What is the likelihood of getting sole custody? 18 Answers as of August 24, 2011

I have an emotionally abusive ex-fiancee. We had a child together and I'm concerned that he is going to hurt the child do to his anger problems. He has a history bi-polar and anger management problems.

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
The Court will order a plan in the child's best interests.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/24/2011
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
In order to get sole custody you must provide that the other parent can cause substantial harm to the child.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/15/2011
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
If you have the money, get a lawyer, otherwise, try Legal Aid
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/13/2011
Meriwether & Tharp LLC
Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
This question requires a great deal more information before any recommendations can be made. You would be best served having a consultation with a child custody attorney in your area.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 8/12/2011
Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
Sole custody is very difficult to obtain. Courts tend to favor joint custody and unless there is documented abuse you may have a hard time making your case. You should contact an attorney to assist you in presenting a thorough case showing that it is not in the best interests of your child to be with your ex-fiance due to his anger problems.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/12/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Sole custody is very difficult. It will take expert testimony to convince a court to grant sole custody on the basis you have described. 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: 8/12/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    First, you refer to your child's father as your "ex-fiancee." Does that mean that the two of you were never married? If you were never married, what paternity ever established? If you were never married and if paternity was never established, then, at this moment, the child's father does not have much of any rights in the child. Of course, he also does not have an obligation, yet, to pay child support. Assuming that this is all true, your first step would be to establish paternity through the court system. Once paternity was established, you could ask the court for a parenting plan limiting the father's contact with the child because of his anger management problems. Now, as a practical matter, the court is likely to leave the door open somewhat for the father. The court is likely to enter an order that says something to the effect that the father can ask for visitation with the child once he has completed and anger management programs, and met whatever other conditions the court things is appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    If you can show danger to the child there may be a good possibility.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Obtaining sole custody depends on many factors from what is in the best interest of the child to what county you are in to what judge you draw. I think you have a viable argument. See a local domestic relations attorney to find out more.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    An award of sole custody is very difficult, and is reserved for those cases when one parent can prove by clear and convincing evidence that sole custody is in the best interest of the child. Normally this may be when one parent is physically abusive to either a party or the child or is a serious drug abuser or addict, or some other serious reason for sole custody to be awarded. You must be able to document and prove your "concerns" to the satisfaction of a skeptical court when it comes to sole custody.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    Depends on age of child and who would provide best for child. Courts favor the mother unless it is proven she is unfit. If there is a record of abuse as the fact pattern suggests, it would be doubtful he would get custody, and that would be assuming you were married and was getting a divorce. Since your fact pattern suggests a marriage never occurred, his battle to get custody is even tougher. You can upon proving paternity collect child support. If he refuses to take the test, you can get a court order.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Your question cannot be definitively answered for three reasons. First, Colo no longer uses the term "custody" so it isn't clear what you mean by "sole custody". Second, it isn't clear, but it appears you are not married and that there has never been any court order establishing parental responsibilities. In that case, you already have "sole custody" in the sense that you are the only "legal" parent because the father has no specific rights until a court says what those rights are, if he is, in fact, legally the father. Third, the legal system decides parenting disputes based on what is in the child's best interest and presumes that what is best for a child is to have two involved parents. Whether his anger and bi-polar issues represent a threat to the child is for the court and/or qualified professionals to decide. If the conclusion is that there is some risk, the court will have to decide how to maximize the father's involvement while minimizing the risk of harm. You need to consult an attorney to obtain specific advice and assessment of the actual circumstances. But, the best interests of your child require that you begin a judicial process to sort things out now rather than waiting until there is a genuine crisis.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend you retain a family law/custody lawyer ASAP concerning all your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    It sounds like you go to Court and have the Judge decide that you are the right parent to raise the child, and require him to pay child support now.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    In Washington, contact with the child is governed by a parenting plan. A parenting plan regulates how much contact each parent has, and under what conditions, with the child. The governing principal is what is best for the child. You can seek no contact, or appropriate conditionss, but it will be difficult and costly to prove that his mental health problems and very bad behavior means no contact is best for the child. What about supervised visitation? How will you prove your observations. Has he been diagnosed? Does he have convictions for assault? While what you seek is possible, you need to discuss your facts with an experienced family law attorney so he/she can assess what is probable and how costly it will be to attempt to achieve what you seek. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You must apply to the court for sole custody. You need the services of an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If you were never married and he never legitimated the child, by operation of law you have all power and control over the child and full custody.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/12/2011
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