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Can I obtain full custody without overnight visitation, and under court supervision for father who's been gone for 9 years?

Fresno, CA |

Father left few days old daughter, she is now 9. He has never kept contact with her or sent her anything. He e-mailed me saying hes taking me to court for visitation. Paternal grandfather is been accused by two female family members of attempted rape, when they were young women. No police reports or convictions. I have no problems with Dad to seeing daughter, but he lives with Grandfather, and is willing to let our daughter stay with him there. I don't want her around grandfather at all. Dad is saying I didn't allow him to see our daughter, but he has never shown up to see her ever. I had no other contact information for him, except his fathers address. Can child address the court and will her opinion be counted? Can the court order say no contact with paternal grandfather ?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Your posting is loaded with several questions. First of all, whether you can obtain full custody without overnight, well, you can file a request for order with the court and request it. Custody and visitation orders are made in accordance with the best interest of the child. If you are concerned about the child's grandfather and have valid concerns, raise them in your moving papers and request a no-contact. In light that the father has been out of the child's life, the court is unlikely to order a joint custody arrangement, you could request a supervised or monitored visitation and devise a step-up plan.

    In regards to whether a child can address the court, this is in the court's discretion. You can request the court that your child would like to be heard and then it would be up to the court to decide.


  2. The court can do what ever it pleases if the proper facts are shown and requests made. If you can afford it get an attorney.

    My offices does represent people from Avvo if they contact me but only in the Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside County in Southern California. The answers I give here are not meant to create an attorney client relationship. When accepting clients I conduct interviews face to face and they often take 30 minutes or more. I approach trials and issues from a legal and common sense approach, This is how the majority of judges I have appeared before in 40 years also make decisions. I do not intend by my advice to enter an attorney client relationship and in most cases advise to obtain legal representation. Sometimes if you can not afford it a consultation or limited scope representation is available. As an experienced attorney I can tell you, judges can be impatient, hate emotional arguments and over exagerations or lies. A brief outline of the problems and desired solutions is often best and I d0 limited scope representations advise clients on how to proceed at time of hearing or trial and my fees are considerably less when I do not appear in court as it takes much less of my time.


  3. A judge is likely to grant you full custody because the father has been gone for 9 years. He could have gone to court during those 9 years if he wanted to make an effort to see his daughter.

    I would file a response to his request for visitation and explain your concerns to the judge and what you think is best for your daughter. Family court is very emotional, so it is best to always think about what is best for your daughter - and keep your emotions about the father out of the way.

    If there are concerns about sexual abuse, a judge will likely not let the child stay overnight at the grandfather's house nor will a judge likely let the child be alone with the grandfather.

    "This is general legal information not designed to create an attorney/client relationship"


  4. The Court has broad discretion. Some things to consider to increase your chances: 1. Do a criminal background check on your grandfather. A criminal conviction, or strongly worded witness statements can help you convince a Court to deny or restrict your husband's visitation if he lives with the grandfather; 2. Get statements from the two family members and have them ready to appear in Court; 3. Formally request that Family Court services interview your child and have the social worker issue a report before the Court modifies custody.

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