Father Requesting Custody

Question:
I am in a relationship that is going nowhere. I have a daughter with this woman and I want to leave with full custody.

I was informed that it is an uphill fight for a male to get custody of his daughter, especially if there is no exigent circumstance that would deem the mother unfit. Please help!

Answer:
What you need to focus on is, what is in your child’s best interest. What is in your interest, or the mother interest is of little or no concern to the court. You want out of your relationship with you girlfriend, so what. How is leaving and taking your daughter with you going to affect your daughter? That’s what you need to ask yourself. How will you provide for her? When will she spend time with her mother? What will be the plan going forward and why and how does that plan help your daughter to grow up and become a well adjusted capable, happy and healthy member of society?

In making that determination, the factors that the court considers are:

a Fitness of the parents
b Character and reputation of the parties
c Desire of the natural parents and consent agreements if any
d Potential for maintaining natural family relations
e Preference of the child when of sufficient age and capacity to form rational judgment
f Any material opportunities affecting the future life of the child
g Age, health and sex of the child
h Suitability of the residences of the parents and whether or not the non-custodial parent will have adequate opportunity for visitation
I How long the child has been separated from a natural parent who is seeking custody
j The effect of prior voluntary abandonment or surrender of custody of the child
k Best interest of the child

These factors are further explained in the case Taylor v. Taylor
a Willingness of each parent to share custody
b Psychological and physical fitness of each parent
c Strength of the relationship of child with each parent
d Potential disruption of shared physical custody upon child’s social and school life
e Geographic proximity of parent’s homes
f Demands of parental employment
g Age and number of children involved
h Sincerity (motivation) of parent’s requests
I Financial Status of the parents
j Impact on state and federal assistance
k Benefit to parents
l Other Factors

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