I don't know whether to go for sole custody or not: Advice?

I just want to get some advice about my situation. I was with my ex for 8.5 years. We had a son in 2007. The first few years of my sons life, my ex was the dad I always knew he could be. He took care of us, provided for us. Everything we wanted and needed. But the last year of our relationship, it started getting bad. I had a roommate, not a significant other. When we were home, he would leave and vice versa. Drinking became the priority for him. There was even times where I was at work and he would leave my son by himself to go drink. When my son told me this, I didn’t believe it. I told my son “no, he wouldn’t do that”. But one night I got off work early and came home to my son by himself. I could tell what kind of night it was going to be with what he drank. He was never physically abusive, but he was mentally, emotionally, verbally and financially abusive. When it was over, I asked him to leave. He wouldn’t. But it was my house. I paid the rent and all the bills. All the furniture in the house was mine. But he wouldn’t leave. So I talked to someone that dealt with domestic violence situations, and she’s the one that told me that he was verbally, emotionally, mentally, and financially abusive. So she helped me get a restraining order. My son and I left for the weekend. I came back, had to get a police officer to check the house first to make sure he was not in the house. He was, he did a weekend in jail. After that, he disappeared. When the court came to make the restraining order good for a year, he didn’t show up. So it was granted. He eventually left back home to Idaho. After the year, he came back and wanted to see my son. It lasted for about five minutes. I told my son he wanted to take him to do something and that he would be back. He didn’t come back. Fast forward the last three years; he’s reached out a few times a year. I’ve had an open child support case for almost four years now, and I got ONE payment of $100 just earlier this year. None of his family reaches out to even talk to my son. A month ago, I decided to file for sole custody. They said he had a month to respond. And he did. We have court next month. I am so stressed because the court is always “wants to do the best for the kid,” and I feel like because he responded, they’re going to split the custody and put my son in a position he doesn’t want to be in. I’ve given my ex so many chances than he deserved. He chose not to do anything or be involved. People think I’m bitter or salty cause he has a “new” family. I can care less. What kills me is that he’s the dad to his step kids, as well as two boys he has with his GF. But not my son. I feel like I want to withdraw my request so he will stay away. But part of me feels like he doesn’t have a fighting chance. I can’t help but stress myself out that custody will be split. Do I fight it or let it be so he will continue to stay away.


I’m not sure if you can withdraw it now that he’s responded…but if it was me and it COULD be withdrawn that’s what I would do. My daughter is 8 and custody battles are never fun :disappointed:

Can you get a guardian ad lidem? They interview everyone involved and help the judge make the decision.


I have gone through court myself and they are for dads having right as long as they can prove themselves and they dont look so much on past and focus on present now but he isnt going to get half contact it would just start at contact centre and build up from that dads who prove themselves only get like every second weekend etc and holidays so dont worry court isnt as bad as you think , there will be rules he needs to follow etc to keep everyone safe if he is interested x

You need to speak with a lawyer for accuate legal advice, please do that.


Listen do ur best show them proof paper work text message and make his visits supervised

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I can’t imagine they will split the custody due to abandonment. And no financial support or not even seeing him or reaching out to him on a regular basis. Just remember he will always be his daddy good or bad and he unfortunately loves his dad and will crave his love and attention always. Never speak ill of his father, or keep him from him, not saying u do it’s just so hard on these kids.
But no he doesn’t deserve partial custody he lost that right. You’re his constant and his father should never get joint custody.


You fight and have your son speak at court or the very least write a letter to the judge. He is plenty old enough.

The court will likely give him some sort of visitation but you can definitely fight that he catch up on back child support. The court sees hes not paying it. So that’s in your favor

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If you can prove all of want you said here he might not get any rights at all and if so I’d make it to we’re they are supervised bye dfs or the court so he caint take the child and run I’d fight it if I was you and you can make it to we’re he has to take a test and if he fails it he caint see his child to my state and many others do that to and if he does bye a chance make it to we’re he has to call you everyday to tell you how the child is doing

  1. Get a lawyer. Now.

The rest really depends on your state, the evidence you have, your child’s age and their wishes. Hence why a lawyer will give you your best answer


He can’t just come in and get joint . The kid doesn’t even know him


The best advice I ever got from a lawyer because I was in your similar situation was don’t go on the offensive Make him go on the offensive. When we got divorced we had joint custody. One year later he stopped visitation. Three years later I went to my attorney and said the same thing you did he barely knows his dad now how can he just show up one day and I have to follow joint custody. She said you don’t have to. Three years or any significant amount of time where a parent doesn’t see your child is really frowned upon by a court. Don’t do anything. Keep him with you the way you do and if your ex shows up on your door and wants visitation again make him fight for it make him get in front of a judge and explain where he’s been the whole time he hasn’t been doing the joint custody visitation. Make him explain how he’s changed and what he’s going to do better. If you take him to court for soul custody you look like the bad guy and he gets to look like the “injured” party. She was right in 13 years he never asked for visitation again.


