Child Custody

How To Get Your Child Custody Rights

Dads and moms who have dealt with a controlling ex know how GREAT it would be to get custody of your child or children.

Pulling them out of an abusive situation, domestic violence, the parent does not care about what the child is doing with their life. Or just uses them as a tool to get money from the other parent!

All these things are very real and happen everyday! – HOW, as a parent, can you stop this!? Maybe sound too close to home?

To get joint or full custody of your child or children, you MUST prove the other parent to be unfit. “Here Say” does not hold up in court, you have to have hard proof.

Unfit Documented Proof

In most situations a judge will not grant complete custody over to one parent. If there has been documented domestic violence by police reports, confirmed unhealthy living conditions or environments by a professional, or other documented mental or physical abuse by a physician or psychologist, it is pretty difficult to get Sole or Full Physical Custody of your child. Simply stating that you heard drugs were going in and out of the home your children are living in, is not proof.

How far do you live from your children?

Another factor that comes into play is the distance you live away from you child or children. If you are in California and your children live with the mom in New York, it is a hard sell to make to the judge to uproot the children into a completely new community away from their mother. However, living within 50 miles or at least half an hour away from your kids, in most cases, allows you a lot more flexibility to receive more time with your children. Try to move closer to your children if you currently live more than an hour away from them.

How old are your children?

The ages of the children is yet another important element in the deciding factors of who gets custody. Typically if your children are within the ages of a new born to a few years of age, most judges want the children to maintain residency with their mother. Under rare circumstances of significant evidence confirming the mother is found unfit, custody can revert to the father – but this very uncommon.

Mostly, children from the ages of 3 and up can be requested to live with the father full-time as long as the children have lived with the father for at least 6 months.

Work schedule

Everyone works now a days. Most of the time both parents work to make ends meet and to provide for their children. If you work a normal daytime schedule, it will be easier to get more time with your children. Sporadic or inconsistent work times can interfere with having a set custody half time schedule. If you fall in this category, it is suggested that you try to find more consistent hours.

A place for your children in your home

You want to make sure that you have all the accommodations necessary for your children. Make sure they have their own room, plenty of space to sleep, study, and play. Your place should have all the normal standards of living in order: electricity, running water, clean bathroom, heating and air ventilation. Make your home a fun place to be! Your children should love coming and cant wait for their days with you.

These are just some of the main variables judges or appointed court officials use in determining child custody arrangements between parents.

FAMILY.CODE SECTION 3020-3032

If you haven’t already been in communication with one of our parent advocates, please contact us now so that we can hear the details about your child and the family court situation your are in. Click here or call the number at the top.

Please also read on to the many other articles available to you on our blog. We are a resource to you and support you as best we can while you are going through this situation with your children.

If you want to discuss your situation further, contact us anytime - www.AboutTheChildren.org

or Call Us! 800 787 4981

This information is not legal advice or legal counsel and does not apply to all situations or circumstances. Contact a local family attorney if you are seeking legal advice and counsel.

123 comments on “Child Custody
  1. Carol Strong says:

    what if you have been paying child support on a regular basis, but have “NEVER” been granted “ANY TYPE OF VISITATIONS IN 15 yrs?” Also, have tried to contact child via phone, sent birthday gifts & cards, never had any vacations, holidays, or summers? Every call has been answered with excuses, all gifts were returned-unopened, and child has not lived in mother’s apt, lives with grandparents. Been ordered back to court yrs back for support increase, but judge still never ordered any type of visits, communication, both father and now 15 yr old daughter have been denied contact. The only contact they have had in recent months is via facebook. But father and step-mother have decided to move forward trying to gain “FULL CUSTODY” but get nothing except threats from grandmother(mother’s mom). But both father, 15 yr old-daughter, as well as siblings deserve the right to able to bond and build a family relationship. After child asked many questions, got truthful answers, child went to mother & grandparents with anger and demanded answers, she was even more upset to learn that she had gotten the truth, and that’s when the grandmother had called father with more threats-”you are never gonna see this kid”, “DON’T EVER CALL HER AGAIN” Father is a very hard worker and where he hasn’t seen his daughter but 3 times before she was three. So we are begging for your help to help us give my husband, child, siblings, nieces, nephews, and myself(mom-of which I absolutely love as if she were my own child, and do consider her to be 1 of my own) so we want her to finally spend her finals 3 yrs(until she turns 18) or until she is ready to move on!!! PLEASE TRY TO HELP BRING HER HOME?

    • Hi Carol,

      This situation sounds all too familiar and we have certainly helped many parents in similar situations.
      The reality is the father has to get into court and get a visitation order in place signed by a judge if he wants to be able enforce his rights as a father, and be able to have you and his whole family spend time with his daughter.
      When dealing with a vindictive ex and their other family members never makes it any easier with these issues. However, he must persevere through it!
      Has he filed anything recently with the courts regarding visitation or custody? If he hasn’t already, please have him contact us to see how we can help. http://www.aboutthechildren.org
      Thank you for your concerns and helping him with this matter.

    • marsgyrl says:

      As a divorced parent of four, I know all too well how important and devastating the issue of child custody can be. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all given a crystal ball before we had sex with these people (but then again we wouldn’t have our beautiful blessings!)…It is amazing how often good sex leads to a lifetime of heartache, for not just the adults involved but the children that result! Selah…

      • When pursuing the goal of creating a healthy family, the first focus should not be all about the sex. Sadly many Americans, and people in general, fall prey to this obsession, which can produce a very destructive path for all parties involved. Fortunately, I’m sure you are raising your children well and teaching them what is fruitful with the knowledge learned from past mistakes. Keep on parenting!

  2. Alyssa says:

    I am currently in the process of full child custody right now with my ex. He verbally abused me and is now verbally abusing and harassing my via text messages trying to get his way. I am in the process of collecting text messages, bank statements, and such to prove that he was the one to drive my son and I to a different state over 800 miles away dropped us off here and left.. Now after 2 months he wants me to allow him to take our son for a year (until he is three) without anything written.. My reply was (I will see you in court) I will be going to school in the fall and what we agreed upon was in the summer my son and I would visit him during this time.. Since my son is living here with me if he opens a case before me he would have to come to where the child is living correct?

    • Hello Alyssa,

      Typically, parties need to file where ever the child has resided for the past 6 months (this varies in certain states and counties but generally that is the time frame). If he files something first than definitely you will want to respond to what ever paper work you are served with. Either way it is beneficial for you to consider getting into court as soon as you can to get this addressed. A court order is the only thing that will protect your son and your rights to see or have him. Do you know if he has filed anything yet?

      • Alyssa says:

        No he has yet to file. Should I wait until I have my paper work and lawyer prepared or should I go and file?

      • In order to file with the court you will need to have all your paperwork prepared. It is really your call what you want to do. If you want to start and get him served or wait and respond to what he serves you. We can help you either way whether it is starting a new case or responding.

  3. dominique lee says:

    my children are being placed in a very awkward situation my oldest is 6 and ,y youngest is 3. there father feels that because we are not together that i cannot see my children i let him have them for visit and he will not return them… we have a past history of domestic vilolenca and ive had restraining orders against him muliple times. every tom..ime i try to see the kids he makes them and hide. im afraid if i dont act fast hes goin to put the wrong things in there head about me…. i love my children and have always been there also bein the one that provides for them. we have no custody established which is making this process difficult… u can see that the kids are suffering but he doesnt know really the affect he is having on the emotionally and physically.

    • Hi Dominique,

      Are you and the father currently married? Make sure you are keeping close notes on everything that has transpired. I know this is a difficult situation and you are very concerned for your children. Really, the way to get this resolved is to get a court order in place so your rights as a mother can be enforced. Let us know how else we might be able to help you achieve this.

  4. Stacey says:

    My husbands final divorce hearing happened while he was working out of state, so final judgement was made whitout him having representation. She was granted “sole” custody, giving my husband “reasonable” visitation. He is now back in the same town as the children, and wants scheduled visitis. But, the ex is taking “reasonable” as he seeing the kids when it is convenient for her and not wanting to set a schedule. Can you clarify the legal actions my husband can take without getting attorneys involved.

    • Hi Stacey,

      How long ago was the divorce final? If it was within the last 6 months, he might be running into an appeal situation since he wasn’t present for the final hearing for a judgment. A lawyer can help with this but it could be expensive. (We have a posting on appeals for more information on the specifics).
      If anything after 6 months, he can request a modification to his parenting time and get a more concrete order in place. We help parents with this all the time. He should contact the court and see if the judge will allow him to appeal the decision based on the fact that he was on the job during the final hearing, sometimes they are lenient due to special circumstances.
      Let us know either way how he wants to proceed, and if you or he have any other questions.

