Sole Custody


#1

I have a 2 year old son whom I have had primary physical custody of his entire life, I was awarded emergency custody of him in January when my ex refused to return him after I had filed child support. We attended the court ordered mediation and had no luck, I am currently waiting for the next phase of the process. I am wondering what my chances are of getting sole custody. My ex has a substance abuse problem which can be confirmed with his medical records (pills and the “legal” form of marijuana which he does during my sons visits while he is in the room). Many times he can barely speak let alone function due to the pills he has taken. He has been admitted to the psych ward on a 48 hour hold, checked into rehab and left the very next day. He constantly has people in and out of his house buying/selling drugs. He cancels visits on a regular basis and has went weeks without seeing my son. He has moved 6 times within the last two years, hasn’t had a job during that time and has lived with several different girlfriends and various roommates. One ex girlfriend (live-in) and 2 roommates have come to me because they feel uncomfortable with the situation and are willing to testify to the things they witnessed while living in the same house-hold such as never bathing him, not changing his diaper regularly, feeding him only candy bars, fruit snacks, popcorn and macaroni during weekend visits, smoking K-2 in the same room, taking excessive pills, putting him to bed as soon as he gets there and putting him down for a nap within an hour of waking up and letting him scream and cry til he falls back asleep, letting him wear the same dirty clothes all weekend, etc. I have provided a steady stable home for my son (no live in boyfriends/roommates) where he has his own bedroom and bathroom, have been working at the same job for the last 4.5 years Mon.-Fri. 8:30-5:30, only moved once (to be closer to family and ex), enrolled him in a top notch christian daycare, involved almost daily with my family, allowed his paternal grandparents visits on numerous occasions, taken him to all doctor/dentist appointments, provided financially for everything, etc. Should I file for sole custody/supervised visitation? Will they grant that based on his drug use/mental state? What happens if I don’t send him if his father shows up under the influence? I don’t want to take my son away from his father but the situation he is put in when he is with his father terrifies me especially at only 2 years old.


#2

Based on the facts you list, I don’t see how getting sole custody will present a problem for you. Especially if you can line up those witnesses who came forward to you. The court will consider his ability to parent, and what is in the child’s best interests in awarding custody. If drugs are involved the court may very well find that sole custody be awarded to you and only limited and supervised visitation to him is appropriate.