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is sole legal custody possible

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judithTX

Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Texas
Entering initial phase of divorce after 4.5 year separation - son is 6, Father has contributed little -nothing over the 6 years (no financial aide). He has a long history of poor judgement (in personal life and when with the 6 year old)and on again-off again interest in family, confusing/upsetting the child.

He wants joint legal custody - I want sole legal custody and am open to regular visitation. (I'm not even pursuing money, though I know I should) He's telling me no court will award a mother sole legal custody unless the father is a felon or murderer. That no one will believe anything I say about him as it's heresay....is this true ?
 


CJane

Senior Member
Of course it's possible. I consented to my ex having sole legal in exchange for 50/50 physical and the divorce just finally being OVER. But it's rarely awarded by a judge (outside of a settlement like I had) without the 'other parent' being proven unfit to make decisions.

Do you understand the concept of legal custody? It might not be a battle you want to fight since it really doesn't give you as much power as some people think that it does.
 

stealth2

Under the Radar Member
The confusion is often that people don't understand that legal custody really only refers to decision-making. Should the kid get braces, should he go to this or that school, should I let her get a huge cross tattooed across her back sort of thing. It has little to do with where the child lives. That's the PHYSICAL custody part (although it can be called different things).
 

CJane

Senior Member
stealth2 said:
The confusion is often that people don't understand that legal custody really only refers to decision-making. Should the kid get braces, should he go to this or that school, should I let her get a huge cross tattooed across her back sort of thing. It has little to do with where the child lives. That's the PHYSICAL custody part (although it can be called different things).

I think a lot of people also think that legal custody confers more decision making rights to the CP than actually exist. My ex believes that it means that he decides about visitation and a whole slew of other rights that it clearly does NOT give him.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
judithTX said:
What is the name of your state? Texas
Entering initial phase of divorce after 4.5 year separation - son is 6, Father has contributed little -nothing over the 6 years (no financial aide). He has a long history of poor judgement (in personal life and when with the 6 year old)and on again-off again interest in family, confusing/upsetting the child.

He wants joint legal custody - I want sole legal custody and am open to regular visitation. (I'm not even pursuing money, though I know I should) He's telling me no court will award a mother sole legal custody unless the father is a felon or murderer. That no one will believe anything I say about him as it's heresay....is this true ?
Parents can AGREE on any form of custody that they want, and the judge will happily sign off on that.

However, if they are not in agreement its true that judges will almost automatically order joint legal custody.

However, if it can be demonstrated that joint legal custody isn't appropriate, a judge may order sole legal custody to one parent. I can't predict whether that will be the case in your situation or not.

Joint legal custody means that both parents can make ordinary, day to day decisions during their time with the child, but that major decision (major school decisions, major medical decisions, major religious decisions etc.) must be agreed upon by the parents.

Sole legal custody does not give a parent the power to make decisions regarding visitation or contact between the child or the other parent. The court orders control that.
 

rmet4nzkx

Senior Member
judithTX said:
What is the name of your state? Texas
Entering initial phase of divorce after 4.5 year separation - son is 6, Father has contributed little -nothing over the 6 years (no financial aide). He has a long history of poor judgement (in personal life and when with the 6 year old)and on again-off again interest in family, confusing/upsetting the child.

He wants joint legal custody - I want sole legal custody and am open to regular visitation. (I'm not even pursuing money, though I know I should) He's telling me no court will award a mother sole legal custody unless the father is a felon or murderer. That no one will believe anything I say about him as it's heresay....is this true ?
The State of Texas is very strong on the child's right to acess and relationship with both parents, thus what you STBX says is true, that does not mean than you may not be awarded "possession" of the child to be the child's custodial parent. By all means, it is in your child's best interest to ask for child support and medical unles you are independently wealthy, no matter what the past history is, not asking for child support will not somehow make you more likely to have what you are terming sole custody.

Here is a link that explains it all:

TITLE 5. THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP
The standard possession order provided http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/FA/content/htm/fa.005.00.000153.00.htm
 

Babe_Tammy

Junior Member
I live in Texas and I have sole custody of my son. My ex has mental problems though. You may have to try to prove why your child would be best living with you on a full time basis. And by all mean... GET CHILD SUPPORT!! :confused:
 

judithTX

Junior Member
I know I should go after child support and I will - I just wasnt in the mood for the excuses and fighting when he will inevitably not be able to pay.
Ironically, I'm in the mental health profession and know he has a mental diagnosis - just not formally (he's addicted to paid sex).

He doesnt want my son to live him - he wants to dictate his care and have input when the mood strikes him. He's like a guy who gets a puppy to pick up women in a park...when he's with him, he tells women he's a single dad and his wife ran off and left him to raise a baby !!! My son shared this tidbit with me - when I confronted him, he thought it was funny and I shouldnt take it so seriously.
 

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