  5. Sherry says:

    In 2008 I was granted Sole Parental Custody of my daughter. Years later I married again and had another child. Around that time my first daughter was 4. She had several documented emotional disorders such as bipolar, adhd, O.D.D, and severe sibling rivalry. After many episodes I was advised that maybe she should live with her dad where she could be an only child. He and I discussed the options and agreed (only verbally) that she would live with him for the duration of the school year then we would evaluate the situation once she got out for summer break. We never had any paperwork drawn up, and no one signed anything. The last standing word in court is that I have Sole Parental Custody. She went to live with him last Nov. I was allowed to see her during her spring break. Her dad lives in FL and I live in LA. Once summer came I picked her up. I spent a lot of time talking with her and evaluating her behavior with her sister. She did exceptionally well and expressed to me that she wanted to come back home. I called her father and told him that she wanted to stay with me. It should have been over with right then because he promised me that he would never keep her from me, as our agreement was only temporary. He refused to let her stay. He threatened me saying that he would call the police saying I kidnapped her, he said he would file a report of abandonment as well as many other things. He bar-rated me saying that I was a bad mother for taking her from her new school, friends and family that she’d made there. I was so confused and scared and stupid. I gave her back to him. Since then he has not allowed me to see her. He doesn’t let me talk to her very often and when she does it’s on speaker phone. He told me the only way I could see her again is if I went back in front of a judge to give him custody and me have visitations. I’m not going to willingly do that. My daughter called me 4 days ago crying her eyes out screaming “I miss you mommy”. It tore my heart out. I want my daughter back. I know I was stupid for giving her back to him, but I’m ready to stand up to him and do whatever I can to get my baby home. I don’t know what my rights are, or what his are. Please help me.

    • Hello Sherry,

      You are strong to make the decision to stand up for yourself and fight for your daughter. The best thing you have going for you is that you have a sole custody order in place. If you haven’t already, take some time and review exactly what it says. If it is thorough, there should be some clauses that state you have full legal and physical custody of her. Have you tried contacting the police and showing them your court order for custody? Usually, that’s enough to get your child right back into your home.
      Since he and your daughter are in Florida, see if the order says anything about your daughter living out of state, or farther distance, for an extended period of time.
      If these types of clauses aren’t it in there, it may be a good idea to attempt to get back to court to get this modified so its more specific and enforceable.

  6. Phyllis says:

    Thank you for reading my article on Terry Achane’s custody case. I stopped by to check out your blog, and I’m glad I did.

  7. katrina says:

    I I am writting this in hopes of help on trying to get my 2 daughters back..In 2006 my ex husband was awarded costody of my 2 daughters.The hearing was held in louisiana bc the children was living with me at the time..He ran off to tennessee when the girls were a baby..we didn’t here from him or even know where he was untill i filed for a divorce and childsupport..The judge awarded him to pay 620 a month for them and he had reasonable visitation i let the girls go to tennessee in the summer when school was out..I was already remarried but it didn’t last that long so i got a divorce but we got back together after the divorce..we split up 4 times needless to say when my girls daddy took me to court i didn’y have a lawyer to repersent me and the judge ruled me unstable and gave him custody of the children.so he took them to tennessee..i had visitation and phone right’s.Since 2006 i have seen my girls 2 times and that was the first christmas after court and it was only 3 days.The second time was the next christmas and only for 5 ddays..In 2008 i traveled to tennessee to try and see my girls and i took my louisiana court papers to a judge in the county he lives in,but they told me that Tenn. can not honor louisiana paperwork.He let me see them a hour that day and that is the last time i have seen them.I haven’t got to talk to them on the phone he never will answer when i call..My girls are 12 and 11 now.I found my oldest daughter on facebook 2 weeks ago and sent her a message with my cell asking to please contact me somehow..I got a phone call a week later from my youngest daughter..She used one of her friends cell at school to call me..It was very emotional call,all we could do was cry,she told me her father no longer was working and they wasn’t gonna get nothing for christmas,i told her i was gonna figure out a way to see them and bring them christmas presents.So i started blowing their daddy’s cell phone up begging him to let me come to tenn..and see my girls.He told me they don’t want nothing to do with me that they hated me,i know that is a lie bc i have talked to them while they been at school and they want to see me live with me and how bad they had it with Nick.I kept calling and asking him if i could just talk to them on the phone he let me call but he made them say they don’t wanna see me and they don’t want me to come.I know that he’s making them say that to me.He doesn’t know i been talking to them at school.They asked me not to tell him bc they would get in trouble..So i really need serious help on getting them back with me and there brother and sisters..I don’t have alot of money i can’t affored a lawyer..can you please tell me what direction i need to go on getting them back.. thanks katrina

    • Hi Katrina,

      Thanks for taking the time to reach out for help with this.
      Sounds like its time to do something about this once and for all. Parental alienation is never fun and can be very manipulative to everyone involved.
      You probable want to look into getting your current order modified to account for the new distance that your children live from you and the fact that they live in a different state. Unfortunately, you are not alone with these types of disputes after parents have gotten divorced or separated and didn’t bother to get back into court to modify their orders right away. However, it is never too late!
      You’re children deserve to have you in their lives and you should stand up and fight for them. We help parents with modifying their orders all the time. We look forward to hearing back from you asap.

  8. samantha says:

    Ok i have been searching everywhere for any information on the situation that i am in. My ex and i split when i was 5 months pregnant, he than moved to Delaware to stay with his parents and let me and my newborn in NY. He was not there for the birth and never put his name on the BC. He has yet to file for paternity. I have allowed him to come see his son whenever he wanted to, he saw him ONCE when he was 2 weeks old. He sent what he called a ‘care package” which was old stained clothing that stunk of weed for his son to wear. My son is now 2 months old, im constantly harassed by my ex threatening if i do not give him my son for the Christmas until New Years he will come to my home and he will not be civil. He has said this over and over again. I have evidence that he does drugs and i am documenting every conversation. Should i as a single mother get a restraining order? Should i be the first to file for paternity? Can i with hold visitation right now? Should i get a lawyer? Can i file for sole custody? Whats my next step?

    • Hi Samantha,

      Thanks for reaching out.
      If you are fearful for your and your baby’s lives you can file a restraining order against him for the time being.
      You would want to consider filing for full legal and physical custody of him since he is so young. In most states it is encouraged that a child reside with the mother till they are at least 1 year old, then minimal visitation is given to the father. Good job at documenting any contact you have with him, this can help with your side of the story.
      We help parents in your situation all the time with this. Let us know when you want us to help you get into court.

      • Samantha says:

        I am definatly ready now. He stated in one if the text he does not want custody he just wants him for 2 weeks now how ridiculous is that. Can I use that in court alsio to further my case?

      • That is a normal request, it is just unreasonable at this time since your son is so young.
        If you haven’t already, please contact us at aboutthechildren.org to discuss how we can help you with one of our Parent Advocates. We look forward to helping you.

  9. Alison says:

    I am writing because my sons father enlisted in the military and is in the process of finishing basic training. When he is done in Feb his wife, other son and him will be moving to Hawaii. He feels he can tell me what to do and says that his parents WILL have scheduled visitation not for my sons sake but for his parents to keep an eye on our son. I AM HIS MOTHER. I have had my son every week with his dad only having every other weekend which he would give to his parents instead of spending time with our son.

    • Alison says:

      He feels he can take my son from me and get granted sole custody, what can I do and how do I do it?

    • Hello Alison,

      This is certainly something you want to clear up as soon as you can by getting a well-defined court order in place.
      You mentioned your son has lived with you most of his life and only visited his father on the weekends – make sure you have doctor and school records to prove this. Since there will be a long distance involved between you and his father, usually a judge will want to have the child live most of the year with one parent and the other to have only holiday visitations. It is imperative to get into court as soon as you can since his father will be moving in February. Please contact one of our parent advocates to discuss how we might be able to help you get into court.

  10. Alison says:

    how do i get in contact with an advocate.

  11. Alison says:

    thank you

  12. My husband (combat vet, and returning to active status this year) has an 8-year old son. His ex kicked him out when he was in basic and moved her boyfriend in, and began convincing the boy (then 3) that her boyfriend is really his father. He still calls my husband by his first name when we get to see him, which was only 5 times last year. It isn’t for a lack of trying. The ex ignores his calls and texts, always has “plans” when we try to get his son-even if we try a month ahead; and won’t tell my husband anything about their son’s health or schooling. When she does answer, she tells my husband he’s an awful father who doesn’t try to get his son or play a role in his life. She is unemployed, living in a house that’s still in my husband’s name (against the divorce orders), has a facebook page for their son that says he’s 29, and even though he pays child support, she doesn’t use it to buy things the boy needs (he’s still wearing shoes from November 2011, and says they don’t fit); and we’ve learned he can’t even read. My husband wants to get custody of his son once we move to a better area, but the courts look down on him and hold her in high regards.

    • Thanks for commenting about this situation and reaching out for your husband and his son.
      Sounds like a classic case of parental alienation.

      Just so you are aware, we are not a law firm and anything that follows shouldn’t be considered legal advice. What I am going to share is only general information about family law and family court.

      Your husband should have some kind of visitation or custody arrangements in place through his divorce. However, since you mentioned she is still residing at his legal property which, according to you, is in violation of the divorce, sounds like she is probably ignoring other terms defined within.
      A few things to follow-up with:
      When was the last time he went family court over this?
      How far do you and him live from his son currently and when do you intend on moving?
      We can certainly assist your husband get back into court to get this addressed and help him get a more enforceable order in place.
      If you haven’t already please have him contact us at http://www.aboutthechildren.org to speak with one of our representatives. The soonest can be Monday when we will be back in the office.
      Thanks for your support and we’ll look forward to hearing from him.

