It is generally assumed that only mothers can obtain full custody of the children. This false assumption has led many fathers to forgo their opportunity to seek full or primary custody of their children. In reality, fathers can obtain full custody if they can meet the required burden of proof. If there has never been a custody and visitation order in your paternity or divorce matter, then you, as a parent, must show the court that it is in children’s best interests for you to have full custody. Generally, the court will consider several factors to make its finding such as whether giving you full custody will best serve the child’s health, safety and welfare. More importantly, the court will look at whether you will provide the other parent with reasonable visitation rights. This is a very important factor because the court wants to ensure that the other parent will have sufficient access and contact with the child.
On the other hand, if the current custody/visitation order awards full custody to the other parent, you must show the court that there has been a change in circumstances warranting a modification of the custody order. This is a higher burden of proof but it is not impossible. If you can show the court that recent developments with the other parent place the child’s safety, health and welfare at risk then the court may award you full custody. For example, evidence that the other parent’s new partner is an unfit parent, the other parent has an addiction problem or the other parent cannot provide the child with a stable environment may suffice.
If you need to get full custody of your children, contact our office immediately to explore your options.
****The opinion above is not intended to be legal advice and absolutely does not create any attorney-client relationship between its author and the readers. Please consult an attorney for information or advice specific to your legal issue.****
Regal Law Office
21151 S. Western Ave. Suite 263A
Torrance, CA 90501