Can my ex husband get full custody?
My ex husband is taking me back to court for full custody because I have not let him visit with our minor children because he has abused my oldest mentally and physically. He has a bad criminal record. Consisting of 2 domestic violence, a felon battery, 2 duis where his license was revoked both times once for a year and currently for 5 years. multiple open containers and disordly conduct. He was violent with me in front of our children and my son tells me that he hit his girlfriend and she told him to get out of her house but they are still living together. And also he has moved as of April 2011 and will not give me his address or HIS phone number which it states in our divorce decree that he has to within 30 days. And he gave me his girlfriends cell number and she rarely puts him on the phone.
In determining custody of children, a court's primary and paramount concern is the best interests of the child. Factors to be considered in determining the child's best interest include such things as misconduct by either parent, the type home the parent is able to perform, and to some extent the age of the child. At one point, a child of tender years was deemed better off with the mother; but even this has changed to a 'best interest: approach.
Your former husband certainly does not sound like "father of the year" material; all things being equal it is highly unlikely that he would receive full custody. This assumes, of course, that there is not misconduct on your part which renders the children's welfare better with him. I suspect that the court would order a home inspection by an appointed guardian and would be guided by the guardian's recommendations.
A final note. You have provided a pretty lurid picture of your ex. If/when you speak to your attorney, be sure to tell him about any problems in your own life. No one is perfect, and your attorney cannot represent you competently if he is not fully aware of the facts.
Based on the information you have provided, I would think his chances of getting full custody of your children would not be good. However, you have not provided any information about your past actions or records. That information will also need to be taken into account by the court when making its ruling. He must have reason to be concerned about your activities if he is the one initiating the return to court.
Criminal records are public information which your (and his) lawyer will be able to present as evidence. I hope you have completely documented all the incidents of abuse if you intend to introduce them into the discussion. Refusing to provide contact information (address and phone number) is being done (according to your story) in direct disregard of the divorce decree, which the court will not take lightly.
The court will review all the circumstances and will do its best to make the decision that presents the best arrangement for the children.