Can a father get sole custody of his son if he and the childs mother wer never married?

Asked about 4 years ago - Cleveland, OH

I'm 19 and married, i pay child support, but have been denied visitation with my son who is now 20 months. I use to see him thru my mom who played a mutual party only when she felt like it could i see him last time i saw him was feb. 11,2010 after our child support hearing. she doesnt work or take care of him at all he smells, he never looks clean, her home is filthy, she is 18 , what r my chances of getting sole custody. she lives at home with her mom not even attending school, both my wife & i work with hours that aloow us to care for him, our home is clean she has 3 kids who are well kept we have none togetheri want my son she hasnt used any money to care for him she has nasty photos on her facebook and keeps convicted criminals around him im not jus saying this i have documentation.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Loretta Marie Helfrich

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . The short answer is yes given certain circumstances. You need to consult with an attorney in your area and throughly review all facts and circumstances regarding mother's care of the child and your concerns with that care.

    The procedure is to file a Petition for Visitation and/or Custody with the appropriate local juvenile court. If you already have a parenting order that she is denying, then you want to also file a Motion for Contempt.

    The court is going to look at the best interest of the child. Some of the factors include the integration of the child into the respective homes, interaction with the child, time and ability to care for the child, etc. The court will also take into consideration any factors that raise a concern of child endangerment if this is proven.

    You really need good solid legal advice on this matter. You should not try to initiate this type of action without legal counsel. Also, you should not wait to proceed, especially in light of your concerns. The longer the status quo remains it undermines your concerns about the child welfare.

  2. Paul Michael Kocsis

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . Yes, once you file in court, the court has to look at both parents equally the first time they come to court on a custody battle, however, you are the father so you need to strongly consider getting an attorney familiar with the juvenile court system.

    If you believe she will not fight hard and will eventually cave in and give you custody, then you can go on the juvenile court website and get the forms printed off that you need to start the case. If she is going to fight it tooth and nail to the end, you will want to hire an attorney who can present the information properly so the judge has to consider it in making a decision.

    In the mean time, keep up the the documentation, printing off the facebook pages, and making sure you have the proof you need on paper to provide the court to show you are the better parent for this child to live with.

  3. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . It is possible. You file for custody and the court will appoint a guardian ad litem or other individual to investigate all of the facts and circumstances and to then report back to the court as to what is in the best interest of the child. Don't even think about doing this one yourself. If you are serious, you will retain experienced domestic relations counsel to handle this.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.

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