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Ask Asad Rahman Your Own Question
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2136
Experience:  Practicing Attorney with 10 years experience
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My son is 18 months old. I have had sole physical custody

Customer Question

My son is 18 months old. I have had sole physical custody for the past 9.5 months. Prior to that time, I took care of him 99.99% of the time....nursed him, fed him, bathed him, took him to all doctors appointments (my soon to be ex husband would attend routine appts and did go to 1 sick appointment), dressed him, put him down to sleep for the night and for naps, drove him to / from daycare, cared for him when he was sick, changed his diaper, got up with him in the night....once in a while my soon to be ex would change a diaper, get him dressed or get up in the night (he'd then wake me up or prevent me from sleeping...he'd yell, slam doors, stand right next to me as the baby cried, etc, so I would then get up and take over with our son and my soon to be ex would go back to bed). I left my husband in Feb 2016 bc he was being abusive toward me and my son. We are now starting the divorce process. I had originally agreed to primary physical custody, but that was in April or May. Now that it has been 9.5 months away from him and being able to really wrap my head around all of the abuse, neglect, mistreatment that myself and my son endured, I really would like to have sole physical custody. At this time, my soon to be ex sees my son 2x a week at my house with me present and can also visit my son at daycare with a daycare provider present. I have no problem with adding additional visits, as long as they remain supervised, but I am not ok with unsupervised visits and definitely not ok with overnight visits (I have put my son to sleep every night since being in the hospital delivering him). Do I have any chance of being granted sole physical custody or is it a fight not worth battling?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Asad Rahman replied 8 months ago.

I think you should seek it based on the abuse. Usually up until the child turns 3 the mother gets primary custody and can ask for special arrangements for visitation due to how young the child is.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
For the most part the abuse was verbal and emotional. Do judges look at this type of abuse in the same way as physical?
For example, when our son was 3 weeks old, my husband was leaning over his bassinet as my son cried and he SCREAMED "he is f'in high maintenance! i'm not going to f'in hold him all night long! he needs to f'in put himself to sleep."
The night before I left him, he was yelling, screaming and cursing, while I was holding my son. I kept asking him to stop, kept trying to cover my son's ears. My son's heart was racing, he was whimpering and crying. At one point, my husband pounded his fist into the palm of his other hand. This caused my son and I to both jump and my son to scream out and cry. I immediately took him upstairs and locked the door behind us. The next morning I left.
Expert:  Asad Rahman replied 8 months ago.

Obviously physical abuse is worse than verbal but it is certainly relevant.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Ok, but even putting aside for a moment the abuse, is the fact that I've solely cared for my son for the past 9.5 months (more than 1/2 my son's life) and that I primarily care for him for the first 8 months of his life and the bond that we obviously have from this taken into consideration for sole physical custody?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
do courts even grant sole physical and joint legal custody or does it have to be sole legal and physical?
Expert:  Asad Rahman replied 8 months ago.

I don't think that fact alone would be the basis for sole physical custody as courts do want the fathers to be involved,. Courts do grant sole physical custody especially at this young of an age.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I have no issue w there being supervised visits w my son and soon to be ex. I just can't agree to unsupervised or worse yet over night visits. Honestly, he could visit w my son every night that I'm available. I want there to be a relationship as long as my soon to be ex can refrain from being abusive. Can you explain the difference between sole physical and primary physical? Does the latter mean unsupervised visits and overnight visits?
Expert:  Asad Rahman replied 8 months ago.

In my experience a child under 3 will not be subjected to overnight visits.

Expert:  Asad Rahman replied 8 months ago.

IF you have no further questions, a positive rating of the assistance would be greatly appreciated.