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My Father has temporary guardianship of my daughter and Her biological father is suing me for sole custody.

Columbus, GA |

My father an i have been arguing back in forth because I want custody of my daughter. Im remarried for a little over a year now and my husband an i have had a little problems in the beginning of our marriage but we have gone to martial counseling and our relationship is stronger than ever. my husband is active duty military and we live two hours away from my daughter. My father has refused me to see my daughter and has let the other party have as my time with her as they wanted. My father is also on his side for him to get sole custody of my daughter saying i have anger issues and i have not maternal instinct but i have custody of my son from a previous marriage. i dont have a drug history or alcohol. I want custody of my daughter how good are my chances to get primary custody back?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Your chances are probably zero without a lawyer.

    No one can give you odds with a lawyer, but a lawyer will know how to best present your case.

    In answering questions on AVVO, the law office of Glen Ashman is not undertaking to represent you, and you should consider hiring counsel to assist you. In that answers here are based on brief and limited information there may be facts that would affect the accuracy of an answer here, so again, hiring counsel is always prudent. If you are in the area and wish to retain Mr. Ashman, you will need to call for an appointment and sign a retainer agreement.

  2. The question of who gets primary custody is based on the best interests of the child. There are so many things that could influence this that there is no way to give you an answer here. Additionally, it's not only the facts of your case that matter. Even a parent with good facts might not win custody if they don't have legal representation. You definitely need to hire an attorney.

  3. If an attorney gives you an answer to this question without a lot more information - it should raise a very bright red flag. When you speak with an attorney - and you should definately meet with one - make sure to tell him or her all of the facts, including, for example:

    1. How old your daughter is

    2. How long she has been in your father's care

    3. Whether he has legal guardianship of her

    4. Where she resided prior to living with her father (i.e. was it with you, another relative, a friend, and for how long) a complete history of where she's been and with whom since her birth

    5. Whether there was a time period, since she's been with your father, that you were calling and seeing her and with what frequency

    6. Why your father stopped letting you see her (in what factual history, if any, are his concerns grounded)

    7. How long it has been since you have spoken to or seen your daughter

    8. What effort have you made to see her (i.e. have you logged calls, do you have emails, etc. requesting to see her and being refused)

    9. Whether you have been providing any child support for your daughter and if so, is it voluntary or court ordered support, how much and with what frequency

    10. Whether the anger issues your father claims you have is something he suspects or has witnessed

    11. Whether you have any criminial history (i.e. simple battery, cruelty to children, etc.) or history of domestic violence - and if so, how remote or recent the incidents are, whether you addressed the issues that led to those behaviors, and if so, in what way

    12. Whether the child's father has a criminal history and what his historical involvement has been in the child's life (i.e. parenting time, telephone calls, monetary support, etc.)

    13. How long you and your husband have been in marital counseling;

    14. Whether your counselor would be willing to testify on your behalf (she or he would probably need a waiver from you and your husband)

    15. Whether there has ever been any DFCS investigation or petition filed in connection with your parenting of this child or any other child and what the disposition was - or any DFCS investigation into your husband, your father, your child's father....

    16. What your daughter wants to the extent she has expressed it to you, your father, her father, a teacher, school counselor, child advocate, GAL (although the latter two is unlikely if no action has been filed)

    17. Whether you are willing to take a drug screen to demonstrate to the Court that you are drug free in the face of any allegations to the contrary

    18. Whether you are gainfully employed and financially stable

    19. Whether you have a stable home and live in a safe and habitable environment with an appropriate sleeping space for the child

    20. Whether you have been involved historically in your daughter's academic, medical, and extracurricular life (i.e. whether you've taken her to the doctor for well and sick visits, to soccer practice, piano lessons, girl scouts...whether you've attended dance recitals, been to parent-teacher conferences, planned birthday parties, arranged play dates, etc.

    These are just a few of the questions I'd ask that would help me give you a more informed opinion of the likelihood of you prevailing in an action seeking to terminate any legal guardianship that your father might have and to have custody of your daughter returned to you - or whether you would likely prevail in an action for custody against the child's father.

    Make sure that when you speak with an attorney that you share a complete history, so that the attorney's opinion is an informed one and so that any advice you get takes into consideration all relevant information.

    This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as nor does it constitute legal advice. This answer does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Do not rely on this answer in prosecuting or defending against any criminal or civil legal action. Speak to an attorney in your area about how to protect yourself and your interests.

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