There are times when figuring out how to get full custody of your child seems like it might be the only way to protect them from a possibly dangerous parent. But, going about doing such a thing can be a difficult task. Unless the other parent has done things that are blatantly dangerous, illegal, and has obviously put the child in immediate danger, you are going to have to prove such to the court system.
How to Get Full Custody in a Dangerous Situation
If the child is in physical and emotional danger when they are with the other parent, you need to take immediate action. The first thing you should do is contact an attorney and get their perspective on it. They have the experience to tell you whether you have a chance or not. But, if the danger is severe enough, you should not hesitate to contact your local Department of Social Services or Child Protective Services.
It is important not to do this when there is no danger for the child. You can’t lie in an attempt to get the other person in trouble. The truth will come to light and it will work against you.
Although, calling DSS/CPS won’t automatically get you awarded custody, it will protect the children from a potentially dangerous situation and it will not look good for the other parent. Now is when you need to take legal action with the help of your attorney.
Getting Full Custody when there is No Danger
If the other parent is a caring and attentive parent and is not putting the child in immediate danger, you will probably have a difficult time getting full custody. The exception to this is if the other parent simply has no interest. But, if they love the child and have a nurturing relationship, it is very unlikely that any judge will take the child away from that parent. It is in the best interest of all kids to have a meaningful relationship with both of their parents.
Full Child Custody when the Other Parent is Absentee
There are times when the child’s other parent is simply never around. And by never, that means that they have nothing to do with the child. In a situation like this, especially if you have joint custody with that other parent, it might be necessary to petition the court for full custody. This will free you up to make decisions that the other parent is not around for – decisions that usually require both parents in a joint custody scenario.
Full Custody Rights
If, or once, you do have full custody, it is important to know what your rights are. Generally it means that you are free to make all decisions concerning the upbringing of the child. You are not required to consult the other parent on the medical, education, or religious decisions that you think are best. And, unless the other parent completely signed their rights away, they are usually still required to pay child support to you. But, there may still be restrictions on how far away you are able to move.
The laws and rights regarding full custody vary from state to state, and also by individual court orders that were handed down by the judge. Therefore you must know what the rules are for the state that your order was given in. Your attorney will be able to give you some guidance on what your next steps should be, or what rights you have available to you.
As stated previously, an attorney will be able to offer you advice on how to get full custody of your child for your area and individual situation. And remember – your attorney’s fees will likely be quite high – so be prepared.
While there is no surefire way to get full custody of your child, there are some things you should do that will help you out. Keep in mind that the court system takes custody very seriously and will not simply grant you full custody rights because you think it’s better that way. They want hard proof that the child is in emotional or physical danger in their current situation. If you believe that to be the case, then you will need to take the appropriate action.
Here are some tips on how to gain full custody rights:
- Document everything. Keep track of anything that you think might be of even minimal importance. It’s amazing how many times that minuscule little things balloon into big things. When you keep track of them, then you’ll know when and how they originated.
- Be good. Don’t go out partying or generally being a public nuisance. The judge is going to like seeing that you are an asset to your community. Even better yet, get your child involved with some great community activities. Not only is it good for you, it is great for the child to see the benefits of helping other people.
- Treat your ex with respect. This can be a very difficult thing to do at times, especially when they can be personally verbally attacking you to your face and to others. They may even be spreading lies in an effort to get you in legal trouble. Don’t let this affect how you treat them. You need to be the bigger person and giving in to their game will usually make you have a weaker case. If they really are lying or possibly even throwing false accusations your way, most of the time they will be found out. You need to keep your emotions in check and do the right thing at all times.
- Treat your child with respect. This should go without saying, but you do not want to belittle the other parent in front of your child. It’s not good for them. Yes, the other parent might be doing it, but remember – you’re not playing their game. You are looking out for your children. So, don’t fall into the same trap as them.
- Follow through on your commitments. There are going to be a lot of awkward moments during your custody battle. Things like parent/teacher conferences, doctors appointments, etc. where you are going to be in direct contact with your ex. Don’t not show up just because they are going to be there. You need to find the strength to sit down and pretend like nothing is going on.
- Keep people informed. People such as teachers and doctors should know what is happening. These are people that are going to have direct contact (especially teachers) with your child on a regular basis. You will find that if you set them down and have a brief conversation with them about what’s happening, they can be very good at keeping your abreast of anything odd that’s happening. If you will take just a few moments to explain the situation in a neutral way (do not verbally bash your ex), they will be willing to let you know if something doesn’t seem right. Just ask them if they will let you know if your child seems to be showing any signs of stress or acting out in any way. This lets them know that you are obviously concerned about the well-being of your child, and many times they will be very helpful to you. Make sure you document the things they tell you.
Obviously, the not even the best tips on how to get full custody of your child are going to help you if you don’t genuinely care about your children’s well-being. Nor will they help if the other parent is truly a good person and the children are in no danger with them. Use common sense and put your children first. Don’t use custody as a way of getting back at your ex – nobody wins in that situation…especially the children. In a situation where your child is in no danger, joint custody rights are probably going to be the best for them.
First off, you have to understand that just because a parent might not make much money, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be a good parent. Government assistance is out there for a reason – to help people get back on their feet. Of course, there are some people that abuse that system, but there are at least as many that do not.
The question of how to get full custody of your child can’t be answered that easily. If that were the case, every person that was on Welfare would lose their children to an interested parent who isn’t on Welfare automatically.
To answer the question more literally:
Can you get full custody of your child if the other parent is on Welfare? Yes.
Can you get full custody of your child because the other parent is on Welfare? No. And, thankfully not.
But, keep in mind that when there is a custody evaluation going on, they take into account an all-around snapshot of how each parent is doing. They will look at finances, relationships, overall stability, along with many other factors. Based on the complete picture of both parents, a custody evaluator will make their recommendation to the Judge as to how they feel each parent can provide for the child.
And, keep in mind as well that if you are not the custodial parent, you will likely have to pay child support which is to help the other parent afford to raise your child.