      • We’re only 5 minutes away; and if we move (hopefully this summer, of course it depends on the army) it’ll be to a few towns over but still about 15 minutes away.
        Last time they were in family court regarding custody was October 2009, before he went to Iraq. Because of that, they didn’t give him any rights but said they’d discuss it later which never happened. He was just there a few weeks ago for child support, but the lawyer has no interest in custody. He was told since we’re in Illinois the two have nothing to do with each other.
        I will talk to him, I think it would help him quite a bit. Thank you,

      • Since your husband is in the military and away from his primary residence for extended periods of time, usually a judge will approve a custom, holiday visitation schedule in these types of scenarios. If he wants to address this back in court, he will need to arrange his schedule so he can appear once its time for his hearing. With family court, power of attorney doesn’t work since a judge is evaluating the actual parent.

  13. What a vital blog. Keep up the good work. Thanks for dropping by mine.

  14. This is an important blog. There is a lot of great information for people going through a tough time. Keep up the good work!

  15. beebeesworld says:

    Thank you for reading my blog about my son that I lost. Your blog has much interest to me. I will follow it, read more soon and I invite you to follow my blog as well. beebeesworld

    • Thanks for commenting. Nice work with getting a Best of 2012 blog award. We are proud to provide ongoing articles about family law and help support parents take responsibility to see their children. Appreciate your interest.

  16. jessica carroll says:

    i’m a grandmother of a 2 year and a 4 month old .my daughter and her boyfriend have seperated and these children belong to him, my daughter is going to allow him to pick the babies up to visit for the weekend and i have no problem with this except there is no custody arrangement.he is very sneaky and manipulative my question is does he have to bring them back or will she have to fight him in court to get the children back because she is blind to his ways and i feel that this is whats going to happen please help so i can make her see that we need to get some papers drawn up before this happens .at least establish where they both stand with the children.he doesnt really care for thes babies this will be a way just get to her because he that they are all she loves in this world.

    • Thank you for your support to your daughter and your grand kids.
      She should definitely look into getting some kind of custody order in place. There really is no legal leg to stand on if there are no documents drawn up enforcing the agreement of parentage between two parents.
      Many times, people like yourself observe the necessary needs required to resolve the issue, and are compelled to encourage the person or people in question, to act upon it. Your daughter will need to be the one to have the desire to get herself into court. We certainly can help her with this when she is ready.
      Thank you for commenting on our blog. Look forward to speaking with her.

  17. thelawguysa says:

    Nice article. Somes up the basics well and dispells some myths along the way. Sa law is similar regarding custody.

  18. irishroverpei says:

    Interesting subject and one I have been through. Back in the 1960′s when divorce was a scandal and the husband usually blamed. I took my wife to court and successfully divorced her. However, I was told I’d have no chance of ever getting custody of my three year old daughter. I single working man could never look after a child. Well I didn’t accept that and fought hard to win back my little girl. Visitation was not a problem but I knew I had to get her out of that dreadful environment. Two years after the divorce my daughter and I were re-united for good. So my advice to fathers, never give up,fight for your rights.

    • Great comment! Thank you for this. Your have a powerful testimony to share with others, unfortunately there is a huge increase of disputes today than in the 60′s. Our support to parents continues to expand by networking with parents like you. Appreciate your words.

  19. dawnspitfire says:

    Right on!
    Psssst…this grandma has ” crazy radar”. & thank God started documenting, documenting, documenting, documenting,…right from the start. It worked!.Slam dunk. Of course it helped that the bio so-called mother didn’t want anything to do with parenting. She did make an attempt at pretending for maybe a month…but she couldnt hang in even that long. Okay…so my bad…I threatened her life, but hey, gotta do what ya gotta do. Bottom line is we’ve been blessed by her not even developing a bond & staying at least 2000 miles away. Oh btw, she repeated same story with another young man in Guam. So my granddaughter now has a little sister in Chicago that was raised by her grandma & daddy too. Which caused mine to say “so it wasn’t just me…” .
    I’m grateful & know we’re blessed to have crazy out of the picture. I hope you help others!!! ♡♥♡♥♡♥

  20. Steeny Lou says:

    It was seven years in and out of court for me before I finally got joint custody of the kids I had with the abusive ex.

    He went to court ex parte (for those not familiar with the term, that means without my knowledge nor presence) when I fled from him to a women’s shelter.

    He lied to the judge, saying he didn’t know where I was.

    He played the “she’s an unfit parent” card, with no proof. Just his word.

    My oldest two children, now aged 20 and almost 19, each came back to me on their own when their father beat them up when they were 17.

    It is so very sad that the judge believed the abuser and his supporters, and disregarded my insistence that he was, indeed, abusive, corroborated by proof in the form of his own admission to having abused me, quoted by the social worker hired to interview the family to write a “Section 15″ report, a.k.a. “Views Of The Children” report, here in BC, Canada.

    Then there’s parental alienation – two and a half years of what was deemed “the worst case of parental alienation I have ever seen” by a therapist I had hired in hopes of helping my second child (that daughter who is now 19).

    By the grace of God, our relationship has been restored, albeit with scars, but the damage in my daughter from all that psychological strain put upon her still remains, and she has a long road ahead of her with counseling to get to a state of peace.

    Legal Aid could only help me so much, and in the end, I was on my own, going pen to pen with the ex’s lawyer via email negotiations. Getting free legal counsel wherever possible, I put together my case for a second court trial – four agonizing years after the first one, because that is how slow our court system made it become, plus excuse after game-playing excuse from the ex – but never even had to present it. We negotiated joint custody.

    My goodness, my heart goes out to anyone who ever has to go through the pain of being abused and then being re-victimized by society, not the least of the stone-throwers being the court system.

    If anyone would like to read my long story, please see the link below. I apologize for the fact that I have not yet set it up with chapters. I now have seven children and work full time doing medical transcription from home, so it’s not been a high priority.

    http://holy-sheepdip.blogspot.ca/2011/08/why-i-escaped-and-from-what-did-i.html

  21. Hello – I’m not sure if this is the right place to leave this note – but The “About Us” link is not working for me on Google Chrome. (..and thanks for the ‘like” ).

    • Hmm, interesting. Thank you for the heads up. I’ve tested it in other browsers including Chrome and it has worked in the past. Could be a fluke, appreciate notification none the less. Keep up the good writing!

  22. Daniel Angel from Cape Cornwall says:

    Thank you for liking my page
    I liked your page too
    My story is the truth
    And very complicated
    and very hard to believe
    Nobody should ever suffer abuse
    Or influence a child into wrong
    But when Social services
    And others of Authority including
    Consultants influence others
    misleading people with lies
    I am telling the truth
    and stopping corruption
    for us all
    Have a nice weekend

    Daniel angel from Cape Cornwall

    http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q108/dannybrown666/x1pPHu2K6HCG6rqB9T60RItqdqNL_oOpOGI.gif

  23. sandrabranum says:

    When I divorced in the 90s Illinois law required divorcing parents attend Child First (a counsiling session) and get certification of the visit. It was nice to know that the state was putting the children first. Wish more states would do this.

    • Thank you for all your comments. Our country is in a transition period where the population’s disputes have completely out grown the judicial system and economic conditions have depleted many states budgets that could potentially fund programs to help parents get through their issues legally. The future generations depend on the parents of today to have successful agreements established. Even after divorce or a breakup parents should work with each other civilly for the sake of parenting their children.

  24. reocochran says:

    I think this blog is a very valuable resource. It has created a good forum for feedback and interaction. Thank you for checking out my single adult oriented posts. They sometimes are relevant to parents, too.

  25. Thanks for liking my blog. I love that blogs such as yours exist to provide support for parents working through custody cases. While I know I am writing about a much lighter subject, your blog reinforces the effect of parenting on every level. Please continue to read me for a lighthearted laugh. I appreciate all the encouragement!

  26. denib14 says:

    Thank you for taking the time to read and like my blog.
    Perhaps you would also enjoy my other blog:

    http://finkingfoughts.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/thoughts-on-children-and-divorce/

  27. thanks About the Children for the like of my poem the other day. i’ve read through many of the comments and requests for advice, you are to be commended for the advocacy and devotion to this often difficult and emotionally challenging chapter many of us face in our lives these days.

    i was there too, luckily my ex and i put our daughter ahead of our differences, the 10 years since my divorce has seen her flourish in every way.

    i hope as much for everyone else.

    peace.

    • Thanks you for those kind words. Parents can over come their differences, however it takes time and dedication. You are fortunate to be able to do this within your own family. It will highly broaden your daughter’s perspective on the importance of having amicable character with other people.

  28. pfstare says:

    Thanks for liking my blog. You obviously provide a great resource for those that need it. I hope I made you smile as it must be a tough job working in that sector.

  29. My ex boyfriend and I have a 6 year old daughter together. We separated in April/May 2009 and we have worked out our own schedule regarding visits with our daughter. I lost my job in April 2012 and asked for child support. He was ordered to pay around $500.00 per month and it was to begin in July 2012. I’ve received one payment of $250.00 in February and nothing since. Today I was served with papers that he was suing me for custody and child support. Please help, I don’t have a lot of money and I’ve never kept our daughter from him or his family. I dont want to lose my daughter because he has more money then me.

