Can I get custody of my daughter if her mother risks her own life?

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Can I get custody of my daughter if her mother risks her own life?

My girlfriend decided to move out from my house and she took our 4 month old baby girl. Is there any way I can get custody of her if my baby’s mother has risked her own life by trying to hop out of a car while it was going about 10 mph? She did that about 5 times. She’s 21 and decided to move into her own place. She’s a medical assistant but I don’t think she can pay $950 a month for rent and still be able to support our baby girl. Her own family knows that she has depression issues and they have seen her act like a little girl by throwing herself on the floor to cry. They were notified whenever she did something to risk hers and my baby’s life. She’s not letting me see her everyday so my next thing to do would be to take custody of her.

Asked on June 12, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I would consult with a family law attorney, file an order to show cause to change the custody arrangement, and seek a court ordered mental health evaluation for the mother.  Keep in mind that California seeks to maintain visitation and custody balance between both parents, with joint legal custody the default.  That said, the court evaluates the best interest of the child when making a custody determination.  So, if mom is showing a lacking mental state to the extent that it is not in the best interest of the child to be in her custody, then you have a good chance at getting her custody/visitation reduced. 

Best of luck.  If you are near the Ventura County area feel free to contact me.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

With respect to the serious issues that you have raised concerning child custody issues as to your daughter, I suggest that you contact and consult with a family law attorney as to you getting increased time and perhaps sole custody of the minor based upon your concerns as to how qualified the mother is to care for the child.

Awarding child custody of a minor solely to one parent is a very difficult task for any judge to do where many issues are balanced primarily what is in the best interests of the minor child.

If there is evidence that the mother of your child is not fit to care for and raise the minor child and is a danger to the child, then you may be awarded sole physical custody of your child.


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