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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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My husband and I have been married for nearly 26 years, the

Resolved Question:

My husband and I have been married for nearly 26 years, the last 17 years in the great state of South Carolina. With regret and shame my husband had an affair that has resulted in a pregency. We reconciled prior to the discover of the baby and would now like to gain full custody of the child. Short of calling the mother of the child unfit, how do we proceed?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of the situation.

Short of actually proving the mother unfit, and convincing that court that her parental rights should be terminated, there simply is no chance that you and your husband will ever have full custody of the child.

Your situation is really not rare in the least---in fact it is quite common.

Your husband is the natural and legal father of the child---that is his legal designation. He is obligated to support the child, and he is entitled to the right to assist in the raising of his child---as is the mother. he is entitled to reasonable visitation with the child, and if he can convince the court that it is the child's best interest to primarily reside with him, and yourself, then the court may grant that. However, you can never expect that the court will award sole custody to him simply because the two of you may want it that way. The court will only order what is in the best interest of the child---and keeping in mind the constitutional rights of each parent to participate in the raising of their child.

I wish you the best in 2012.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation, nor was it what I sensed you were hoping to hear. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

Thanks Again,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Doug,


Thank you for your expedited response. What do we need to demonstrate to the court, that it is in the primary interest of the child to reside with us? How do I qualify a local lawyer to represent us?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
I'm not sure what you mean by "qualify a local lawyer"? Please explain.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Obviously we want to hire the most qualified attorney we can afford to represent us. So what what experience should we look for in lawyer? What questions should we ask during the intial consultation?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
You will want an attorney who has been in practice at least 10 years and has devoted at least half of that time specifically to Family Law litigation. Specifically as for their experience in litigation of disputed custody matters and ask for a couple of references from recent clients who the attorney or firm represented in concluded custody matters.

As for the issues the court looks at in determining custody---they are generally:

1. The emotional ties and relationships between the child and his or her parents, siblings, family and household members, or other caregivers.
2. The capacity of the parents to provide a safe home and adequate food, clothing, and medical care.
3. The mental and physical health needs of the child.
4. The mental and physical health of the parents.
5. The presence of domestic violence in the home.

Regards XXXXX XXXXX parent, and proving that:

Generally, a parent may be deemed unfit if they have been abusive, neglectful, or failed to provide proper care for the child. A parent with a mental disturbance, or an addiction to drugs or alcohol, may also be found to be an unfit parent. Failure to visit, to provide support, or incarceration of a parent are other examples of grounds for being found to be unfit.


I hope you found my answer informative, even if the law is not necessarily in your favor. I wish you the best in 2012.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

How is addiction to alcohol proven?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
Good morning,

Any addiction must be proven through an expert witness. Your attorney will deal with this issue if it is one.

With all respect---we are getting way far afield of your original question. Please know that the Terms of Service of JustAnswer specify that each customer ask one question in each question thread. I would respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you open a new question thread if you have a new question to ask of me. You may ask for me personally by referring to me by name (Doug) in the question and I will be able to answer your continuing questions.

I hope you found my answer informative, even if the law is not in your favor, and that you will click on the GREEN ACCEPT and/or the HAPPY SMILEY FACE button above for my answer. Because I help people here, like you, for a living---this is not a hobby for me, and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX abiding by the honor system as regards XXXXX XXXXX I wish you and your family the best in your respective futures.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, and your understanding is appreciated.

Thank you.


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