Child Custody Options

I am trying to find out my custody options. My daughter is 9 months old and has lived with me 100% since she was born. Her father lives 2 hours away and is an alcoholic. She only sees him when I take her to see him and I am present. He lives in a camper in his grandparents backyard. I am worried about my daughter’s safety if he has unsupervised visitation. We had previously verbally agreed to me being present during his visitations, now he has asked to come pick her up this weekend. He has never kept her by himself. He doesn’t know anything about her feeding or sleeping schedule and didn’t even have a car seat for her the last time we saw him. She starts crying whenever he tries to pick her up. What are my custody options in this case? Would I be able to get sole custody? How can I prove that he is an alcoholic to the court?

You are unlikely to get sole custody but you have many concerns that a judge would find concerning and valid. It is possible that a judge could give the father supervised visitation and gradually work up to unsupervised and longer periods of unsupervised visits and custodial time.

Besides any personal knowledge you have about the father’s drinking, you can also have any witness testimony by anyone else that is aware of the father’s drinking problem.

There is also a portably breathalyzer device that the father can use that requires him to blow into at certain times periodically during the day and night that he has the minor child in his care. This will ensure he is not drinking and if he is, you would be notified right away and you could go pick up your child. The device also takes a picture of the person blowing into it so the father would not be able to get a third party to blow for him if he knew he has been drinking.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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