Q: I want to leave my boyfriend but he's threatening to take our son. How does the court view mothers who go to shelters?
My boyfriend claims the court will award him full custody because he can financially support our son and I can't. I'm currently a stay at home parent and he works. If I leave him, I'll have to go to a shelter because I don't have any money or support system nearby. I'm working on my degree and am able to work, I just can't because he refuses to put our son in daycare and I can't afford it. He is financially and emotionally abusive. I will need help from a shelter to transition to taking care of myself and my son. How will a judge view my temporary inability to support my child?
A: Ohio Revised Code 3109.04 states that the court shall consider several best interest factors concerning the minor child for child custody cases including, whether either parent has established a residence, or is planning to establish a residence, outside the state. It is difficult to argue that a mother does not have a residence if she has a clearly established place to live with food, running water and the basic needs of the children are met. The state of Ohio grants several resources to unmarried mothers including shelter, food assistance, utilities assistance and help with taking the Father to court for an order of child support - this can be done right away. Mothers can go to jobs and family services to apply for benefits.
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