Is there any possibilities of getting total custody of my daughter?

Asked over 1 year ago - Bakersfield, CA

I received a court order from my daughters father wanting to fight for joint custody but it has been almost 3 years that he hasn't looked for her and that really makes me think he has no right anymore because my daughter doesn't know who he is we live in the same town and he has never bothered to stop by to look for her or to take care of her or to see if she ever needed anything and these past years he has never payed child support. it concerns me that all of a sudden he wants her for weekends and holidays. i do not trust him when we were together he would abuse me physically and verbally which concerns me having him alone with my daughter because of his temper he is really irresponsible and i just wish i cant have total custody of my daughter he has never cared for her anyways

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Abelardo Fernandez

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is a tough situation for you because there is no recent evidence of abuse or child endangerment for the court to deny him visitation. You can oppose reunification services because of how long he has been gone and because the child does not know him but these are hard cases. Most courts favor a child having two parents involved. You can fight it, but the court will want to see if reunification services will work first before they give up on the relationship. You should hire an certified family law specialist. This are hard cases and you should not attempt self representation.

  2. Isileli Tupou Manaia Mataele

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . There are some cases that neither side has a chance for sole custody. They could only terminate his parental rights it there were a guardianship or adoption.

    This is not a comprehensive answer and it is impossible to provide a meaningful response without a consultation.... more
  3. Maryam Atighechi

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Based on the facts given, if he has been completely out of the child's life and essentially abandoned her for more than 6 months to a year, you could be the Primary custodial parent. I would even argue for sole custody with visitation to him. He will probably get weekend and holiday visitation with her. Would be hard for him to get 50/50 right away. There would have to be a reunification period.

    Maryam Atighechi is a family law, real estate and civil litigation attorney in Sherman Oaks, CA. 818-647-1152.... more

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