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Does my children's mother have any chance of joint custody?

I have been my childrens primary caregiver their whole lifes, they barely know their bio mother. I have had sole legal and physical custody through the courts for the last almost 6 years. There bio mother has only seen them a couple of times during those 6 years. She is now demanding joint physical and legal custody of them, she has never been much a part of their lives even when we were married due to her addictions. She has been in and out of jail their whole lives, during the times she is not incarcerrated she has been virtually homeless staying with whoever would let her. She has not been able to find and maintain a job for any length of time. She has admitted to being addicted to cocaine, morphine, and alcohol and has been ordered to rehab a few times. She did a few years in prison for some pretty serious felonies, when she got out I offered her to come to see her children and get to know them. She did not want to do this, she wanted overnight visitions right away. Within a month or so against my better judgement I let her take them for a weekend, she did not bring them back as agreed. I know she is their bio mother and I know my children would benefit having her in their lives, but my feeling is only once she has proven that she is clean, stable, has a home and a job, and can properly parent these children. My concerns are, what are the chances that she will be given any type of custody/visitation? Can I request that there only be calls and supervised visitation for 6 months to a year, so she can prove she is clean and stable, and so the children can get to know her? What can I do to show the courts that my intention is not to keep them from her, my intention is to keep my children safe from harm. I know the judges do not look kindly on parents that keep children from the other parent. I want to do anything I can to show the judge that it is not my intention, what should I do? I have offered her visits with them so they can get to know her, again she does not want that she wants everything on her terms. I am just not comfortable with letting her take them right now, she has my phone number and she never calls them she has the address she never writes or comminucates with them in any way. What can I do to make this easier for my children? She also violated her federal supervised release and was sent back to prison for about a year, she is now in a halfway house/rehab. So when she gets out once again she will have to start over with a stable place to live, a vehicle, a job, and any ability to provide for them and offer them any kind of stability. My daughter is to the point that she wants nothing to do with her bio mom, my son is more confused and is emotionally torn. They both call my wife mom, as do the 3 children that she and I have together. We have allowed this because she is really the only mother they have ever known, and the counselor they see said that they should be allowed to call her mom if thats what they wanted. Thanks for any input.

Asked By: - 12/29/2012
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Given her previous issues, I doubt the court would grant her legal custody. In her past shr was troubled, if she relapsed she would put her life and the kids lives in danger. I think if anything they would allow supervised visits with the childern. I would suggest supervisrd visits that way you are there, she is there... More
Answered By: Alexis - 12/29/2012
Additional Answers (1)
If the one child doesn't want anything to do with the bio mom, she can certainly tell the judge so and I don't think she will have to see the mother. However, without a place to stay or any other credentials, the mother will not be granted joint custody. I would just communicate with a lawyer who can make it more... More
Answered By: Danielle - 12/29/2012
 
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