Sounds like you should call the police and consult with a family law/court attorney.
Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.
You should file for an order of protection immediately and at the same time file for custody. If the facts are as you describe them, then you should get custody. Discuss all the facts and circumstances with a family law attorney.
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This advice is not meant to create an attorney-client relationship and is a general anwer to the question posed.
Any kind of physical or mental abuse is unacceptable. I'm sure that you have your reasons for staying there with him, and may even care for him, but no reason is good enough. You MUST do anything and everything you can to get out of this situation. If you have no place to go, you still have two options 1) you can be provided housing somewhere where you are away and safe from him, or 2) you can have him arrested for assault and battery, endangering the welfare of a minor etc. You need to FILE A RESTRAINING ORDER to ensure that he is not legally allowed near you or your 19 month old baby whether you stay in the house and he goes to jail or you leave to go somewhere else. If you don't feel that this will be enough to protect you then you need to leave and not tell him where you will be staying or go somewhere that has security and he can't enter. CALL THE POLICE as soon as you are able to and file a report.
To answer your question, you can and will get custody of your daughter no matter what. The courts will not take her away from you unless you are placing her in a dangerous situation. At minimum the courts will allow you to share custody with him, but if you show that he is abusive, he is likely to not get custody at all. If what you say can be shown in court, the likely result is that he will be given supervised visits, if any.
I do need to warn you however, that you have a duty to protect your child. And if you know that she is being harmed and you allow this to happen you too can be held accountable and you may both lose your child to child services.
So chin up, be smart, and be brave... and get yourself out of this situation. I know you can do it! You've already taken the first step by reaching out on Avvo. Be sure to follow through. This is probably the most important decision you'll ever make for yourself and your child. I assure you, you're doing the right thing. Call me if you need help. 646-942-8396