My friend has just filed for divorce in Johnson County, Texas. He has not seen his 18 month old daughter for about 1.5 months. Now his soon-to-be exwife plainly told him she would not allow him to have visitation with his daughter because she was tired of his "coming and going" and she had other 'family' reasons. The have been seperated since January and not once has he gone back to her. He is filing a temp custody order, but wants full custody. This will be her 2nd divorce and she has another child from the first marriage. She is only 24, lives with her parents and works making minimum wage. I would consider her to be irresponsible because I am also 24, no children, never married, making more than twice minimum wage and I have my own home. How difficult would it be for him to fight for custody and win????
Allow me to preface my answer to your question with the disclaimer that I am not licensed to practice law in the state of Texas. It is difficult to say how difficult an attempt at full custody would be. In the jurisdiction I practice in the determination of custody is based upon each parent's ability to parent, each parent's willingness to coparent with the other, the court can take into consideration each parent's mental state or parental defects. The parental history (i.e. who bathed, fed, dressed the child; took the child to doctor's appointments, etc.) also plays a significant role in determining custody. I do not think that the facts that she is 24 and with 2 children and lives at home with her parents will be a determining factor. In general the courts start with a joint custody perspective unless one parent can be shown to be clearly an inappropriate parent. Without evidence of the same, it will be difficult to gain full custody.