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In PA how hard is it to get sole legal custody?

Pottstown, PA |

The father of my child wants to have shared custody but he has a criminal record. He has been in jail for having 2 DUIs. When he got his license back he still was driving after drinking and still uses drugs. I am worried every second my child is with him during visitations. We do not have any custody agreement yet. I have told him that I do not want him driving with my child but he has said I have no way of stopping him. I drive the child back and forth so he doesn't drive with the child. I would like to know if I did get a lawyer would I have a chance of getting sole legal custody?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If you are concerned about your child being in the car with him, that can be dealt with accordingly, however, that is more along the lines of physical custody. Even if you have sole legal custody in PA, it doesn't prevent dad from driving with the child, UNLESS, the judge orders it, or unless the parties agree. That being said, you have a much greater chance of accomplishing what you are looking to accomplish if you have an attorney helping you along the way. The fact that dad has 2 prior DUI's is certainly not going to work in his favor. I would suggest meeting with a family law attorney asap to discuss how to handle the situation. I live in the Pottstown area, but work at a firm in Reading. If you would like to set up a consultation, my contact info is below.

    Charles A. Rick, Esq.
    (610)372-5588

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. It’s easy and appreciated. This answer is provided for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice and it does not create an attorney/client relationship. More importantly, the information contained in this answer should not be relied on. You should consult an attorney who practices in the relevant area of the relevant jurisdiction.


  2. It is difficult. It depends on so many factors. I couldn't begin to explain at this juncture without mote info. Please feel free and contact me for a free consultation.


  3. I don't want to make this overly complicated, but I think I know what you are asking, but I am not sure. There are many types of custody that you need to understand. First is legal custody, whic is the power to make major decisions in the child's life, such as medical, educational and religious issues. The other general type of custody is physical custody - which divides time between parents who have the child.

    If what you are seeking is sole legal and physical custody, based on your concerns, I would think it would be difficult to make a case. However, physical custody can be evaluated with consideration of a parent's substance abuse. A lawyer could be helpful in presenting your concerns to a court in establishing a custody order.

    Information provided is based on what is presented and should not be considered as legal advice, nor does this answer imply any attorney-client relationship.

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