Can I Get Sole Custody With Visitation Rights?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

I share joint custody of my daughter with my ex-husband. He has not seen her for over 2 years nor talked to her for 3 months. He doesn’t try to see her at all even when he lived 5 miles away from us. He pays child support because it is court ordered. He keeps changing addresses and cellphone numbers and I cannot get a hold of him. I have cancelled vacations before because he won’t give me authorization to take our daughter and now he wont let me get a passport for her. What can I do? Can I get sole custody WITH visitation rights? Is that ground enough to file, and if so, what are my chances of getting sole custody? I need help. 🙁

Generally, under most state laws, the custodial parent is allowed to take minor children on vacations without the non-custodial parent’s consent (unless the child custody order states otherwise).

Most family law courts award sole custody to a single parent on a limited basis. Depending on your existing custody order, you may be able to file for a child custody modification order if certain “qualifying” events arise pursuant to your state’s family law code (regarding child custody modification). You should contact a local attorney and inform him or her about the past events that have occurred to see if you have a viable claim for modification.