My girlfriend and I broke up. We were never married. She has a daughter that is not my biological daughter but I have raised her for 8 years and her biological father is absent. We have two biological children together and I am on the birth certificate. We have a mutual visitation agreement where one week I have them and the next week she has them. They also go school in my district. After constant threats of a wide range I decided to file for sole custody of all three children today and received a court date. My question is should I continue with the mutual visitation agreement between us until the court date? My fear is that she will not continue the agreement once she gets the children back.
You should really be asking your attorney this. If you filed for custody without an attorney you should hire one ASAP to prepare for the hearing. Having said that, if you are hoping to obtain custody and/or visitation, you should spend as much time as possible with any and/or all of the children that you can between now and the hearing, while still demonstrating in a documented way that you are not trying to damage their relationship with their mother.
Usually, the court will not grant sole custody unless there is something really wrong with the other parent. If there is no judgment, then you and she will end up playing "keep away" with the children. When your papers were filed, you could have asked that the status quo stay in place pending hearing. Sometimes the court will grant that if good reasons are given.
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