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If you've all been living under one roof, claiming that you are or have been the primary caregiver is likely a tough sell to the judge......in terms of gaining full custody because you've been under the same roof together. Had you been separated for this long and you had the child with you, then you'd be a shoe-in for full or primary.
Instead, absent some solid proof that him having joint custody would somehow be detrimental to the child - - which is fairly difficult to prove - - joint custody is the likely result.
However, it is still possible for you to be appointed as the primary parent, which is the person the child primarily resides with. That would mean the child would live with you the majority of the time, but the father would have joint custody and visitations frequently.
Because the father can claim that he was contributing as well, working hard to pay the bills, etc. to give you time to handle things with the child, etc. He's not going to appear as an absentee parent IF he was living in the same house.....instead, he's going to claim that he was simply handling different tasks than you were.
It'll turn into a he said/she said issue and will really develop into a situation where both parents think what each one did was more important than what the other was doing, etc., and the court isn't likely to get caught up in an issue like that. Instead, the court is more likely to consider that each parent was doing his/her share.
I'm not trying to get into who did more.....and that's sort of my point - - the court isn't going to want to do this either.
The court is going to do whatever is in the CHILD'S best interest, and absent some significant proof that him having joint custody would somehow be extremely detrimental to the child. You should have the upper hand in regard to being awarded primary custody given your role with the child (but it would be unlikely for him to be disallowed custody just because you cared more for the child than the father.
I'm not saying that the judge won't consider it, I'm just saying that you being the primary caregiver isn't a "slam dunk" for gaining full custody of the child. Just don't put too much reliance on that point. Instead, work on proving that you are the best parent and that you should be given custody or at least be appointed as the primary parent.