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I am sorry to hear about this situation.
Provided that her instability (drinking and medicines and mood disorders, etc) can be proven
, then I do not think that the Court would award her the custody of a nine year old.
The Court decides on custody based on the rule of thumb of "best interest of the child
." This includes, but is not limited to, general stability of the parent, financial stability, indoctrination of the child in the current school and environment, household condition and living condition of the child, other persons living in the house, etc. The courts generally do not like to split the custody 50/50 since this is hard on the child unless both parents agree to this.
One parent usually becomes the custodian and the other parent becomes the "visiting" parent which is generally one day a week, every other weekend, and alternating holidays. The nuanced points of the custody can either be decided by the parties or the Court, if the parties cannot come to an agreement.
Even if a parent does not get managing custody, they are almost guaranteed visitation
unless they have a drug problem, alcohol dependency, or an unsafe home environment. Abuse and or neglect of the child or previous children are an almost automatic bar for even visitation, although supervised visitation
may be granted by the Court.
Of course, that is the standard order of possession. That order can be modified if both parties agree or if the Court finds that it is an extraordinary situation.
Given her unstable nature and constant drinking, one has a good chance of getting custody. What would be my best course of action in this case?
To consider filing a divorce like you want or at least a separation
petition along with a custody matter, seeking custody of the child. Also, I would begin documenting her behavior as much as possible, as this would be useful in Court.
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