If Ifile for sole custody, can I file for child support?

UPDATED: Dec 15, 2011

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If Ifile for sole custody, can I file for child support?

My baby’s father said that he wanted to give up his rights so as not to pay child support. Then he said that he wanted joint custody so I’d have to pay him support to show me how it felt. He then threatened to shoot me. He now he wants full custody. How can I stop him from taking the baby from me?

Asked on December 15, 2011 under Family Law, Virginia


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Custody and child support are separate issues.  The father will be required to pay child support.

There are two types of custody which are physical custody and legal custody.  Physical custody means the parent with whom the baby is living.  Legal custody means making decisions about the baby's future healthcare, education, etc.

The court considers the best interests of the child when making decisions about custody.  The baby is accustomed to living with you, and a judge won't take the baby from you and grant physical custody to the father.  You could have sole physical custody.  It is not possible to predict the outcome of a particular case, but given the father's threats and instability, he won't be granted  physical custody.  Legal custody is a different issue and whether or not a court will grant joint legal custody (both parents making decisions about the baby's future healthcare, education, etc.) will also be based on the best interests of the child.  The father's threats and instability will be a factor for the court to consider.  As for his threats to"shoot" you, you should immediately contact the police.  It would also be advisable to get a protective order (restraining order) against him.

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