How to Determine if Behavior is Grounds for Custody Change

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.

“My son was living w/his than girlfriend and her two children (by two different fathers) She had a baby w/my son. They were living in the duplex she was living in (thru state assistance) until the state found out and they were told to “get out”. I said I would add an addition onto my home so they could live here. Since they’ve been here, there has been nothing but problems. She goes out almost every weekend by herself, goes on vacation to Florida, Puerto Rico by herself and always my son is here with his son and her other two children. Now, she decides that she’s leaving and taking the baby with her (my son’s baby) Does he have any grounds that he can use to get custody of his baby? She has done so many neglectful things w/the baby and her other two children, it’s a shame. We live in NJ by the way.”Your son can always bring an action for custody of the child. The Court might take into account abusive or neglectful behavior, but check with a local attorney as to whether her behavior rises to that level. If you pull the trigger on that, and it turns out your allegations are overstated it will backfire.

Question: If she asks your son to watch the kids, and he says yes, then he is enabling her to do what she wants. I realize that if he said “no” she might just go out anyway, knowing that he’ll watch them. Or maybe she’ll threaten to leave him – oh she is already doing that. He seems to have set no limits, with a woman who has behaved the same way with two other men. I am not sure why you were expecting her to change
If he can’t get custody, he should at least seek visitation and pay child support. Do not let her go on public assistance again for the baby, or participate in any future public assistance frauds.