Getting custody


I want to get full custody of my 13-year old daughter. Her mother has been physically abusive towards my daughter over the last few years and I am confident that we have good evidence of this. Since the last violent episode, they started family counselling. My daughter has continually maintained very good grades for the past few years. However, my daughter wants to live with me. My ex does not want to give me full custody, and from what I have read, my chances of getting full custody are very slim. I understand my daughter could report this to the police and/or I could file for a change in custody; but either way, it seems like my chances of getting full custody are very slim, with the reason being that judges are very reluctant to change custody agreements. Any and all insight and opinions are welcome and appreciated.

To clarify, over the last 2 years, my daughter has spent approx 80% of the time at the ex’s and 20% with me. I still want my daughter to see her mom, but I want primary physical custody and I want legal custody. My daughter would have to change school if I was awarded legal custody. As of now, legal custody is shared and I want legal custody so I don’t need to get approval from the ex to travel outside of the US and I don’t want the ex causing me grief for things like choosing a doctor, a dentist and such.

You may file a motion to modify custody based on a substantial change in circumstances. The courts are not reluctant to change custody when doing so will serve the child’s best interests.