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Can my child's father get 50% custody of our child?

Los Angeles, CA |

Can my ex get 50% custody of our child? During the first two years he came aroud to see our child once a week for an hour. He didn't pay any child support the first year and during the 2nd year he paid me $200 a month on his own. The 3rd year he was shipped off to Iraq for a year and when he came back our child was 4 and we decided to do everyother weekend and rotating holidays. This year the army has sent him out of state for training 3x and he is expected to go to afganistan next year. He wants to take me to court for 50% custoday because his live in girlfriend has been showering with our child and I refuse to allow her to go over. I did tell him he can come over and visit anytime he wanted to see our child. Also, he was arrested for a DUI last month.

I forgot to mention (not sure if it matters) our child is 6 years old. With the information that my child has told me about her father's girlfriend I did report it to the local police but they only said that even though it was enough information it was just not enough to make any arrests. my baby's daddy and I do not have any legal agreement and he is always threatening to take me to court whenever he doesn't get his way. I'm the one who has been making all the major decisions in her life since she has been born. I pay for health insurance, I take her to school and doctor appointments. When she is sick I am the one who stays home from work to care for her. I would like to get sole custody but still will be willing to allow him visitations provided that his girlfriend is not allowed around my child because of what she has done. What are my odds?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. No one can or should predict the outcome of a custody battle for you. I would suggest, if you want to get some control over this situation that you file for paternity and get (apply for) the orders you want. From what you've described it does not sound like a 50% custody arrangement will be practical. When making his or her decision, the court will consider what is in the best interests of the child keeping in mind the goal of frequent and continuing contact with both parents. Dad's military commitments would be factored into that decision in light of his frequent travel. Further, if you file for paternity, you can bring up the issue of the girlfriend and your discomfort with her habit of showering with your daughter.

    Hire a lawyer.

  2. You need to speak to an experienced family law attorney, to get yourself a BINDING agreement for custody, and an ENFORCEABLE order for child support. It is UNLIKELY that a court is going to permit a 50/50 time-share with someone being re-deployed, whether or not you think his girlfriend did something inappropriate. BUT, without much more specific detail, a court is NOT going to prevent Dad from having any visitation at all based on your dislike of his girlfriend.

  3. I agree with the previous answers. You cannot predict the custody orders, but it is best to get binding and enforceable orders from the Court. The Court will do what is in the best interests of the child, so if your ex is getting deployed, has a drinking issue or criminal history, that would mitigate against 50/50 custody for your ex. But you should definitely hire legal counsel

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