    • Hello Katrina, your situation certainly should be addressed soon. Keep in mind we are not a law firm so we cant provide you any legal advice. However, if you were served with papers you will want to respond to them with your side of the story to avoid losing by default after the hearing. If you require help with this we can certainly assist you. Several factors to consider in this situation, sounds like he hasn’t kept up with his child support and if either of you haven’t been to court before you will want to get in asap to get a well defined visitation or custody order in place. The most important thing to do is to get a response together and get it filed. You submitted your information to our organization, we suggest you contact us when you can to discuss the specifics on getting help.

  30. E'Te'Sha'Ne says:

    i have been fighting a custody battle for 10yrs going on 11. the father has history of domestic vol. and child abuse charges with myself and his eldest daughter. the judge( she also has a history of not reviewing or reading cases before she starts) states that she does not read the ppwk work everytime. I have been the primary parent since birth all the way up till 2011 when he was taken from me. For the reason being I moved 15 mins away from his father and his father felt i was trying to run away.(lets keep in mind i only moved 15 mins away to where the crime rate is not high) the paperwork that i submitted was overlooked, but his read. the fact that he disregarded the court order by withholding our son from me for 12hrs i did not know where our son was. he ignored my phone calls his family did not pick up the phone. the police had me drive everywhere . i drove from city to city and was told by one police station in the fathers area to go get and updated court order bc all i had was the min report due to the father not filling the proper ppwk order to do so by the judge.
    I received our son back a few months after. We now have joint custody. our son does not want to see or be around his father. They have left him home alone numerous times.From what our son as told me.His father started to live him home alone when he was 8 to take his other children on outings. Our son has been interviewed 3 times and all 3 times has stated he feels safe with me and does not want to stay with his father. The father and his wife have falsely accussed me of not allowing him to see his child . I was in contempt of court on 53 courts. I won because the judge found them to be all false. I have never been to jail, i do not do drugs. I work, i am currently going to school for my Degree and I take care of our son. That has been the story of my life since he was born. I just can not understand where is the justice in this case? i have been told i need a lawyer but i have been turned down everyone is too busy. I have documents from the Domestic vol.leader, , witness and police reports. i can only feel that this county does not care about our childrens BEST interest. They only care about their paycheck. pls any help or advice would be helpful

    • Thank you for sharing Eteshane. Its been a long road for you and your son. With all that you have been through in your local court system, you coming along well as far as a court order is concerned. You will just want to get it modified again. You have numerous professional opinions to support your and your son’s positions and have prevailed through false allegations. Please feel free to contact us directly to discuss your situation, so we can determine if there is anything else we can do to help you get this resolved. It is disheartening to hear about counties that only seemed to be concerned about money, but there are certainly individuals out there who do want to do what is genuinely right and help parents establish the correct amount of rights in accordance to their specific family issues.

  31. kyrian777 says:

    Thanks for sharing this!

  32. xanthe barajas says:

    My Ex and i have a two year old son together. We have been separated since my son was one month old. There is an active child support case and i have primary custody of my son, however, his father does not pay child support as he is ordered to and does not show any interest in visiting with my son. Since my son was 5 months old i have been with my now husband and my son started on his own calling him daddy. he doesnt know his biological father not because i keep our child from him, but because my ex has a new girlfriend who doesnt want my child around them. in other words my ex has chosen her over his own son and has not cared to see him in over a year and does not even call to check on the well-fare of our child. my husband and i do not want anything from my ex. not money not for him to get our son. my husband wants to adopt my son and considers him to be and treats him as his own child. when i asked my ex to sign over his rights to me so my husband can adopt him he said no. not because he wants to keep his rights or wants to start seeing my son, but because he doesnt want my husband to have him, which to me was a very childish reason. i need help in figuring out how to file for sole custody of my son so my husband can adopt him and my son can have the father he deserves.

    • Hi Xanthe,

      You have a very common scenario that we assist with. Many parents that have married or remarried with another spouse and the new spouse want to adopt the child, the biological parent needs to have court ordered sole custody in most cases. It looks like you contacted us directly so you should receive a call from one of our advocates about what some options will be to getting into court. We look forward to speaking with you soon in more detail on this matter.

  33. marissa says:

    Hello,

    I have full physical custody and am now being threatened by my ex to be taken to court because my 3 year old calls my boyfriend dad. I have been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years and he was the one that was with us before I filed for child support and my ex decided to actually be around. Can he do this? My 3 year old knows she has her dad’s and I tell her that they both love her very much. I am now finding out that he has been brainwashing her and my 8 year old telling them that they only have 1 dad and it’s not fair to him if she calls my boyfriend dad. He also told my 8 year old not to tell me this and if anything was being asked to lie. What are my options. He is now with a live in girlfriend who he has been with for barely 6 months and I had no objection, but he has told me I’m not allowed to move with my boyfriend.

    • Thanks for writing to us Marissa. When parents separate there are going to be some complications when they meet other people and become romantically involved with them, as you’re now finding out for yourself. This can be a confusing time for children of divorced parents who obtain new significant others. This is a particularly difficult issue. It’s clear that your children’s father is concerned about his kids knowing that he is their care taker and is feeling some kind of encroachment on his territory. This is something instinctual within people that goes beyond social norms and relationship issues, and it needs to be treated delicately. In most situations like this, communication is key. It might be beneficial for everyone, including both of your partners, to sit down together and lay out some ground rules about how the children relate to each of your partners. Talking things out always a good starting point. Keep following out blog to get more information on parenting tips that could help you with this situation. Thank you.

      (800) 787-4981

  34. John says:

    I am father, to a son just over three months old. Although the mother and I were together throughout the entire pregnancy, we have now separated. I am 17 years old, 18 this January 30 and the mother is 18. My parents allowed us residency at their home throughout the entire duration of the pregnancy and provided most of our food and support. She, however was, and currently uses assistance from the county. Upon our separation, she proceeded to care for the child in the residence of a studio apartment consisting of roommates smoking marijuana(including herself) and heated by portable electric heaters. While in this environment, the child developed a severe cough and “cold” related symptoms. For the next week, the mother failed to attend a scheduled appointment or attend to the obvious condition of the child. Immediately following the child returning to me, I scheduled an appointment to have the child examined and as a result, was diagnosed with bronchitis, borderline pneumonia. In my opinion, it was in result to the smoke and poor environment in which he was inhabited, however, that isn’t proven. Following the diagnosis, my parents and I decided it would be practical to keep him in our home overnight. The mother did not agree and proceeded by forcefully entering my parents home. In addition to verbal threats and vulgar language directed toward my parents(whom unselfishly cared for her during pregnancy), she demanded the child be taken immediately and would not refuse, nor leave the home at my parents requests. Following this event, she refused my access to the child and threatened “I will never see my son again”. Humorous, considering I may have prevented a potentially life-threatening health condition. Although these next facts may or may not be necessary, I will share them. The mother smoked cigarettes throughout the entire pregnancy. The mother does not work and relies solely on the little assistance received through the county for housing, food, etc. Although this is yet to be proven, several witnesses(including roommates) have stated her use of marijuana and alcohol while in the presence of the child, in addition to purchasing marijuana with county assistance funds. Also, she decided to host a “New Years” party at her residence, this past holiday. I have been informed she intends on pursuing full custody, allowing her freedom to move out of state with current boyfriend. The child is morbidly obese due to claims “she shoves a bottle in his mouth whenever he cries and spends most of his time in a separate room”.(He comfortably fits in 12 month clothing, at 4 months old). At this point she claims the child is not mine. I have proceeded to contact a social worker and conduct a paternity test, in addition to all paperwork and requirements needed in pursuing a legal case. I am seeking, at minimum, equal rights. With this in mind, how should I direct this case?

    • Hi John, thanks for writing to us. From what you’re saying, it doesn’t seem like the child is in a good living environment and is not properly cared for. It’s also clear that you’re approaching this situation in a calm and rational manner and by the way you articulate the issue, you’ve got your head on straight. The best way to get your child in a better place, which I’m assuming is with you and your folks, is to get a court order signed by a judge that outlines a set parenting schedule or custody arrangement. About The Children is not a law firm and we can’t give you legal advice but you don’t need legal advice to get this issue in the hands of a judge. What you might want to do is start gathering information and evidence of how your child is treated when in the care of the mother. Pictures, voice mails she’s left you, internet correspondence etc. all fall into this category. Essentially, you need to show the judge that she’s not taking care of the child and is in fact placing the child at risk in terms of health. We help parents through this process every day across the nation. Give us a call or e-mail us to talk with us about we can help you get custody of your child.

      (800) 787-4981

  35. Mike says:

    My girlfriend just took my 2 year old and 6 month old out of state. She is telling me to move on and forget I have any kids. I love them and miss them. There was no sign of her wanting to leave and no fighting between us. She said she was going to her moms for holiday vacation and then I found in her emails she was talking to some guy she just met online 2 months ago and started falling in love with him. She is saying if I bug her she will accuse me of touching her neice “which I never did touch”. She is trying to black-male me so I won’t get custody of my babies. The babies have lived with me all their lives. What can I do? I filed a missing person report and cops didn’t do anything. She’s not talking to me and not letting me talk to my babies either. Any advice? If I don’t know where she is can she be found and made to bring my babies back even with her lying and accusing me of touching her niece?

