A Guide for Fathers: How to Get Custody of Your Child

Many fathers try to get full custody of their child because the mother has indicated that she may withhold or limit the contact between them and their child. In this article, we will explore this question: Can a father take a child away from the mother?

If the Mother is Withholding Contact, How Can a Father Get Full Custody?

There is a big difference between the mother of your child withholding and limiting the contact you have with your child.  There is also a difference between doing it in a reasonable and unreasonable manner. 

In this instance, “reasonable” means that the mother of your child feels they have an objective and valid reason to believe you may be a danger to your child.  However, in this article, we are going to focus on the unacceptable reasons. Is the mother of your child looking to harm or destroy the relationship between you and your child? 

Normally, mothers take an unreasonable course of action immediately after the separation or dissolution of your marriage—when you and your ex stop living together. 

While the reasons are varied for this behavior, they generally include:

  1. Bitterness or anger over infidelity or the breakup in general
  2. Immaturity
  3. Unhealthy control of the mother’s parent over her life
  4. Unkind or malicious behavior 

None of the above reasons are focused on your child. They are focused on the mother. 

What If the Father Has to Relocate?

Just because you had to move out, that does mean you abandoned your child. Additionally, if you do relocate, it does not mean that your parenting time should be diminished. 

You must ensure that your lack of contact with your child does not continue for a period of months. You should immediately hire a family law attorney to file the correct petition with the court, request an order, and get a court date. 

Your family law attorney should also help you gather evidence against the mother of your child, in order to document her misconduct. There should be a paper trail.  By documenting her behavior, it may jolt her into allowing you to have contact with your child, so she does not look bad in front of the court. 

Withholding Contact from the Father Is Not in the Child’s Best Interest

As a father, you can use your ex’s refusal to allow you to see your child to show the court that she is not acting in the best interest of the child. Rather, she is serving her own selfish needs. 

The law does require the courts to always focus their child custody decisions on the best interest of the child. If you want custody of your child because the mother is withholding contact, your family law attorney will be able to show the court that the mother of your child is not acting in the child’s best interest. 

Can a father take a child away from the mother? As you will see below, the answer depends on many factors.  Just remember: the court is always going to do what it believes is in the best interest of the child. 

How Can a Father Get Custody of His Child When the Mother Has Alienated the Child?

Parental alienation is real, and it can slowly destroy the relationship you have with your child. Both mothers and fathers engage in parental alienation warfare. And in the long run, it only hurts your child.

If the mother of your child is engaging in parental alienation, they only have one goal in mind: to harm your relationship with your child. The mother of your child wants to ensure that your child does not want to spend time with you. 

Parental alienation takes on many different forms, including: 

  1. They make disparaging remarks about you or members of your family.
  2. They try to replace you as a parent by putting someone else into that role.
  3. They undermine your parental authority and discipline.
  4. They play the victim and portray you as the bad guy.
  5. They falsely accuse you of abuse.

In this type of situation, you must act early. Do not wait! If you wait, you may be setting yourself up to pass the point of no return.  It is also not certain that reunification therapy between you and your child would work. 

You must immediately have your family law attorney file the necessary paperwork with the court, in order to have them enforce any court orders regarding parenting time. You can also seek a modification to the court’s original order or have your attorney file a contempt action against the mother if she violated the court’s orders.

How Can a Father Get Custody of His Child When the Mother Is Unfit? 

You can call the mother’s fitness into question during a custody hearing, but you should have the evidence to back it up.  Today’s courts will always rule without having any bias toward you or your child’s mother. 

However, if the mother is a danger to your child, the court can and will remove the child from her custody. 

When trying to determine if the mother is unfit to raise your child, consider how often the following have occurred in the past:

  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical violence
  • Sex offender convictions
  • Excessive discipline
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

You should also look at the environment your child is being raised in, and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is your child’s mother properly supervising your child?
  2. Is your child being properly fed and clothed? Are they going to school?
  3. Does the mother of your child frequently associate with gang members, criminals, violent people, or drug abusers?
  4. Is the mother’s home equipped with running water and heat? Is it clean, and does it have enough space for your child?
  5. Is there anything dangerous in the home, such as improperly stored firearms?

How To Gather Evidence for Court Hearings

In order to have a chance at winning your case, you must have evidence to present that shows the court that the mother is unfit.  

Some of the evidence you will need to gather will include documents such as:

  • Photographs and audio and/or video files that show any physical or verbal abuse
  • Medical records that are related to any injuries
  • Criminal records
  • Communications between you and your ex, such as emails, texts, and voicemails.

You will also want to interview any potential witnesses that can testify, in order to prove that the best interests of your child are not being met by the mother. 

Your witnesses can also provide any evidence of threatening emails or voicemails left by the mother. 

Additionally, do not forget to gather any evidence off of the social media posts made by the mother that may be used as evidence. 

The final step will be for you and your family law attorney to go through all the evidence. And if it is adequate, have your attorney file the proper paperwork with the court. 


In order to gain custody of your child from the mother, you must have a strong case to take before the judge, which shows that the best interests of your child are not being met. 

Keep in mind that when it comes to the question of whether a father can take a child away from the mother, the real answer depends on how good your case is. Can that evidence be presented in such a way that it persuades the court?

Do not forget to show up to court dressed well. In addition, refrain from  outbursts or other behavior that could hurt your case. Also remember that the court is going to rule in a way that they feel is the best interest of your child.