What must I do or show the court to get full custody of our two children when spouse had bad/violent temper, throws/ breaks things in front of them, and they are often scared of him? They do not want to be alone with him especially if he has been angry that day (which is often). He is a very controlling person- ex. he will get mad with 8yo if she doesn’t eat what he thinks she should eat for breakfast. He smashed my phone once ( in front of children) when I tried to video his screaming (at children making them cry) to show him how he is, and how it affects them, to hopefully help him get a grip. This has been going on for years. I can’t imagine turning them over to him for weekends or weeks at a time. Part of the reason we’re still together is I’ve been afraid of having to leave them with him alone bc he has no control when upset. At this point I have had it. I just want to protect my children so I am torn. He and I cannot agree on anything, unless of course it is all his way. Can I get full custody in these circumstances?
In a custody dispute, the judge is given much discretion. The judge will hear testimony and look at the facts and circumstances surrounding each case and make a decision that reflects the best interests of the children. There is a preference in our courts for both parents to be given meaningful time with their children, but if the judge is persuaded that a child may come to some harm or danger if visitation is not monitored, the judge can order that visitation be supervised. Supervised visitation sometimes occur in the visiting parent’s home. The supervisor in such a location might be another relative, a family friend or even a social worker. Supervised visitation might occur in an even more protected setting such as the offices of a physician or mental health professional.
You may want to consider attending one of our free Divorce Webinars. They are about 45 minutes long and discuss all divorce related matters: child support, custody, equitable distribution, alimony, and absolute divorce. Or read our comprehensive article on Child Custody to get a better idea of how judges approach child custody issues.