Thank you John. Yes....there is a lot more I could share...however my space was limited. I tried to get the basic points across. The fact is.....he is 29, has a history of being in jail, arrested for possession and use of drugs, violence, hospitalizing a minor, dating underage girls, alcoholism, gang association and breaking an entering. This is all since I had my daughter 5 years ago. He also has had zero contact and zero support. I live 10 min from him, he has my number, had my address for 4 years and my email is the same. Many ways for him to contact me if desired. He also, as stated, no has another 2 year old son whose mother he also abandoned during pregnancy at 19. He has given her no support and only recently attempted to obtain partial custody. After 3 court hearings, he has no representation, the court demanded a drug test and he refused. He did not show to the 2 other court hearings and the case is now on hold.
I would like to file now to get it over with. My Fiance is willing to go to the Courthouse if needed....however, if it is not needed than I will get started with this immediately.
I understand your position. Family law is so tough because the laws are really general. In child custody matters the law is that the judge should do what is in the best interest of the child. That's it. These things are just so fact intensive.
Based on the additional information, it appears your child's father hasn't done himself any favors with the court and you have a lot of good facts to offer the judge about doing what is in your child's best interest.
You really should strongly consider contacting a family law practitioner in your area. I wish I could offer you something better than that but, in my experience, these cases are very rarely black-and-white and pro per litigants often make mistakes are create additional work for themselves that could have been avoided if they contacted an attorney at the outset.
I am very sorry about your situation and I wish you and your family all the best.