    • Hi Mike, thanks for writing to us. You do have a right to see your children and it’s an important first step you’ve taken to reach out for help like this. We’re not a law firm and I can’t give you legal advice but going to court over this issue and getting a court order doesn’t necessarily require you to get legal advice. Getting a court order signed by a judge is a great way to enforce your rights to see your children and make sure she can’t remove them from the state or do anything drastic without talking to you first or receiving some kind of penalty for breaking the court order in place. We help parents do this every day. Keep following the blog for more info and give us a call to see if we can help. Thank you.

      (800) 787-4981

  36. J says:

    My ex and I just finalized our custody agreement after months in court. We agreed to a multi-state arrangement where I (mom) have primary custody. I’m currently married and I work part-time and my spouse is the primary breadwinner, my child is 2 years away from kindergarten and my current lifestyle allows me to stay home with my child most of the time, my child is also very attached to me. My ex has a very busy job (70-80 hrs per week) and my child hates the step mom and she’s the one who primarily cares for my child on visits. If my current husband and I divorce how likely could I lose primary custody? I would get some spousal support and personally make “enough” to provide for my son and I but I know it’s a substantial change of circumstances.

    • Great question. Because your child is still very young and requires your care, you have more options available to you. We’re not a law firm so we can’t give you any legal advice about this but the good news is that with family court issues like this, you don’t need legal advice to get the issue addressed. The most important thing here is to keep your custody arrangement the same. If custody is going to be an issue in your divorce, making the first move is better than waiting for something to happen and responding accordingly. Give us a call to talk to someone in our office about how we can help you file the right papers to get this in front of a judge so you can continue to be the primary custodial parent for your child. Thank you.

      (800) 787-4981

  37. Sarah says:

    My daughter is two and a half years old. My husband and I are currently seperated and going through a divorce. My daughter and I are now living with my parents about 60 minutes away from her father. My husband was mentally and physically abusive and indulged in hard core pornography for many years. He is denying all of this although I have some proof. He currently has supervised visits to our daughter twice a week for four hours. He wants joint custody and I want to be the primary gaurdian for our daughter. How will this work out and will I be granted this?

    • Hi Sara, good question. It sounds like you have some concerns about your ex’s social and/or personal behavior in terms of him spending time with your child. Petitioning the court for a joint custody agreement is a simple enough process to do, and we can help you do that. It’s really a matter of having a solid enough case to present to the judge as to why you should get primary custody of your child, and it sounds like you have that. Keep in mind that we’re not a law firm, but we can prepare what you need to file with the court to get this going. Please give us a call and continue to follow our blog for new articles that have information on situations like yours. Thank you.

      (800) 787-4981

  38. Julie says:

    What do you do if you are stuck with a horrible custody arrangement, had a horrible divorce attorney to begin with, are being forced to meet monthly with a court appointed parent facilitator who just wants her fee, and your ex is getting away with everything??? I feel like I’m living in a nightmare. It’s going on 4 1/2 years since I’ve been divorced and our 2 daughters are stuck in the middle (ages 9 and 15). We supposedly have joint custody, but I now live about 40 minutes away from my ex, the girls ended up going to his school district, he’s supposed to pay half for their insurance premiums and refuses to, is supposed to meet me halfway and help with the driving (in exchange for the girls going to school in his district) and doesn’t anymore, convinced our 15 year old to “stay” with him during my possession weeks (we rotate every other week), he threatens the girls into telling him every detail that goes on at my house, makes them call every night, and on and on.

    We’ve been through 2 mediation sessions that were horrible, got stuck with a court appointed facilitator who charges $150 a session and who we have to meet with each month (totally ineffective), has made things a million times worse, and I’m trying to work with a new attorney to revise the current mediated settlement agreement, but I haven’t heard from him in months. This is taking a toll on my husband and our 2 year old son. We need peace and order restored. We have no money for any other mediations or court filings, my ex and I hate each other (his new wife used to be good friends with us at church while she was still married to her now ex (yep, an affair took place) and this creates unbearable tension between all of us), and he thinks he owns our daughters and tries to punish me. I don’t want to give up any more time with my girls, but I feel my only recourse is to change our custody plan and possibly let our younger daughter stay with him during the school weeks when I have possession also. Any ideas for how to gain some footing? Any ideas for making this situation better for my daughters without having them choose sides and be stuck in the middle? Things are just awful for us.

    • Hey Julie, unfortunately mediation doesn’t always work and stories like yours are all too common. Maintaining order and balance within your family is the most important thing here, which you already know. If mediation isn’t working, and you seriously need to change the court order you already have or your ex is pushing the limits and potentially breaking the court order you have established, taking action is paramount. It’s expensive to go through the court process if you’re hiring an attorney. In family law you don’t necessarily need an attorney to get through the court process and we can help you get what you need to represent yourself and get the time you need with your girls and keep your ex from bullying you in and out of the court room. Please contact us to speak with a representative. Thank you.

      (800) 787-4981

  39. Julie Ladd says:

    I left my ex a few weeks ago and now I’m finding out he wants my son we were never married but together for seven years can be take me to court for my son?

    • Hi Julie, the short answer to your question is yes. If the child is biologically his and he has a relationship with the child and is involved in the child’s life, he does have rights to the child. And honestly, it’s important to have both parents in the child’s life. If, however, your ex doesn’t care for the child or presents a potential danger to the child or just acting out of spite against you and is not really concerned about his child, then you have something to bring to court. If you feel like he’s thinking about taking you to court, you might want to consider making the first move. You might have a hard time excluding the father from the child’s life but you can at least try to get a court order for full custody and visitation for the father. Please give us a call to find out if we can help you. Thanks for writing to us.

      (800) 787-4981

  40. Ana says:

    Hello, I really need done advise. I have joint custody of my 2 boys (8&11) with their father. My boys and I left because he was very abusive physically and verbally; I am finding out now that the times they go to their father’s house something always happens. My oldest son told me last night he wanted to hurt himself because of some the things his dad was telling him ( insults and bad words) because when their dad gets mad he does not think before he speaks not acts. There are more things like one day he almost fought his current girlfriends ex with my kids in the back of his car! At a gas station. I am not allowing my kids to go with their dad anymore and he is very angry about it he thinks I am just keeping them from him; my boys don’t want me to tell him everything they had told me because pretty much they are afraid of him. I signed up my oldest son in counseling and I spoke to the counselor at his school. I cannot afford an attorney, and I don’t want my kids going to their dad’s anymore because I don’t think it’s a safe environment for them. What’s the best way to handle this? He can be very aggressive :/

    • Hi Ana, good question and it’s a great thing that you’re reaching out for help with this. Having an abusive parent can be a terrible burden on a child. And it sounds like it already is. The number one thing that needs to be upheld, is the child’s safety. If there is violence in the household and emotional abuse on top of that, this can cause some serious psychological issues later on in life. Removing the father from the child’s life should be considered a last ditch effort to protect the kids and a judge, most of the time, will not want make a ruling like this unless it is absolutely necessary. What you can do, is limit the time they spend with him by getting a court order signed by a judge that specifies a set visitation schedule. It sounds like you want full custody, we can help draw up the right documents to file for a case like this. Please give us a call so we can help you. Thank you for writing to us and keep following the blog.

      (800) 787-4981

  41. deidre says:

    Hi. I need help. My boyfriend has joint custody of his 2 daughters. The girls hate going to their moms house. Their mom favors the littlest child, forgetting about the oldest. The oldest is often pushed around and yelled at. My boyfriend and his ex have been told to do co-parenting counseling but the ex refuses to participate. She continues to break the rules the court has set. How can my boyfriend get full custody?? The girls cry on days they have to go to their moms. When they come home they sleep forever and EAT, because their mom doesn’t feed them, keeps them up late and wakes them up early. So sad.

    • Hey Deidre, good question. If your boyfriend wants to go back to court and modify the court order he has, it sounds like he might have a good reason to do that. In any situation like this, it’s important to shed light on the fact that the children’s needs simply aren’t being met when they’re at the other parents house, which clearly appears to be the case. You can represent yourself in family court and get the issue resolved without paying thousands in legal fees, and that’s what we help parents do. Please have your boyfriend call or e-mail us to start speaking with one of our representatives about what we can possible do for him. Thanks for writing to us.

      (800) 787-4981

  42. m robinson says:

    hi, i need a little advice. my two daughters live with me and their stepfather. we have a residence order from 2010. there. is also court order in place for them to see there biolo gical father every other saturday (24 days per year). they enjoy going but most of.the time they go they end up stayin with his mom (their nan). i understand their nan.wants to see them but surely.he would want to spend as much.time with them as possible? we have discussed this but disagree.

