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Dad sees kids but gives zero support otherwise. Can I file for sole custody and placement?

My boys father and I were together for about 7.5 years before I kicked him out due to his drinking. We have two children together whom he gives zero support to other than watching them while I work. He never participates in appointments for either child and doesn't do any therapy with our ASD son, He doesn't ask for time with them outside of when I work (three nights a week), he seems irritated like he doesnt want to watch his boys if I ask him to take them for an hour or two (once a week for my daughters horse therapy time), he doesn't give any financial support nor does he ever get anything the kids need. He also thinks its ok to drink all the time, even when he has the boys, and now thinks its ok to start smoking pot occasionally. He even has his alcoholic buddies around them occasionally. When I pick them up after work (7:15 am), he hasn't even woken them up and doesn't help get them ready to go unless I ask him to. They eat a ton of junk food at dads house and a meal might only consist of a single hot dog, never veggies or fruit. These are things he also did when he still lived with us. He doesn't discipline them or have any kind of routine either. I could go on all day! I want to file for sole custody and placement but I don't know what to expect, how it will go, how expensive it might get, etc. Any advice? Has anyone experience anything like this before?

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Asked by LondaSmith at 2:41 PM on Jul. 3, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 4 (46 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • It would be best to do this and have someone in a more stable environment watch them while you are at work.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 2:44 PM on Jul. 3, 2013

  • You can ask for sole custody and placement, sure. And it sounds like you could probably get it, if you have proof of his constant drinking and lack of involvement, particularly the lack of involvement when they are actually with him. But they'll probably still give him visitation, unless you can prove that he's a real danger to them.

    If you're going to go for custody, then I would also ask for child support. He needs to have some responsibility for them, and if financial support is the only responsibility you can get him to take, then do it.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 2:46 PM on Jul. 3, 2013

  • Oh, but if you are going to ask for custody, it might be a good idea to stop leaving them with him. Leaving them in his care indicates trust, that you are comfortable with how he is with the kids. That'll go against your argument that they need to be with you because he's unreliable, drunk, etc.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 2:47 PM on Jul. 3, 2013

  • What does your divorce or child custody agreement say?
    If you are amending the original agreement, it will likely cost less unless he is willing to fight you in court. If you have not done it at all it will pricier. Might he contest that they are not his (just to be ornery)? Is he on the birth certificates? You may need a DNA test done on the kids and an order for him to get one. Will he try for custody if you file? If there is no fight it costs less.
    If he is willing for you to have sole custody, he will still likely try to fight the CS.

    I would find better babysitting. Either way it is not worth it if you feel they are being endangered as you do.

    Answer by Dardenella at 2:53 PM on Jul. 3, 2013

  • You should have done this immediately after you kicked him out. If he has to pay you child support you'll be able to find alternate childcare for them.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 3:40 PM on Jul. 3, 2013

  • Why do you ask him to baby sit, if you do not like the way he does it? Put them in some sort of day care. And go for child support.

    Answer by louise2 at 3:59 PM on Jul. 3, 2013

  • I think you really could have stopped after the first couple sentences.... the answer surely should have occurred to you...


    Answer by m-avi at 5:51 PM on Jul. 3, 2013

  • Find other ray are before you file anything in court
    Having him watch the kids and you know about his drinking, smoking and other non parent actions...shows you are ok with this

    As for sole custody ...depends on your state, your judge, how good your lawyer is, how much he is willing to fight and what proof you have

    Him caring for kids while you are at work and then your argument will not work on court

    New sitter, then see how often he shows up, keep daily journal...THEN file in court

    Good luck, court can be long and very pricy

    Answer by fiatpax at 6:32 PM on Jul. 3, 2013

  • Find other daycare before you file

    Damn auto correct
    My typos on desktop are more readable

    Answer by fiatpax at 6:42 PM on Jul. 3, 2013

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