Partial custody/visitation rights
3 attorney answers
Your facts are compounded by the issue of the outstanding retraining order. A few wise words from members of the Avvo panel, are not going to suffice for what you really need. You need an experienced local Family Law attorney to develop the appropriate tactic strategy and timing to ensure he or she is able to maximize your participation in the child's life. The longer you wait to go to Court, the more difficult it becomes, because the child will not be familiar with you and you will have a far longer period to integrate with the child before you can really have any significant timeshare. Move quickly.
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Domestic violence against the other parent, established her by the existence of the restraining order, classes, and probation, creates a presumption against you having custody. To obtain more than visitation (such as alternating short weekends), you must show the court that you have rehabilitated, that being with the child would not place the child at risk. The starting point would be keeping up on you 52 classes and taking age appropriate parenting classes. Therapy would also be a plus. But, getting anything close to an equal time share is likely going to be a process, not a jump.
The fact that you were ordered to do the 52 week class and probation leads me to believe that there is slightly more to this story than is written here. Typically the judge will order a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and set a hearing date on the Restraining Order (RO). The TRO will typically last for 21 days or until the hearing takes place if sooner. Considering you were put on probation, I am assuming that you either appeared and the judge ordered the RO and classes, or you failed to appear and the Judge ordered the same. Either way, at this point it will be a bit of an uphill battle to prove that you did not in fact abuse her or have abusive tendencies. This is not to say that you do have abusive tendencies or that you cannot have a beneficial result in this matter. It will just be more difficult. If paternity is at issue, I would suggest that you speak with an attorney and have them file and ExParte motion based on changed circumstances (your attorney will be able to explain this in depth) at that hearing you may also request to establish paternity. You do have rights if you are the father for both physical and legal custody unless the court deems those rights should be taken away based on other circumstances. I recommend that you speak with an attorney before she files against you.
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