How its cusody/visitation determined?

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How its cusody/visitation determined?

This is a very hard divorce. I’m young and I don’t know what to do. We have a 6 month old little boy. My husband is unstable, has been in mental homes, has committed adultery, has a history of abuse and is not taking care of our son when I’m at work. He thinks he will get custody. My husband’s mother is on pain pills and has been in a mental home; she can’t really function on pain meds. I just need to know if they can take my son from me? I work, I take care and support our son. He lets him sit in dirty diapers smelly and hungry.

Asked on September 25, 2011 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Custody and visitation are separate issues. 

There are two types of custody; physical and legal.  Physical means the parent with whom the child resides.  Legal custody means making decisions about the child's education, healthcare, etc.

The court will consider the best interests of the child in making decisions about custody and visitation.  Given your husband's failure to take care of your son while you are at work and his mental state, it is in the best interests of the child that you be awarded physical custody.   Also, if your child is accustomed to living with you, a judge is not going to award physical custody to your husband.

It is possible that there could be joint legal custody which means both you and your husband would make decisions about the child's education, healthcare, etc.

Your husband has a right to visitation, but the court could place restrictions on visitation such as supervised visitation which means  a third party would be present.  Given your husband's history of abuse, supervised visitation would be an argument in your favor and would be reasonable if your husband has visitation.  If your husband is a threat, you might want to consider a protective order when he is no longer living with you. 

 


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