What are an absent father’s chances of getting awarded joint custody?

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What are an absent father’s chances of getting awarded joint custody?

I’m a single mother of a 15 month old baby boy. The father and I called it quits when I was 8 months pregnant. Since my son has been born his father has visited him no more than 10 times. He does not help out financially. He does not acknowledge my son on hlidays, etc. (birthday, Christmas). He is more than welcome to visit my son at our home but I am uncomfortable with him taking my son by his lonesome; my son is not familiar with his father. He threatened to take me to court for 50/50 custody. What are my rights and options? Is this possible to work in his favor even though he has not helped out financially and is absent in my son’s life?

Asked on October 28, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Considering your son is 15 months old and the child's father has had little contact with him, the court is never going to grant a 50/50 custody order.  I suggest you consult with a family law/divorce attorney to help you collect child support from the father.  As a part of that process I'm confident you would be able to get a favorable child custody order granting the father of the child some sort of visitation schedule. 

If you are in the Los Angeles or Ventura County area, feel free to contact me.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is entirely possible that your son's father could sue for some semblance of custody with respect to your child and be awarded such. However, since he does not pay for child support it seems that his threats for custody are designed to keep you from filing for support. I suggest that you consult with a family law attorney about your matter and what your legal options are. From what you have written the chances of a custody change seem unlikely.


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