What rights do I have to get custody from my child’s mom if she was in a car wreck and is now paralyzed?

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What rights do I have to get custody from my child’s mom if she was in a car wreck and is now paralyzed?

I pay child support regularly. I am married; she is not. She will be in the hospital for sometime to come and is paralyzed below the waist. My son is 8. Her family is crazy and is arguing constantly about who will watch him and they are putting him in the middle of it. I need to know what I can do/what legal rights I have to take custody of him, if only for the time being. My child’s mother is coherent and can talk and make decisions. I know she will want to keep him but she will be unable to take care of him physically herself.

Asked on September 29, 2011 under Family Law, Alabama

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for the situation with your son's Mother.  This must be a very stressful and confusing time for all of you, especially for him.  It is unclear here what type of agreement is in place between you and his Mother.  Is there a voluntary agreement between you or is there a court order as to custody and visitation?  Either way you can agree to modify what is in place if she is willing to do so (make sure that she has an attorney as well here) or you can go to court and ask that there be a modification of the agreement or order in place for custody of your son, even if it is temporary, based upon a change in circumstances.  There is not Judge in the world that will not recognize that a life altering situation has taken place and that your son's Mother needs to be able to deal with this and get to a place where she can take care of herself and your son.  And you are the next logical  - and legal - alternative here.  Good luck to you all.


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