If I take my child’s father to court for child support, what are my chances of getting full custody as well if he’s never been my son’s life?

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If I take my child’s father to court for child support, what are my chances of getting full custody as well if he’s never been my son’s life?

What if he fights back for custody, is there any chance he would get any rights after not being in his life for almost 4 years?

Asked on August 14, 2012 under Family Law, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Custody and child support are separate issues for the court to address.  There are two types of custody; physical and legal.  Physical custody means the parent with whom the child lives.  Legal custody means making decisions about the child's education, health care, etc.

Although it is not possible to predict how a court will rule in a case, the court will base its decision on the best interests of the child.  Since the father has not been a part of your son's life, the court is not going to remove your child from your home  where he is accustomed to living, and grant physical custody to the father.  Most likely, you will retain physical custody.  It is possible that the court might grant joint legal custody to both parents which would mean both parents make decisions regarding the child's education, healthcare, etc.  You could argue that since the father has not been a part of your son's life, that it is in the best interests of your son that you be granted sole legal custody as well as sole physical custody.


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