How do I get sole custody if I feel like my ex is mentally unstable?

Asked 8 months ago - Philadelphia, PA

When my ex and I broke up he filed for partial physical custody of our 3 month old and we have an upcoming court date in November 2014. My daughter lives with me and my mother. I allow him visitation only when someone is here with me to supervise like my mother or my brother. I do this because I feel like he is mentally unstable, one minute he is fine and the next he is threatening to kill my family. Just earlier today he has done this. I have him recorded and I have messages proving this. I have tried my best to be civil with him but I can not try anymore, I have to worry about the safety of my child. I can not afford an attorney at this moment because I did not start working again but when I do I plan to hire one but i don't know how soon that will be. What should I do? Please help!

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Kathryn L. Hilbush


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If your child's father has threatened to harm you, you may be able to successfully file for a Protection from Abuse Order against him. I've attached links to a brochure about the law and one to the Phila court system's PFA procedure. If you choose not to take this approach, I'd suggest that you contact Philadelphia Legal Assistance. I've given you their link as well.

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  2. Frederick M. Stanczak

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Ms. Hilbush provided excellent advice. I would encourage you to file for a PFA even if you are not able to retain counsel. I've found the court staff at the Philadelphia Family Court to be very helpful with providing the forms and with basic adice on how to complete them. They cannot provide legal advice, but they are helpful with the procedure.

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