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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Question Going from Joint Custody to Sole Custody As an Unwed Mother

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Texas
    When my son was 2 months old, and his father was still putting a good deal of effort, we signed a joint custody agreement in front of a mediator and i dropped his child support payments to only $150 a month because i didn't want to see him struggle. Shortly after he stopped making regular visits with his son, and between 6 months and 10 months he refused to see his son at all because he was upset with me over unrelated issues.
    My son is now 2 years and a month. His father constantly does not take him, whether he calls first or just doesn't show up, and on the days he does take him he is always a few hours late. And he almost never takes him over night anymore. (most visits last 6- 8 hours.)
    Since January i have documented on a calender of every time he calls, takes my son, doesn't show up, and shows up late. From the month of January until June, he has had him an average of 8 HOURS A MONTH. and on his last visit with him, fathers day, he was not only 4 hours late picking him up, he returned our son in a completely soaked diaper that had not been changed since he picked him up at my house. that was 5 hours!
    Despite his lack of interest, any time i try to do something with my son, family vacations, look into preschools, ect, his father is quick to say "he is my son i have 1/2 custody you cant do that without me."
    i want what is best for my son, and i don't believe this inconstancy is good for him to go through. I also want to protect him from getting hurt in the future.
    I really want to take sole custody of my son but I'm worried that if i lose a custody battle his father will make my life hell. the reasons i'm worried i will not win is because his father is a few years older then me, has a good job and makes good money. i am a full time college student and me and my son stay ad my dads until i can graduate next year. I don't know if that would effect the case.
    So my question is, Do i have a descent case to actually win a custody battle with me sons father?

  2. #2
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Going from Joint Custody to Sole Custody As an Unwed Mother

    Mom, can you tell us word for word (minus names) about your custody agreement? Does it actually outline a 50/50 timeshare?

    The wording might make a huge difference.

    Him earning more than you, won't make a darned bit of difference.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    7

    Default Re: Going from Joint Custody to Sole Custody As an Unwed Mother

    it is like 20 pages. it states i have "the right to decide the primary residence inside ****** county or any contiguous county" and we both are "appointed joint managing conservators of the child" when it comes to health, education and other decisions for our son. we both are ordered to pay 50% each of health care. i just read something interesting on part of the paperwork referring to child support that states " Failure to obey a court order for child support OR POSSESSION OF OR ACCESS TO A CHILD MAY RESULT IN FURTHER LITIGATION to enforce the order." is that just referring to the child support or could that be interrupted as child visitation as well? it also says my x gets him 6 pm Friday till 6on Sunday every other weekend and Thursdays 6 - 8 and we alternate holidays (though he has not taken him or even seen him for a single one with the exception of showing up to birthdays) and he is allowed to take him for part of the summer as long as he gives me written notice. and then it states how the child should be brought back and forth between us. the rest referred to child support

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Going from Joint Custody to Sole Custody As an Unwed Mother

    Okay what that means is that if one of you doesn't pay up, or one of you refuses access to the child per the court order, you can both be hauled back into court.

    What Dad has is actually standard NCP visitation - one night a week and every other weekend with alternating holidays. Dad can't stop you from doing what you want with the child during your parenting time. Dad does NOT have the right to control that.

    So the next question is, what do you want to accomplish?

  5. #5
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Going from Joint Custody to Sole Custody As an Unwed Mother

    i want sole custody of my son. i want to protect him from any emotional strain especially when he gets older and can realize what is going on. My son already has enough problems, he is in speech therapy and see's a behavioral specialist and is about to be tested for autism. He doesn't know his dad and his spending the night randomly always seems traumatic to him. i want to protect my son. he needs consistency, especially at this age. if his father isn't going to be part of his life when he is suppose to i don't want him uprooting him one day a month. especially when i have seen some signs of neglect. unfortunately i cannot prove the neglect, but i know my son and he comes home very hungry and thirsty and with a very soiled diaper every time. i want to know if a court would grant me full custody on these grounds alone?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Going from Joint Custody to Sole Custody As an Unwed Mother

    Sole custody doesn't mean that Dad doesn't have any rights, nor would it change visitation.

    Unfortunately Dad is allowed to come and go to a huge extent. Visitation is his right, not his obligation.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Going from Joint Custody to Sole Custody As an Unwed Mother

    but it would give me the write to move out of state correct?

  8. #8
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Going from Joint Custody to Sole Custody As an Unwed Mother

    No that would not give you the right to move out of state unless your court order specifically addresses that.

    Is that what this is about? You want to move out of state? How far, and for what reason (that WILL be important).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    7

    Default Re: Going from Joint Custody to Sole Custody As an Unwed Mother

    that is not what it is about. i have family out of state who keeps telling me to go there. i know if I'm not here his father will not pursue any type of visitations and truly believes that would be for the best.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Going from Joint Custody to Sole Custody As an Unwed Mother

    If Dad agrees to the move, why not simply file a stipulated agreement with the court?

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