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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years legal experience including family law
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My goal is to gain physical custody back of my 2 year old son.

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My goal is to gain physical custody back of my 2 year old son. In Jan 2012, I left my physically abusive boyfriend, who I was living with at the time in L.A. & I relocated with my 2 daughters to Chino Hills close to my family. I have a son with boyfriend & also 2 daughters from a previous marriage. At the time, I made the mistake of not taking my son with us since his dad won’t let me. At first, I was given full custody of my son since I had a restraining order on his dad for domestic violence. On May 2012, the judge gave the dad full physical custody & gave me only visitation rights. This decision was based on that the dad was not employed & I was full-time so the dad had more time to be with my son. Also the judge dismissed the domestic violence even though he had been arrested twice since he was not officially charged. Now since my 2 daughters are living with my ex-husband, I moved to L.A. to be with my son & his dad. Since May 2012, his dad continues to collect welfare & child support from me. He refuses to go back to court & change the custody or the welfare. He’s collecting welfare only reporting himself & my son living under a different address. I want to leave the apt which we both live in but this time not without my son. What should I do?

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Is your son's father a danger to him? Has there been any recent domestic violence or criminal charges against the father?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No he isn't a danger to my son. Recently he has not bee charged with domestic violence or any other criminal charges

I see. Thank you for clarifying that for me, Socorro.

Since the father currently has primary custody, you could not typically leave with your son without risking parental kidnapping charges unfortunately, at least not for long than the court ordered visitation you have.

The only way to get the order of custody modified quickly would typically involve filing an ex parte petition for custody, but that usually requires a situation where the child is in imminent danger. Since the father has not been violent recently or had other charges against him, and is not a danger to your son, there would be no basis to file such a petition.

Your remaining option then is to file a motion to modify the order of custody, indicating to the court why it is in the best interests of the child for you to have primary custody. That can take some time as you may know, so you would likely be without your son for extended periods while that motion is pending I'm afraid.

Based on the information you have provided, there is not an easy way to leave with the child and obtain an order of custody quickly. Rather, you would have to leave without your son again unfortunately and seek to modify the existing order of custody. I'm sorry.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!


Tina and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If I left without my baby & could I report his dad for abusing the welfare system & still collecting child support from me while I was living there the entire time?

Yes, you could report him for welfare fraud and that would reflect poorly on him. However, it would not typically be enough for you to gain custody right away unless he is incarcerated.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm afraid if I report him do I run a risk of getting in trouble too since I waited for him to fix things but I never said anything this entire time?

Hello again,

As long as you did not make misrepresentations to the state in an attempt to gain benefits, you would not typically be in any trouble, only the one making the misrepresentations.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If I were to leave, I wanted to relocate to San Diego where my daughters are but do I have a better chance in fighting custody if I stay local. Also where do I report him?

You would not necessarily have a better chance of gaining custody if you are local as long as you have a stable home you can provide your son and you can show it is in his best interest for you to have primary custody rather than the father.

Here is a link which provides information on how to file a complaint of welfare fraud:
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you! My last question is what do you mean my making misrepresentation?

You are very welcome!

Welfare fraud involves someone providing false information to the state in order to obtain benefits typically. If you did not provide any false information to the state, then you would not be prosecuted normally.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for all of your help! :)

You are very welcome, Socorro, and I wish you and your children all the best! :)

Thank you very much for your positive rating of my service. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope you will ask for me should a future legal need arise.

If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please consider scoring me a 9 or 10. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks again and all the best to you.


Note: Please feel free to request me if you have future legal questions by typing your new question in the question box on my profile page. Here is a link to that page, which you can bookmark or add to your favorites: I look forward to hearing from you again should the need arise.