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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31782
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I am in process of divorce. I am 59 years old and my husband

Customer Question

Hi. I am in process of divorce. I am 59 years old and my husband is 53. We had a son together via IVF. There were two episodes of physical abuse against me by my husband which occurred in December 2015 and once in 2014. He has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder which accounts for his secretiveness, lack of emotional attachment, communication problems, lack of expressions of love/caring, secretiveness, etc. He became a U.S citizen thanks to me. I supported him financially throughout the marriage. He wants shared legal custody of our son. I am unsure about this due to our communication issues. He has left home over 11 times whenever we had a disagreement over one episode of infidelity and his constant absence from home. What concerns me is how involved will the court battles be and my age. What if I were to die while my son is a minor. How would my husband not having joint custody affect the care of my son. I reside in CT. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.

How old is your son?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is 4 years old.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Are u still there?
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I'm here.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We were married for 14 years.
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

If the court awards you custody (physical and legal), then you'd be the primary parent for the child and you'd be able to ask the court to limit the father's access and visitation to the child given his mental health issues.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

In the event that something were to happen to you before your son is an adult, the father could be granted custody of the child unless the court didn't believe that he was capable/qualified........

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know all of this but how would I prove his mental health issues. Also, I do not believe he would hurt our son. I do not want to limit visitation. Would the court battles be very involved? I am more concerned that he not take our child to Peru, and I am concerned about our inability to communicate with each other effectively.
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

In that case, the court would have to find a guardian or next of kin (grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc.) to place the child with. If you're concerned about this issue, you could draft a will and name a guardian for your son in the event that you pass away before your son reaches the age of majority.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

If the father has not been diagnosed with a mental health condition, then that's what you'd have to do first.....you'd have to ask the judge to order him to submit to psychological testing and get an opinion from a court-appointed mental health professional to determine whether he's got clinically diagnosable issues.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry perhaps I was not clear with my question...how lengthy/expensive would the court process be. He is asking for joint legal custody. On health care decisions and the like, I would have problems communicating with him possibly. My age... if I were to die would my husband be prevented from rapidly taking custody. I DO WANT for my husband to take custody if I were to die.
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

In regard to taking the child out of the country, the judge in the divorce proceeding can prohibit the father from taking the child out of the country without your written consent. Also, the judge can order that the child's passport be signed off by both parents any time he's going to be leaving the county.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you answer my two part question? Thanks
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

If you cannot agree to the terms of divorce -- who gets custody, child support, etc. -- then you could spend thousands of dollars to get to the end. I've had divorces that cost less than $2000 and some that have racked up over $10,000 in legal fees. It all depends on how much fighting you have to do.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

USUALLY, a judge is going to award joint custody between the parents, but one parent will be the primary parent (the parent the child lives with the majority of the time) and the other will have visitation rights. That will be determined by who the judge believes can do the best for the child and tend to the needs of the child. In deciding this, the judge will look at the character of the parents, the home environment, any history of mental illness, substance/drug abuse, etc. of both parents.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

If you are concerned that your husband is not fit to have physical custody of the child if you were to pass away before he reaches adulthood, then you really need to try and establish his mental health issues now.......in this divorce......and then establish a guardian in your will.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

If you don't establish that he has clinically diagnosable mental health issues now, then if you were to pass away, the father would be the default choice to take over physical custody of the child.......leaving your family members a tough up-hill battle to take custody away from the father.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Thus, your best option with this would be to allege in the divorce papers that he has a mental health issue, ask the court to order him to submit to court approved testing for a diagnosis, and then to award custody to you in the event that he does have a diagnosable mental health condition.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

That will lay the ground work for you to seek custody now......and it would also assist in establishing a basis to appoint a guardian (as outlined your will) to care for the child until he reaches adulthood.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you need anything further. Thanks!