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Full custody with visitation?

Posted by on Aug. 12, 2014 at 11:27 AM
  • 8 Replies
Hi I was wondering if anyone has left an abusive relationship and pursued full custody? I've never went through the courts before so I'm looking for information on what to do and what I may need and what to look forward too thank you.
by on Aug. 12, 2014 at 11:27 AM
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by Bronze Member on Aug. 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Get a lawyer!!!  I'm sure there are some free advocates for abused women -- check with local women's shelters to see if there is a free legal service.  And then, this is the really hard part for most clients -- do exactly what the lawyer tells you to do -- don't deviate, don't think you know better, don't think you know what she said but don't -- if you don't understand something your lawyer tells you, say so -- some people don't want the lawyer to think they are stupid and, really it's not stupid to not understand something that you have never done before and the legal lingo can drive you nuts.  Be 100% honest with your lawyer, bring all information -- especially anything written, pictures, bank statements, tax returns, etc. so she has an idea where she's starting from.

by Gold Member on Aug. 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Were you married? Is dad on the birth certificate?

by on Aug. 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM
Do you have arrest records or court records of the abuse? If not, it didn't happen in the courts eyes. If dad fights for custody, chances are it will be granted. My ex gave me sole physical and legal custody of our son, otherwise I wasn't getting it. He has visitation once a month for a few hours, but hasn't taken it in a few years. My ex was physical and verbally abusive. I never went to the hospital and never filed a police report about the abuse. So technically it didn't happen as per family court.
by Gold Member on Aug. 12, 2014 at 1:52 PM

We need more info. Joint custody is being given more and more and even with full the Dad will likely still get visits. Do you have proof of the abuse? Was Dad abusive to the kids or just you? Were you married? What will Dad agree too?

by Platinum Member on Aug. 13, 2014 at 2:33 PM

I haven't, but I wish you much luck.

If yo have proof of the abuse (police records, emails/texts, witnesses) then I think that would go a long way in proving your case and getting custody.

by Anonymous 1 on Aug. 14, 2014 at 1:32 AM

Getting a lawyer is always the best option

by on Aug. 18, 2014 at 3:10 PM
It is different everywhere and with every husband. My husband did everything he could to be a jerk, so I got full without any police records. I went to the area women's shelter immediately after leaving. I didn't stay there, but they had a court advocate that was helpful. I would highly suggest you get a lawyer. Pm me if you have any specific questions.
by on Aug. 21, 2014 at 2:17 AM
Yes, I have full custody of my baby boy because his father was abusive to me while I was pregnant, as well as he is addicted to drugs and alcohol and has a very large criminal record.

Documentation is key. When we went to mediation, I had evidence of everything I said. All the arrest records printed in the local papers, the police report with his direct quote admitting to the officer that he was hooked on meth. All the harassing voice mails, texts, and threats from him and his family I had printed out and transcribed the voicemails. That is another key strategy I've used is to cut off all verbal communication entirely so that any form of contact can be kept as evidence. (Emails, texts, letters)

Also I presented all of his known associates and close friends and their lifestyle choices and criminal records. That matters as well. The more solid evidence you have the more credibility you gain with the mediator (the mediator is a very huge part of the judge's decision because they will almost always go with whatever the mediator recommends)

I did have a lawyer and it gave me peace of mind to feel like someone who knew what they were doing was on my side.. but honestly they didn't do anything I couldn't have done myself. Made copies of the paperwork and made trips to the courthouse to file the paperwork and schedule the courtdates. And it cost me nearly 10,000..

I also believe my lifestyle helped me tremendously. When my son was 6 days old I received the papers in the mail saying the father wanted him taken away from me entirely with no contact. He was clearly angry with me because I cut off contact when I was five months pregnant due to the abuse. So we went to the mediation a month later and the mediator asked him to give a reason that my son should be taken from me.. she asked was there any examples of anything that makes me an unfit mother..and he couldn't even give her an answer. He had no reasons to present her with that it would be better for my son to not have his mom. The only thing he told her was that when we would argue I would "blow up".. she addressed me and said is that true? And I very calmly said "yes it absolutely is. I was with someone who lied to me everyday when I was giving him chance after chance to redeem himself, so yes I absolutely did blow up several times. The emotional abuse took a severe toll on me." I didn't even try to cover it or lie about it, I just explained it truthfully. And I had plenty of solid facts why my baby shouldn't be left in the care of his father. So she saw that it was better for my son to be with me.

Present your facts, have evidence, and try to think about what the father can say against you and have your explanations ready to let your mediator know.

Also, I didn't know how I would be in front of the mediator beforehand, so I wrote a letter that I could read out loud to her in case I was too flustered to talk candidly. She let me read it and it was able to organize my reasons and thoughts and present it to her in a more clear way.

I'm sorry this was so long, I hope it helps and good luck to you and your baby!
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