How can my brother retain custody while going through a domestic violence situation? 1 Answers as of March 28, 2011My brother lives in the same apartment with the child and mother (they are both on the lease). He would like to report her for battery/assault and get a restraining order, but fears that the courts will allow the mother to take the child, and the mother is neglectful (doesn't feed the baby in his absence, leaves a diaper on so long that urine runs out of it, etc), and screams at the child, even throwing the child on a sofa once. She hasn't as of yet done anything to cause injury to the child, but she appears to be bipolar, and her violence is escalating. He is afraid to leave the child alone w/her, and certainly doesn't want her to have custody, because the child is less than 2 years old and is unable to speak well enough to let anyone know how she is being treated. Would the court automatically allow her to take the child, since the physical abuse is toward my brother and not the child? The mother doesn't work and has no family here, so she would end up moving out of state to her home town, which he definitely doesn't want, and the child has established residency here.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Hire a lawyer now! There is a very wrong, yet persistent belief, that if the child is young, the Mom will get custody even if she is unfit. The "best interest of the child" is the rule. It is the only rule. The Court must do what is best for the child. The situation you describe is horrible, your brother needs to be told to protect that baby and do it now. Get help from the court, do not wait until Mom comes so unhinged that she does harm that cannot be fixed. Now, your brother needs to be careful: 1. Do not start a fight with her. 2. No matter how hard it may be, don not get physical with mom. 3. If mom starts a fight, swallow your pride and call the police - make a report. 4. If mom hits you, document (See number 3). 5. Document everything and get witnesses - start writing down incidents, including the names of witnesses who verify it happened. 6. Get witnesses for what happens, call someone and ask them to witness her iratic behavior 7. This one should be #1 on the list - protect the child first and lastly, protect the child above all else, even if that means putting your pride aside. Finally, document mom's assault on Dad. Are there witnesses, was a police report done, is there photographic evidence? Get evidence and get to Court ASAP. My firm handles cases like this one in Dallas and Collin Counties, if your brother lives here, call me immediately.
Answer Applies to: Texas