "allocation of parental responsibilities". If you and the mother cannot agree on a suitable parenting plan to share responsibilities, decision-making authority, and parenting time (primary residence and what used to be considered visitation), then a judge will make the decision and adopt a Parenting Plan considered in the best interests of the child. The law does not create any presumptions in favor of mothers or fathers and must consider all the relevant facts and circumstances, which includes the past pattern of conduct by each parent in raising the child.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Yes. ORS 107.137 governs child custody determinations, and provides, in part: (1) In determining custody of a minor child, the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests and welfare of the child. In determining the best interests and welfare of the child, the court shall consider the following relevant factors: (a) The emotional ties between the child and other family members; (b) The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child; ( c) The desirability of continuing an existing relationship; (d) The abuse of one parent by the other; (e) The preference for the primary caregiver of the child, if the caregiver is deemed fit by the court; and (f) The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    Many factors going into the courts decision to decide who shall have primary physical custody of the children. Of course some of the things you mention are very important but they are only a few on a very long list the court considers. This is far too important to make any decision by email. You should contact us at 877-466-5245 for a free phone consultation where we can discuss many of the issues.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    As the primary care giver you will be viewed favorably for continuing that relationship with your child.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    One of the main factors a judge will consider in making a custody decision of a young child is who has been the primary caretaker. The problems with the older children might also be relevant. You need to see an experienced family law attorney in order to discuss the details of your situation and the viability of your custody case; while it sounds like you have a good start, this question cannot be answered via email except that you do have some positive facts in your favor and you need to discuss the details with an attorney in person.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    I do not see why you should not have a good chance at sole custody, if you are in fact the primary person taking care of your child. The Judge will take a lot of things into account when deciding on custody. I can go over this with you, and give you a clearer idea of what you are looking at.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A.
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A. | John G. Miskey IV
    In a best interest analysis, I believe that a Judge will give the minor children's mother at least one opportunity to be a safe and responsible parent and unless there are serious allegations against her, she is likely to enjoy some conventional, unsupervised visitation. Please speak with an attorney to work out a plan to accomplish your goals.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Yes, if what you say is true, and there are not major problems with your parenting, you should probably be named the primary caretaker of the child. See my website for more information about how custody is determined:
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/2/2011
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