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Hi, thank you for your question.
We are in Connecticut and very worried. Our daughter is awfully nervous and afraid that she is going to lose her daughter in all this.
Whether to divorce someone is a very personal decision--one that the person has to make for themselves, but I am pretty concerned for your daughter. Is the fear of losing her daughter the only thing keeping her from divorcing?
Pretty much. She is going to see a lawyer next opportunity she gets. She works full time and has to make sure that she does not jeopardize her job.
How old is her daughter?
her daughter is 3
Who has been the child's primary caretaker?
My daughter. He does next to nothing.
You said that your daughter fears "losing" her child. What does "losing" mean? No contact? Father gets full custody?
They are not living together right now because he spent a week with us. When he got back, he told his wife - my daughter- that he did not want us coming to texas this christmas for a planned visit, that he would give back any presents we gave him, that he did not want to see us or talk to us. This all resulted in my daughter calling his sister who confessed to her parents that she did not like him and that was the reason she never came to visit for fear that he would be there. This resulted in the therapy session mentioned before.
Losing - as in he gets custody.
He is living at his parents house.
At the request of his parents.
He is 43 years old.
Does she have any specific reason to believe that the father would be awarded custody?
not that I know of
She does not drink or do drugs, is an excellent mother, and works full time as a medical assistant.
The other grand parents take care of Molly when she is not in day care.
He is verbally abusive to my daughter and to their daughter.
"If you don't stop kicking the back of the (car) door, I will take you out and kick you."
So far - only verbal (mental) abuse
He has gone off on me
and his parents
Ok, well, let me explain how the law works in custody situations. Custody of a child is awarded based on the best interests of the child. Because the nuances of every case are different, this information should not be construed as complete or advice without consulting in-person with counsel, but 3 year old children need stability, and they are typically most attached to their primary caregiver. Usually, that is the mother. Furthermore, kids in that age range are developmentally inclined to relate to their same-sex parent, so where you have a mother primarily raising her 3 year old daughter, the child's best interests are typically served by continuing that arrangement . A child usually benefits by having meaningful contact with both parents, but at 3 years old they usually need a primary caregiver. As she gets older, her needs will change and a custody order can change as needed. The custody needs of a 3 year old are different from an 8 year old, which are different from a 14 year old. But at 3, they need stability, so you have to ask what the compelling reason is to disrupt that. If there is no reason, then you would generally expect a factual basis for maintaining the caretaking relationship.
Does that make sense?
yes - that is comforting.
It will be good for her to go over the particulars in person.. it will yield a much clearer projection of exactly how your daughter might expect a visitation schedule to look. However, you have given me no reason to believe that she should be losing sleep over this.
*go over the particulars with an attorney in person...
Did you have any other question?
We thought as much. Thanks
Should she go ahead with the divorce, if that is what she wants to do?
I can't tell her to divorce or stay with her spouse because it is a personal decision, but I am glad to explain the law so she can be informed.
If she wants to go ahead with the divorce, she should.
I understand. Thanks a lot.