Are Courts Still Reluctant To Grant Sole Custody To Fathers?

My wife is an alcoholic. I want to leave her, but I’m worried that I won’t get custody of our kids. Are the courts still reluctant to grant sole custody to fathers?

By John J. Gilligan
March 05, 2015

John J. Gilligan, a family lawyer in Long Beach, answers:

Courts grant custody to the party who is best able to care for the children, regardless of gender. If your wife is an alcoholic who is not in recovery, depending upon the evidence presented at your trial, the courts won’t grant her custody because her alcohol use could endanger the children. Therefore, if you present evidence showing that her alcoholism makes it difficult or impossible to care for the children, the court will grant you primary physical custody. The court will likely give the mother an opportunity to rehabilitate herself and will review the custody situation once she has obtained a history of sobriety.


John Gilligan is a founding partner at the family law firm offices of Brandmeyer Gilligan Dockstader & Davidson, LLP in Long Beach, CA. John has over 30 years of experience handling family law, probate litigation and estate planning matters. He can be reached directly at 562-431-2000 or thru email. View their firm online profile here.

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March 05, 2015
Categories:  Child Custody|FAQs

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