What are the chances of gaining full custody of my 2 year old daughter?

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What are the chances of gaining full custody of my 2 year old daughter?

My daughter was born here in the US and is also an Australian citizen by descent (via myself, her mother). I’ve been with her father, a Bolivian citizen, for almost 11 years, unmarried. Our relationship has been emotionally abusive. He is a compulsive liar, an alcoholic (binge drinker), suffers from anxiety/depression and suicidal thoughts. Neither one of us has legal status in this country and we have both been unemployed for over a year. Our relationship has ended due to his infidelity.

Asked on November 15, 2011 under Family Law, West Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I a so sorry for your situation.  If you and the Father of your child were never married and there has been no formal custody order then most likely you would be considered the sole legal guardian of your daughter.  At this point in tie you do not need to do anything as to custody.  Now, if her Father has started a proceeding as to custody you will need to show proof of the abuse to the court of your allegations and that custody to you is in "the best interests of the child."  Courts like to foster the relationship between parents and children so they are not quick to take away parental rights.  But here they need to be established first.  Get help.  Good luck.


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