    • Greetings! Thanks for writing in to us. Unfortunately, we can’t give you any legal advice on this issue because we’re not a law firm. As far as the father not spending as much time as he should with your kids, there’s not much to do other than try and communicate this concern with him. The bottom line is that you can’t force anyone to spend time with their kids. If you’re looking to reduce the amount of time he gets with them that’s a another story and we might be able to help with you with that, but that doesn’t sound like that’s what you’re going for. Sometimes it’s as simple as just talking to the other parent and trying communicate more effectively with him. Easier said than done, I know, but talking things out can smooth things over more than taking legal action. Please keep following our blog for more important information on related family court topics. Thanks again.

      (800) 787-4981

  43. A Moon says:

    I was in hopes I could get some help. I have a nephew. HE is 6yrs old. Just recently his mom became terminally ill and passed away. During his life he has always been raised as our family, We practically raied him from 0-6yrs old. After his mom passed his mother sister took him away not allowing us to see him so we went to court and estalished DNA. It comes back he’s not even family but we are emotionally attached and was physically attached because we go him back and forth to school. One day we went to his school the Aunt had a power of attorney signed and withdrew him from school we didnt know what was goin on but the mother passed away not even saying a work she called us to the hospital and said she still comsidered us family and even asked did we want him. After we expressed we did her sister signed papers allowing her only custody of the child which I knew was suspicious because the mother of the child just days before bring placed at hospice at her sister’s hpuse expressed how much she wanted us to still be with the child. Now its been 3 months we havent even seen him or tallked to him. THe mother passes away Oct 28 2013 her memorial was nov 2 2013 and we havent seen him since. THe aunt never denied we were family but decided we shouldnt see him she brought up on information that was dismissed lomg ago. But I have tons of pictures, witnesses, and statements that all proves we always taken care of him. We have his counselors from school, his teachers, my family, neighbors and friends who all back us up but we are still denied visitation or even custody. I know now biologically he’s not my brother’s but he is the only alleged father and persumed father the child has ever known. No other man has been introduced in his life as his dad but my borther and my dad is his only living grand dad and my mom the only living grand mother. I know he misses us and has to wonder where we are can you help?

    • This is a great questions, thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you have a really caring family and it’s great that you want to do the right thing for this child. If you or someone else in the family is seeking custody of this child, it really is as simple as filing the right documents, getting a court date and getting a court order signed by a judge. It sounds like you have every reason to get custody of this child since the mother passed and you are the closest ones to him. It’s especially important to foster a healthy and supportive environment right now in his life as well. This is a crucial time for a young boy developing into a young adult. Please give us a call to discuss how we can help you. Thank you.

      (800) 787-4981

  44. Megan says:

    I was wondering if someone can point me in the right direction. My son is 9 years old, his father and I have never married, and never lived together. There is a support order in place, which his father pays or his grandmother pays for him. Father lives with his mother, sister and 3 neices and nephews in a very hostile environment, while his girlfriend, and new daughter live at her mother’s house. He has had VERY limited contact with my son. He has a history of drug abuse, violence, arrest, and has even almost burned a house down with my son inside. There is more. If he wanted to visit, he would call, and I would let him visit at my house, as long as he wasnt intoxicated. He went through rehab (where he met his current baby’s mother) and was believed to be doing well. For about a year, he would see my son about 6 times, usually around a holiday, birthday etc. But the past year or so, it would seem he has been going downhill again. Broken promises, neglect, abandonment, have left my son dissapointed to say the least. He recently told me he doesnt want to see him anymore, and it would be better if he can just try to forget him. So I have not pushed it. My son has been living with me and my fiance for over 2 years (who has 2 sons also) and he sees what a ‘good’ dad is supposed to be like, and he sees his dad for what he is – a failure. However, now that I havent allowed his father to speak to him or see him, he’s treatening legal and custody filings. This puzzles me because he knows NOTHING about my son, his life, his medical, his school, his extracurricular activities etc. I am scared to death! He couldnt take care of himself, let alone a child, and my son is doing so great with my fiance and I, our family, his cousins, uncles, aunts, school, scouts, etc. His father has added nothing before and has nothing to offer now…..would a court actually subject my son to this loser?

    • Hi Megan, this is an important issue that needs to be addressed. You hit the nail on the head though, the bottom line is that the father isn’t involved in the child’s life and it seems like he’s pushing legal action out of some other motivation not regarding what’s in the best interests of your son. That being said however, it should be considered a last resort to keep the father out of the child’s life. At the very least a judge might want to grant visitation rights, unless it’s an extreme case where the father is violent and engages in questionable social activities. We can help you draw up the necessary documents to file in court to bring this issue in front of a judge. Give us a call to see what you’re options are. Thanks for writing to us.

      (800) 787-4981

  45. Aliya speakman says:

    My name is Aliya .
    I’m 14 years old ..
    I’m kinda stuck in a situation right now ..
    I live with my grandma she had custody of me bc my dad & mom used to be really bad on drugs .. But not anymore .. So my mom had been back in my life for about 7 months now . & it’s been grey but last Thursday me & my Gma got in a argument .. My grandma started choking me & pulling my hair & just acting like I was a grown woman .. It was crazy .. I was scared for my life .. So she said I could stay with my mom for the weekend.. So Monday she went to pick me up I refused to go .. & the cops came & I ran from them so I needed up in jail .. Got out 5 days later .! & I’m back with my gam but don’t want to .. I wanna live with my mom .. She’s trying to get custody .. So do you know what can help her more ..?

    • Greetings Aliya, because you’re under the age of 18, we wouldn’t be able to help you directly but I’m glad you’re doing the right thing and reaching out to us for help. If you’re Mom is trying to get custody of you, she would need to be the one to contact us. Give her our contact information and have her call and talk to one of our staff members to see what we can do for you guys. Thanks for writing to us.

      (800) 787-4981

  46. shanica says:

    My child’s father hasn’t been in his life my child is now one living with cystic fibrosis my partner wants to share custody would the biological father have to give up his rights inorder for that to happen he has only seen my child one time and doesn’t pay child support

    • Hi Shanica, thanks for writing in. Giving up parental rights is not something that we specialize in helping with but we can help you draw up the necessary custody papers to file in court should you want to proceed in that direction. If you’re looking for legal advice on this matter then we highly suggest you contact an attorney in your area that can advise you on the best court of action. Please keep following our blog for more relevant information to your situation and give us a call to speak to a representative about how we can help you change the custody arrangement you currently have with your child. Thank you.

      (800) 787-4981

  47. Crystal Bruursema says:

    So I am very new at this asking advice on a website but I really need help. So to make a long story short I have a 9 year old son. Six years ago we left his fatherand went to a domestic violence shelter. Since we left he has not tried to come and see our son. He has made about 10 child support payments. He moved to Florida. My son and I live in North Carolina. My question is this does he have any rights to my son since he hasn’t talked seen or supported him in 6 years. I’m scared that he can come and take him any time because he’s on the birth certificate. Can I do anything about taking his rights away if he has any? If so how do I go about doing this? Thank you in advance.

    • Hey Crystal, these are good questions and you’re definitely not alone in this endeavor. Believe it or not there are a large number of parents that contact us with the same questions and concerns about the other parent’s ability to take their children without any consent. The good news is that you can petition the courts for full custody if you have a strong case and your story makes sense to the judge, it’s really as simple as getting the right documentation together to file so the judge can see that you’ve got the child’s best interests in mind and that you’ve been the primary parent in their life thus far. The bad news is that our company is not able to assist in North Carolina because our head office is located in Southern California. Please contact a local attorney in your area that can assist you with your issue. Keep following our blog for more information that can potentially help you and good luck on your case. Thanks for writing to us.

  48. Liz says:

    I need advice. I am a single mother of five children, my youngest son is 10 months old. His father and I have had a rocky relationship, but he has been living with me for the past year. I have tried many times to get him to go back to his parents house and work out a few hours a week for him to take our son on a visit (breastfed baby). He refused constantly saying he insists he stay and we work things out. In the past few months he had become more aggressive and physically abusive towards me but I did not do anything about it, just tried to keep the peace. Meanwhile he and his mother went and hired a lawyer to file for full custody of my son behind my back. They accused me of horrible abuse to my children, all of which was made up. When I found out and confronted him, he left for two days, came back and said he was going to withdraw if I would please take him back. I let him stay, only to find out a week later that he had not withdrawn. I confronted him again and he threatened to kill me. Now he has not contacted me at all in a few days. I am filing for a PFA on Monday. What can I do to make sure he doesn’t take my son from my happy home? Was it legal for him to file for custody while he was living in my house?

    • Hello Liz, thanks for writing to us with your questions. First off we can’t give you legal advice on this issue because we’re not attorneys. What we can help you do is go to court and represent yourself, which is much cheaper and can save you a lot of time as well; we prepare the documents that parents need to file for situations such as yours. The best thing you can do to ensure that your rights as a parent are not infringed upon is to get a court order outlining a specific parenting schedule. If the other parent has already filed then you need to respond to those documents, which we can also help you do. If he hasn’t however, making the first move isn’t a bad idea. Please give us a call to speak with one of our staff members about how we can help you with this issue. We look forward to assisting you with your family court issue.

