How does a father gain sole legal & physical custody? Wife is abusive & diagnosed w/ mixed severe bipolar I w/ psychosis.

Asked about 4 years ago - Lake Mary, FL

Had 3 or 4 episodes since Jan, so less manageable rapid cycling form of the mental disorder. Mental illness is in her family. Several suicide attempts.

She has physically & emotionally abused me, kids & others. I pressed charges when she sent me to the hospital, case is on the SA's desk.

I currently have physical custody & 100% time-sharing of the kids & wish to keep it that way after the divorce. She is delibertly holding up the divorce by not taking the required parenting class. Controling

The kids are young - both under 4. No attachment to their mom - she never wanted them & it showed in her parenting. The kids have a solid attachment to myself, family & friends.

How do I keep sole legal & physical custody of the kids? Is there any way she can terminate her parental rights

Additional information

I do not know where she is currently living, so how do I get a home investigation?

2 closed DCF cases. 1 from the attcak that put me in the hospital. She threatened the kids, which lead to the injunction & filing divorce. 2nd she called the abuse hotline '4 year old hadn't washed in 2 days'. Trying to prosecute for filing a false abuse claim.
I had emergency custody from the DV injunction, went to the hearing, she got partial time-sharing & had to supply a mental health evalutaion at a later date. After her 1st over night visit called me begging to give 100% time sharing, afraid she would harm the kids. She went to court 3 times to get it changed -filed a motion that was denied, filed another motion, finally a hearing where she asked the court to give me 100% time sharing.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Blaise E. Picchi

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . You know the answer. You get the circuit judge in your divorce case to agree with you. You should have an experienced family law attorney assisting you. It's important that you hire one. If you cannot afford it, borrow the money from family and friends.

    Also, failing to take a parently course is not an obstacle. It is more evidence in your favor that the mother is not fit. Apparently, the judge already agrees with you enough so that he/she has given you temporary custody of the children pending the final judgment.

    You have an audience of one in your quest: The judge.

    One thing I would do is get the judge to order the Dept. of Children and Families to do a home evaluation report. If the agency backs up your allegations the judge is likely to believe it and give you primary responsibility for the children. But you should have advice of counsel before doing anything.

    The foregoing is offered for informational purposes only and is not legal advice nor has it created any attorney-client relationship but if you found it helpful, please check the thumbs-up box below.

  2. Johanne Valois-Shoffstall

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . You don't state whether you are represented by an attorney. If you aren't, you should be. I would think that a motion for a social investigation might be in order, even a motion for the appointment of a guardian ad litem. A voice for the children. Terminating her parental rights is a huge step. It isn't something that is done lightly. That is usually done under Chapter 39 of the Florida Statutes. It is usually done in conjunction with the Department of Children and Families. Is there a DCF case going on?

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