Will My Husband Get Custody Of Our Baby? 4 Answers as of November 16, 2010

My husband is in tech school for the Air Force right now. He left me when I was 7 months pregnant and claimed he did not want me or our baby. Then he came back to me and now I am 9 months along and he is saying that he does not want me but he wants our child and can easily take him because he has a career and I do not yet.

I am currently unemployed, trying to start college, living with my father in a great house fit for the baby. My husband has not been here or helped out the whole pregnancy until recently when he finally bought a crib and sent a little bit of money but I had to threaten to tell his CO to even get him to do that. I need to know, can he take my baby? Will the court think he is more fit because he is serving our country? If he does not take him now, can he take him later when he is older?

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Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
It is doubtful that you will lose primary custody of the baby. if you need representation, call and make appointment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/16/2010
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
You have asked a lot of questions. However, your overall question seems to be whether your husband will be deemed more fit for a variety of reasons, including his military service, and thus, will you lose custody? Based on the facts you stated in your question, the answer is no. You do not have to have a job to be considered a fit parent for custody/visitation purposes. And, your husband will not be given some type of custody preference because he is employed or serving in the military

The court will decide a disputed custody matter based on what is in the childs "best interests." That is a legal term of art. A "best interests" determination can involve many facts and considerations. Thus, it is best for you to consult with a local family law lawyer who has experience with disputed custody matters to discuss the specific facts of your case. If you are local to me, I would be happy to have that discussion with you.

In the meantime, please note that for a newborn, it is presumed that the childs best interests are served by having frequent and continuing contact with both parents. However, one parent (typically the mother) will be the custodial parent, especially if she is breast feeding, and the father will get frequent contact. An example of "frequent contact" could be an hour or so every day (or every other day, depending on how far apart you and your husband live from each other), and a longer visitation time on one day during the weekend, such as 4 hours to start expanding to 8 hours in the next several months. Typically, there will be no overnights for the non-custodial parent with a newborn until the child is developmentally ready, which again, depends on the facts of each particular case. I can explain all these considerations at a personal consult.

Keep in mind that it is best for a child to have the opportunity to bond with both parents. A child is not divorcing either parent. Neither parent should let their emotional issues with each other interfere with the childs relationship with the other parent. Considering your child is a newborn, you and the father have many years of co-parenting in front of both of you. It would serve both you and your husband well (including your child) if you both accept that fact, and hence learn sooner rather than later to communicate and cooperate together. Your child will be much better off down the road.

In any case, there should be no personal issue between spouses so large that it comes at the cost of a childs proper development. I have handled hundreds of custody disputes, and can say without reservation that parents who engage in unnecessary prolonged custody battles based on their animosity towards each other do their child a great disservice. With a few exceptions, often times the best course of action in a hotly contested custody matter is to try to resolve issues via co-parenting counseling, as well as individual therapy for each parent. This usually produces more fruit than wasting time in court, spending vast sums of money on legal fees, and draining emotional energy from protracted litigation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/15/2010
The English Law Firm
The English Law Firm | Robert English
The fact that he has a career and you do not is immaterial. The standard of law regarding custody is that orders must be in "the best interest of the minor child." It is difficult to tell who would prevail as more facts would be needed. I would say that you need an experienced family law attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/15/2010
Law Office of Teresa Beyers
Law Office of Teresa Beyers | Teresa Ann Beyers
Your husband cannot easily take your baby because he has a job and you do not. Call me if you wish to discuss.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/15/2010
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