      (800) 787-4981

  49. A Martin says:

    My bf & I have a 6 week old together. While I was pregnant he assaulted me. He had one in the past from a previous relationship that was dropped. He was found guilty of the nee one & placed on probation. I tried to work things out so that we could be a family but he assaulted me again. This time with my new born in my arms & threatened to kill me. He was found guilty once again & got another year of probation & there is also an order of protection so that he can have no contact with me. I considered removing the order of protection so that he can come see his son. He keeps saying he is going to get a lawyer to just get custody. I know he cannot get sole custody but im wondering what he chances are of getting custody when he has 2 domestic assaults now. Im afraid for my child to be alone with him & I definitely can’t afford an attorney. Idk what to do!

    • This is a great question. We can’t give you any legal advice about this because we’re not a law firm. However, what we can do for is prepare the necessary documents you need to file to establish a court order that outlines a custody arrangement. If the child’s father is being violent, not providing a positive environment for the child and is potentially putting the child in danger, these are all things that would work against him in court. It sounds like you don’t want to remove the father from the child’s life and this is good because that should really be a last resort. Please contact us to talk to a representative and get the help you need to file for custody. Thank you.

      (800) 787-4981

  50. nakeyshia says:

    Hi, my name is Nakeyshia and I would like to speak with someone about my custody situation with a small child. My ex has been verbally threatening me as well as his family. Since I had my child I sign myself out the hospital to get away from them but that didn’t work. They have said that they can take our child out of state and have overnights. I have been told if I go to court and get personal he will get full custody and it will work in his favor. He then took me to court ans lied stating he never seen our child and wanted more time. Right now he barely sees our child, even with the order in place. He has excuses and lies and when he eventually comes to see our child he causes problems in my home and follows me around provoking me and I’m afraid to call the cops because I heard that can make me look bad, like I’m retaliating against the court order. He then texts or calls all hours of the night trying to change the order and harassing me so I don’t respond. if I don’t respond he tells me I’m violating the order and have penalties against me, he sees her when ever he wants like I said barely..and then he asks me for more time but he doesn’t see her on the time and days the court order says. I dont know what to do, our child isn’t familiar with him and his family wants me to hand her over to them all and our child has a piercing scream she does with them.it really makes me fearful and sad, I’m lost and confused when he does see hee he takes pictures of her and leaves and he doesn’t buy her anything …help

    • Hi Nakeyshia, this is an important issue, you’re making the right choice by reaching out for help with this. From what you’re saying, it sounds like the child’s father doesn’t have their best interests in mind. This is of course essential for a solid parent-child relationship. The best way to enforce your rights as the mother of the child and potentially regulate the amount of time the father spends with the child is to get a court order that outlines a set parenting schedule. We can help prepare the documents you need to file and represent yourself in family court. Please contact us to speak to someone in our office and see what we can do for you. Thanks for writing to us. We look forward to assisting you with your family court issue.

      (800) 787-4981

  51. nominus says:

    Okay, my ex wife and I have a 12 year old son, and I have residency. She has been increasingly unstable beginning about 1 1/2 years ago, when I divorced her because she was running around like a teenager, leaving me to do everything. Well, sadly, this has not stopped, and it has now costed me two great jobs. I try to convince her to take up more responsiblity, and ask her to discuss how she can help me, and when she decides she wants to act like a mom, she resorts to having me let her live here, which results in her disappearing when she is being counted on, and breaking off all contact. She continually lies, has been violent numberous times, and I’ve kicked her out for the third time recently. Still after kicking her out, I needed her to help me figure out what she could do since I was working full time at a very strict job over 45 minutes away, but she continually runs amok before figuring this stuff out, and its been hard for me to breathe due to all the pressure always being left on me while she has been taking extended vacations with no notice over and over. She, after a week being kicked out with no clue how she would help me to keep my job, instead called early and threatened, then just as I was arriving at work texted that she was coming over at 5 to get things which were not at my house, and I couldn’t get her on the phone to get a good idea of her stability and she kept insisting she was coming, so I left work early to file a restraining order. That night she showed up anyways, we were away intentionally, until my neighbor said she was kicking the door. I get back to find an suv loaded with my belongings from the yard, she hit and pushed me, etc. Well the next day she was served the restraining order, which she immediately broke by calling, but was calmer and said she was sad. Wanted to speak to my son and I talked to him and he agreed. She said she was going to take a shower first, but didn’t call for over an hour and a half, at that time my son no longer cared to speak to her. She has been living at her moms drug house with all sorts of people occupying her time, and I lost my job due to having to leave to file the rest. order. This pretty much made me crack, I wanted to run because of all the pressure and I wanted her to take the kid. So when the hearing came around, I dropped it. After the hearing she wouldn’t talk to me, acted scared and on her mothers direction filed an order against me. I am on my last leg here, I cannot allow my son to go to that house, they are convicted drug dealers, and I cannot seem to get her to follow through on putting the kid first. And to make matters worse, she can say I’ve been harassing her because I’ve been calling and texting repeatedly because I’m cracking from the pressure of it all being on me, but she claims to want to be a mom, but doesn’t show it and my son is not really wanting her these days because of her broken promises. I believe her to be scizophrenic and when I read the description to her she agreed it sounded just like her. But now she is at her moms and I’m worried that she will attempt to use this bogus restraining order to force me to allow my son to go to her mothers house, or worse try and take custody of him from me. I don’t understand it because I”ve been desperate to get her to take some of the responsiblilty for over 1.5 years and now even still she wont take him but is acting like I wont let her when we both have agreed we did not want him to stay at that house and now, without talking to me, wants to just change that. What he heck do I do? There is a whole bunch more but I can’t keep typing forever…….

    • Greetings, these are all good questions. From your description, it sounds like you have been extremely patient and forgiving, which seems to have back fired. You’ve taken the right steps and as I’m sure you’re now aware, going to court might be a good idea. If you’re worried about your ex trying to take the child away from you, the best way to protect yourself is through a court order signed by a judge. Please call or e-mail us to set up a phone call with one of our team members to see if you qualify for our services. Thanks for writing to us.

      (800) 787-4981

  52. Smith says:

    I have a 1yr old son whos father and I spilt up! We haven’t really discussed custody or visitation schedule, we have only been spilt up for about 1month and when he wabted to see our son I took him but now he has started dating a girl and wants scheduled visits! We live about 18hrs aways from each other! What I want to know if there is a custody agreement so my son won’t me her! I don’t want him meeting every girlfriend he has! And I don’t really trust his family as they have a bad drug problem which has been a big problem and unsafe for my son! I would let him see his son but not with her or staying at the house he lives in with people who do drugs and drink! There was s few occasion were we had to leave for our safety.

    • Hi thanks for writing in on such an important issue. Your son’s safety is of the utmost concern and you’re clearly taking the right steps of protect him from a bad environment. Excluding the other parent from the child’s life is something that should be a last resort and you obviously want the father to be a part of your son’s life but his social habits seem to make that difficult and unsafe. If you’re looking to establish a set parenting schedule, getting an official court order signed by a judge is one way to go about it. We help parents just like you do this very thing every day. Please give us a call to speak to a representative about how we can help you.

      (800) 787-4981

  53. David Lee Pylant says:

    I would like to know if it is possible to get primary custody of my son he is 4 years old an his mother is always going out to party an leaving him with someone she want work if she does work its only for a month or two an I feel as if all she is using my son for is my child support money please let me know what you think

    • Hi David. Nothing is more important than a parent wanting to take responsibility for their child and maximize that bonding time that every parent is entitled to. If you want full custody of your son, the best way to establish this is through a court order. This is especially important if you think the mother will give you a hard time about this. If you’re worried about your child’s well being it’s even more essential to do something now before things potentially get out of hand. Please give us a call to discuss your options.

      (800) 787-4981

  54. Ryan says:

    Hi, my ex sent me messages SMS and emails stated I need to come take the kids, I did so on the first day, she stated that she does not wanna see them and that they are better off with out her, I was the one stateing I will take them but that she is important to them.

    I have been making plans on moving into my house which is bigger and better for them, and now a week later she wants them back and is threateninge with a kidnapping case if I do not bring the kids back to her.

    What must I do…… Please help?

    • Hi Ryan, thanks for writing to us. The most important thing for kids is stability. It sounds like you want to provide that for them since the mother, from what you’re saying, is somewhat wishy washy. It’s also important for children to have both parents in their lives and, as you know, they shouldn’t have the mother trying to give them up one day and take them back another on a whim. This is unfair and created an unstable environment for the kids. You’re doing the right thing by reach out for assistance. We have over 15 years of combined knowledge ready to help you with your family court issue. Please give us a call and speak to a staff member about how we can help you establish a parenting plan. Thank you.

      (800) 787-4981

  55. Kelly says:

    My niece lost custody of her 2 girls once before due to drug use, she got custody back about a year and a half ago. the girls are 5 and 3. My 18 yr old daughter visited them this weekend and witnessed my niece using a bong in front of the children, her 2 girls and her boyfriends 3 boys that he has visitations with. Can they lose custody of the kids again or will this just be something CPS would just counsel them on with a warning?

    • Hello Kelly, good questions. Unfortunately we cannot legally advise you on this matter because we’re not a law firm, we’re a parent advocate group specializing in preparing court documents for parents to file in court for the purpose of getting custody or visitation. Children need a good environment to live in in order to flourish and become healthy individuals in their adult lives. If the other parent is concerned about the environment the kids are currently in, we encourage to call us to explore their options. Thanks for writing to us.

