Table of Contents:
- How to Get Full Custody of a Child in Texas
- How to Get Full Custody of a Child in Missouri
- How to Obtain Full Custody in Colorado
Choose the method of filing for child custody that is most appropriate to your personal situation: married parents can file for child custody during divorce, an unmarried parent can file for child custody through a parentage action, parents can ask the office of the Texas Attorney General to consider conservatorship as part of an ongoing child support case or parents can file a separate lawsuit regarding the parent-child relationship. Contact the court clerk or the government office where you would like to file your child custody request and learn whether they require specific forms or other paperwork.
Prepare your child custody paperwork following the requirements issued by the appropriate state court or agency. Write that you would like to be your child's sole managing conservator. Explain why the other parent should not be a joint managing conservator by identifying any relevant reasons allowed in the Texas Family Code, such as if the other parent has perpetrated domestic violence, child abuse or child neglect, or the other parent has been absent for a long period of time, and provide credible evidence of those reasons to the court or agency. Discuss all reasons why you believe a sole managing conservator would be in your child's best interest.
Comply with social worker visits, psychiatric evaluations, drug and alcohol testing or other investigative procedures if required to do so by the court that will decide your child custody case. Cooperate with the amicus attorney or attorney ad litem, if appointed to help with your case, who will make recommendations to the court or agency regarding your child's best interest and your child's wishes.
Attend all hearing dates scheduled for your case. Emphasize to the court or agency that you would like to be the sole managing conservator and respectfully explain why you believe it would benefit your child.
If at all possible, a family lawyer should be obtained. An attorney will know all Missouri laws and understand how they pertain to your specific case. Although lawyers can be costly, they are worth it if you are trying to receive full custody of a child. If the custody is contested, attorney representation will be invaluable.
If an attorney is not obtained, fill out all court paperwork to the best of your knowledge and file them with the Missouri court in your jurisdiction. Court clerks can provide all the paperwork you will need. The paperwork can also be obtained on the state website. Filing court papers costs money, but Missouri provides additional paperwork that can be filled out prior to filing for custody. The paperwork will be reviewed. If you are approved to receive assistance, the court will minimize or cancel your filing fees.
To receive full custody of a child in Missouri, you will be responsible to know how the child will be raised with you in comparison to the other parent or parties involved. A full custodial parent has the right and responsibility to determine the best education, health care and religious doctrine. The custody court papers include these topics and they will be addressed in court. Fully fill out all sections pertaining to the topics because that means you have thought about the best interest of the child.
When you fill out the court paperwork consider how you will provide the other parent or parties involved visitation to the child. Courts in Missouri use the best interest of the child standard. The best interest of the child includes the child's right to have both parents involved with him. If providing visitation may reasonably endanger the child, however, address that issue in the court paperwork. Missouri courts require documentation of all criminal activity committed by the other party that shows why you believe they could be dangerous to the child.
Make sure to provide the Missouri court with all additional documentation pertinent to the child's welfare. Other documentation should include income, available education, journals of prior incidents involving the other parent, and documentation of any child progression or regression in school, social settings and in their mental well being.
Obtain a home study of your residence if the child isn't living with you. The study must be done by a person certified by the state of Colorado. He or she will evaluate the living environment and whether it is suitable for the child.
Prepare and file a motion with the court requesting that you be granted sole or full custody of your child. If the child doesn't live with you, attach a copy of the home study.
Include in the motion the specific reasons why sole or full custody is appropriate in your case. Under Colorado law, these reasons can include the other parent being unable to maintain a lifestyle conducive to healthy and appropriate parenting; the minor child facing the prospect of abuse or neglect; the other parent lacking the capacity to make reasonable and responsible decisions for the child; or the other parent being otherwise unavailable.
Request an order of the court directing a home study of the other parent's residence, regardless of whether the child lives there.
Gather additional evidence to support your request for sole or full custody. This can include school records, police records, photographs and witness affidavits.
Schedule a court hearing to present your evidence. The other parent will have the opportunity to respond, and the judge will make a decision.