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The father of my two girls is threatening to take me to court

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for custody. We have...
The father of my two girls is threatening to take me to court for custody. We have never been married, but did live together for several years. The children have always lived with me. He has even moved out of state and came back. Do I need to be concerned that he can takle my girls from me?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 31 minutes by:
4/1/2009
Family Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 8 years ago
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,473
Experience: JD, MBA
Verified

Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Question: “Do I need to be concerned that he can takle my girls from me?”

Answer: Unless the father of your children proves that you are an unfit mother, then it is highly unlikely that he’d be awarded physical custody. The single most important factor judges look at in determining child custody issues is the best interests of the children.

In your particular case, the judge will see that your girls have always lived with you, have roots in your particular neighborhood (friends, etc.), and possibly have roots in a particular school (if they’re old enough). If a judge were to grant your husband custody, it would mean that the girls would be living away from you for the first time ever, that they’d be giving up their neighborhood friends, etc, and possibly be moving to a different school.

Uprooting children in that fashion can be devastating and traumatizing, so a judge would not likely think it was in your children’s best interests to award custody to their father unless you were completely unfit as a parent. Moreover, a judge won’t be amused by the father attempting to get custody for no other apparent reason than to hurt you.

Now, it’s possible he could be awarded joint legal custody. Legal custody is different than physical custody in that physical custody refers to where the children live, while legal custody refers to the ability to make decisions for children. For example, if the father had joint legal custody with you then he would have input in things such as whether a certain medical procedure should be done, and he’d be able to attend parent/teacher conferences. Judges are more likely to award joint legal custody because it gives the non-custodial parent the opportunity to share in raising their children.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.

If the information that I provided was helpful, then please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time. Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!

.

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the state of Maryland. Accordingly, you acknowledge (1) that we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) that my post is general information only and is not specific legal advice.

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Category: Family Law
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