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I want to keep my child before the custody hearing? Will that hurt my chances for primary custody?

San Diego, CA |

My ex was very abusive. Currently, we share 50/50 physical-legal custody. I want full because I'm starting to see the aggression in our child more and more. Last week our child punched another child at school and constantly talks about how my ex: shows him guns, lets him watch PG-13 movies and teaches him to punch. I want to take my child and protect him from the way these things are shaping his mind. I tried to approach my ex but he does not agree with my parenting method (non-aggression and PG/G movies ONLY).

We have a custody hearing and mediation soon. Can I take my child full-time without repercussions on me? I want my son to be as happy, stable and healthy as possible without risk of exposure to these things.

Our child is 5 years old. I am just filing for custody because this is the first time I can afford an attorney. We have never been to formal family court.

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Attorney answers 2


If you and your child's father only have an informal child custody agreement, then you may decide to stop visitations until a court order is issued. I do not recommend this however and would instead recommend that you move forward with your goal of getting a formal custody order. the critical issue is that you and your child's father need to establish a parenting plan and may possibly both need to take parenting classes. I would be concerned that your child's aggressive conduct may need to be moderated by an agreement to have him participate in age appropriate activities. Good luck with this.

This is not a substitute for a consultation with a family law attorney in your community.



Ms. Macklin, I really appreciate your response. I think I will put parenting classes (for both parents) in the parenting plan that I am drawing up. Since our separation was so volatile it is definitely in my child's best interest for his parents to be educated on how to best cultivate a positive environment for him.

Daphne Lori Macklin

Daphne Lori Macklin


Good luck with this and thank you.


If you have concerns about violence then you could contact CPS. A good choice would be to get the child into some play therapy to help curb the aggressive behavior. Since you don't have a formal parenting plan, you should try and talk to your ex and discuss the concerns with him. Taking your child without allowing visits and not involving CPS or the court, could backfire on you in mediation when he says you are withholding the child. Remember court is about providing evidence for what you are asking for. You should probably consult with an attorney to help you since the issues sound serious.

Answering this question does not form an attorney-client relationship in any way. The answer provided is for general information only as it is impossible to obtain the entire facts from the question posted here. This information should not be relied upon and is not intended as legal advice. You should always talk to a local attorney who can advise you on your specific matter.