      (800) 787-4981

  56. joana says:

    My husband and his ex have a 6year old daughter and they have legal joint custody. We have her every other weekend and an Monday and Tuesday 4days in a row. For almost a year we have been having her for 5-7 days in a row because her mother is all ways working . She even moved an hour away from us for this job and moved her schools mid school year. She also has her in a after schol daycare . It seems her or her partner cant find time to take care of her.And now because of her work again she wants to move her to another school out of her district and she will be taken care of by her grandmother. Is there anything he can do about obtaining more visitation days since she doesn’t really spend time with her.

    • Hi Joana, the short answer to your question is yes, he can petition the court for visitation or custody. Not that many people know that going through family court for these kinds of issues really comes down to what you file with the court for the judge to see, which is what we do for people. We help mothers, fathers and grandparents everyday across America file the right court documents they need to fight for custody or visitation. Please have your husband give us a call so we can determine if he can make use of our services.

      (800) 787-4981

  57. Bibiana says:

    i recently left an abusive relationship with my 1 year old son, (we lived together for 1.5 years) …we moved back to my parents as of nov 2, 2013…there has been historical background regarding domestic violence/abuse toward me (before, during and after pregnancy as well towards the baby…which is why i finally had to make the decision to leave, protecting his physical/emotional safety…in the past, i left the relationship 8 times and kept returning to him, but realized there is no possible opportunity to reconcile, as he is not getting the help he needs to learn to control his violent temper/rage and learn to deal with situations in non-violent ways…he was diagnosed in 2010 as bi-polar/schizophrenic and discontinued his medication after 2 months of using them as the medication made him feel “too calm”, “docile” and “numb”…..

    my growing concern is that I’m in the process of filing for custody sharing this information with the court…my lawyer is well informed of the situation as well…..my x has threatened me to say that if i take this to court, “he’s not going to make this easy for me”….he has a pending assault charge (unrelated to me) and past criminal record with assault and drug charges …..Children’s Aid Society has been involved in the past (as someone had reported an injury i sustained during an incident)…ive been going to post domestic violence counselling and the intake counsellor suggested i speak with CAS to update them on information as i did not disclose all information when they first interviewed me, they have re-opened a file, as they are concerned…and they plan to interview my x…

    when we first moved back with my parents he was showing up unannounced and i told him he is not welcome here (since there was also an incident that occurred between him and my family)…he pressured me to let him in and so i did a few times…then i told him i would not let him in again, as i felt unsafe and that he was overstepping my boundaries…because of this my parents had the wall between the upstairs and downstairs unit opened, my brother removed it so I had a second exit in case i was home alone and something happened……he stopped coming altogether……however, he continues texting, emailing and calling me…his messages are a mixture of remorse, hostility and pleading…. he went to my fathers place of work and my 17 year old daughters place of work…i told him to stop bothering my family members… on april 3rd he showed up unannounced at my parents and i wasn’t home, he had come by for “10 minutes” to see Lucas and dropped off a couple of diapers/ baby food… he stood at the front door and held Lucas and he told me how he was tempted to take Lucas from my dad and leave…this is very frightening to know he would not think of the baby’s best interest but his own…

    I’m extremely cautious, concerned and afraid that things will continue to escalate…as his brother recently cut off ties with him due to his behaviour…his brother’s home was a neutral place where arrangements were made for my x to visit the baby, while at the same time the baby would have the opportunity to connect with his 2 baby cousins…but now that option is no longer available…and my x is not welcome there…which leaves me with minimal and limited places for frank to see his son…as no family member on either side wants anything to do with him… and I’m not comfortable meeting him alone, although i feel forced to…

    I’m notifying someone from the force. as i never reported any incidences of domestic violence that have happened … (witnesses have seen my injuries and knew about the abuse )…however i did informally sit with constable kastown from 22 division (feb 22, 2014) and she explained my options…i didn’t give too many details… I’m worried of what may happen next…especially after he gets served papers to court…ive been avoiding getting police involved, but see I need to put safety and protection measures in place because my x has nothing to lose… he has no relationship with most of his family members (most recently now his brother eric cut ties with him), he was served an eviction notice, so he’s losing his “home”, he is unemployed, has no support from anyone, and is unpredictable…

    my counsellor and CAS worker both highly advised i notify someone from your department about the issue and the escalations…so this is what I’m doing today.

    there is so much more to say…i just wanted someone to have some knowledge of the situation…im faced with meeting with my x so he can see his son…and my options are limited…i even went as far as calling bramalea city centre (public mall in my area) security department and let them know when i would be there and where i would be and if they could check up on me and the baby while we are there with my x…that day, frank declined to see his son, which i was relieved to hear…then i called back the security department and let them no i was no longer going. but i will have to do the same thing as an extra precaution the next time he does decide to meet there to see Lucas, quite possibly this weekend.

    I’ve taken this measure because of how hysterically speaking he has behaved in public malls with me…so i wanted to make sure someone was aware of my being there with baby Lucas.

    since my counselling experience with post domestic violence i am learning so much about the cycle of abuse and how the entire situation is about power and control, even though i knew this vaguely, reviewing this information helps remind me how i kept myself in a dangerous situation…and when Lucas was born how he was exposed to the same dangers…as the effects of domestic violence on the fetus, infants and children are horrifying and very sad to say the least.

    my strength has been my babies (my 17 year old from previous marriage) and my 1 year old…and i want to ensure their protection and safety (emotionally, mentally, physically)…its one thing to be a victim of domestic violence on my own…but once the baby was part of that violent cycle…i had to finally step up and out of the abuse for his sake…

    I’m really at a loss for what safety measures i can put in place..besides the ones I’ve put myself… i wanted some form of protection during and after these proceedings…as i truly don’t know how my x is going to react…and i rather us be safe than sorry in the long run… can someone help?

    i feel forced to allow access to our son…and dont feel comfortable for good reason…especially because of the past violence…what do i do????

    • Greetings Bibiana, you’ve got a lot of good information here that certainly backs up any claims you would want to bring to court. It’s clear that you’ve taken all the necessary steps to get this issue taken care of and you’re right to be cautious. If you’ve already filed papers to serve the father with, we wouldn’t be able to do much besides providing information our blog here, because we prepare the documents to file, which you’ve already done it sounds like. In family court however, the more information you have on your side, the better. Family law is fact driven and everything that you put in your comment is all stuff that’s relevant to your situation and should be given to the judge in a manner in which it makes sense to them about why you’re in the court room in the first place. If you need help preparing court documents in the future, please give us a call to see if you qualify for our services. Thank you.

      (800) 787-4981

  58. I currently have sole parental rights and responsibilities for my two children as well as majority (I believe it is about 78%) custodial rights. I moved with the children last summer to PA which is about 5 hours from their father. I didn’t ask for more custody but only asked to change the schedule so that he would still see them regularly. He is supposed to see the children every other weekend. We are to meet half way for pick up and drop offs. He has only taken the kids a few times here and there since the move. He is now stating that he wants to give up his portion of the custody rights to me because it is too much for him to deal with. Can he just do that? I worry about my children and how they will feel if he should choose to walk out of their lives.

    • Hello, it’s always unfortunate to hear when a father doesn’t want to take responsibility for his children. From our experience working with families for over ten years, it’s safe to say that a judge probably won’t look too kindly on a dad that wants to give up his rights to his children. It’s also very difficult for a father to do that as well. The most ideal situation is one that it seems you already have: a 50/50 kind of arrangement. Regardless, the best way to enforce or change something is to get a court order signed by a judge. We can help you go to court over this issue by preparing the documents you need to file so you can get your story in the hands of the judge. Please call us to speak to a representative and see what your options are. Thanks for writing to us.

      (800) 787-4981

  59. Ciindylo says:

    My ex whom I dated briefly,have a 11 month old. We gave been separated since I was prengnat. We have tried to be a family for our daughters sake but with different beleifs. He chooses to party with friends and lives at home with his father. He also has felony charges for gun/poss with the intent to sell, something I didn’t know unitl after I was pregnant. He is now saying if I don’t let him see her Mon-Fri while I work that he is going to court to get 50/50 custody. I have my pown place with a place for our daughter and I have a stable job/ He does have text messages of me losing my cool in fights because he wants tpo act 18 and not be a family man. I wanted hom to change but it has not. Can he get 50/50 with all those neg things he has all because of my text msgs?

    • Hello thanks for writing to us, these are good questions that a lot of single moms across the country have. Something you might want to consider is filing for custody before your ex files. This gives a lot of parents the upper hand. The whole idea is to get a court order that outlines some kind of parenting plan/schedule. It sounds like you can offer a better environment for your child and that you are better off being the custodial parent. You have a lot going for you. And it’s a great thing that you want the father to be a part of the child’s life, it’s always unfortunate to hear when a parent wants put having fun before taking care of their child. This might be something you would want to add to your documents when, and if, you file for custody of you child. We can help get you the documents you need to file for this. Please contact us to speak with one of our enrollment specialists and discuss your options. Thanks again for writing to us.

      (800) 787-4981

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