Dont know how old your son is if hes over 8 year old let him talk to judge how he feeling!

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There nit going to ! U been there more then he has !

Supervised visittation if it goes thru. And request parenting classes. He hasnt financially been there. And abandoned the child. Sooo it looks like itll work on ur side. Cuz at that why hasnt he done time for the child support hes missed. My vounty sends warrants out after 2 missed payments.

Get letters from the domestic violence advocates, the police report from the time he got arrested, pictures, phone records, if the school is aware of the issue ask them for a notarized letter too. Every single paper counts! I went through that ordeal and submitted proof of domestic violence and I got full custody.


You fight honey, he may not show up

Keep him away if hes not doing any thing with son any way

Child waa born in 07, so he’s roughly 12?
Let him decise if he visits. He’s of age in most states.
If he says No, it’s no. However, I would get him in therapy for a while bc like it or not, it will effect him as he ages. He’ll need guidance to navigate his emotions and get tools to work through it all. :heart:
I’d not support any visitation that wasn’t supervised for 12 months.


Going to court makes matters worse, you should have left it alone.

Custody and visitation are two separate things. Is there already some sort of order in place? I would probably contact an attorney who would have better knowledge of the laws for your state.

What do you want to do? What is his reasoning for wanting to be a part time dad to his son by you? Some children are better off without people who careless. Are you two divorced? Your choice. But if there is an order for him to pay child support most judges make them pay up.

If your child is 12 years old he’s old enough to voice his own opinion in court on whether or not he wants to visit dad

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Not trying to take from the post but how old does a child have to be before they can tell a judge how they feel or how they’re parent is?

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I would go with full custody, you can make arrangements- w your ex, but once shared custody id awarded- you are screwed, you’re stuck with it, and is easier for ex to gain full custody if you’re non compliant… GO FOR FULL CUSTODY.

Go for full custody. He won’t win anything with the paper trail he is leaving behind him. Not paying child support is a huge no no in most states. Don’t stress. You were strong enough to get away from him. You are strong enough to get through this. The father has made his bed. He will soon realize that a judge will not stand for it. Keep us updated on the out come.

You’ll probably get custody given his disappearance but he may get visitation, document everything, tell they’re, remove emotion and speak to the facts, get a lawyer if u can, if u can’t afford, seek legal advice at least. Dint with drawl that Will look bad.

Ask your son what he wants…

not saying you do this but offer no negative opinions of his father !

Explain to your son that you just want what is in his best interest… so ask your Son !

Your after full custody not setting up visitation. The father isn’t paying child support and you’ve already had to have a restraining order put in place so a decent judge should give you custody. Visitation is another issue

Where I’m from if the child is 12 or older they decide who they want to live with and can speak on their own behalf for their wishes and those wishes are normally granted if it is within reason and there’s a good reason for why

Continue to fight!! I was in almost the same situation and my ex-husband took my daughters for the weekend and refused to return them to me and with no custody papers I had to fight for custody. He was never there for the girls and I and only did it out of spite because his younger girlfriend thought she could be a better mother. Please, please get some kind of custody agreement on paper legalized by the court so that your ex can’t decide that he wants his son and with no custody papers the police (at least in Pennsylvania) can’t get involved because it’s considered a domestic dispute and he is the biological father. Good Luck

Your son is old enough to speak up. The judge should have a private conversation with your son. Let your son say what he feels. No pressure from anyone. If the judge doesn’t request chat time-you request/demand it. Just remain calm and be the good Mom/human that you are.
There should be a request to talk with the new family. Perhaps those kids don’t even know your son. That should speak volumes about what kind of dad your ex is.

Since the motion has been filed on your part, you must go to court. It’s very important that you say all that you wrote on this forum in court. I hope that you documented it. Right now you are at the mercy of the court and they will do what’s in the best interest of the child. At this point its in the hands of the judge.


Go fight it have you kept record of the child support ?? Keep documents on how much time he has spent with your son tell the courts about drinking and the abuse that has transpired don’t let your son down if necessary let him down he needs you let him testify if necessary


fight it. prove he isnt providing and a lot of what you said here. that will be all great things for you. just because he responded doesnt mean they will automatically give 50/50 custody


If he owes all that child support they are going to want to know why he hasn’t paid they don’t take that lightly. Go for full custody or Primary custody

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I believe the judge will speak with your son his self before making a decision.

I agree with the ladies above^. Fight it get custody and move on good luck :heart:

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You can prove abuse… U had a restraining order…no records of payment and u can say u are afraid he will kidnap your child


Get custody and move on


Sounds like your son is old enough for the judge to ask his own opinion. I wouldn’t stress too much. You have more going for you than he does.


Fight for custody you might regret it if you don’t

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