How do i get sole custody of my two children in british columbia? do i need a lawyer?

My children are 3 and 5 and have lived solely with me (theyre mother) since i left theyre father 3 years ago. He has made almost no attempts to see the children, nor support them in any way. There is no child support payments being made. He was abusive in all forms of the word. Physical, verbal, finantial, emotional, controling. Abusive to the children. However it&nbsp; is difficult for me to prove any of this. <p>I do not have a contact number for him, except to leave messages with his mother. He will not willingly sign custody papers to me. He does not have a job and in his spare time manages a country-wide malitia on facebook in the event that the governments lock us in camps for mass genicide.</p> <p>I had legal aid and my lawyer told me that if he expressed any desire to be a part of the childrens lives that the court would likely grant him some form of rights. Still fresh from the abusive relationship, i was scared away from persuing the issue.</p> <p>i have no interest in his money for child support, i would just like my children to be solely mine. Have the right to change theyre last names to my own, to leave the country on vacations, etc.. i got married just last week to a man in the forces, he would like to adopt them as his own.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>i have no idea what steps to take or what the process is. Do i need a lawyer or can i just file at the court house? Honestly, even if a service manages to find and serve him, its unlikely he will even appear.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>thankyou very much for any advice :)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Asked over 6 years ago in Victoria, British Columbia
Categories: Family Law

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Zahra Jenab

Answer by Zahra Jenab

VerifiedBritish Columbia lawyer

With regards to custody or guardianship, the advice that you got when you first separated is fairly accurate.  If he expresses a desire to be a part of the children's lives, the courts will likely grant him SOME FORM rights.  This involvement can have a wide range.  So, if in the past three years, through no fault of yours, he has had almost no relationship with the children, then there is a possibility that you will be granted sole custody.  However, there are guardianship rights that he may be given.  That would allow him to have some input into issues regarding education, health and welfare.
As you are probably aware, once you file the application in court, you will still have to make attempts at peronally serving the children's father.  It is only after you have made these attempts, and cannot locate him, that you can apply again to serve him through some other means, such as at his mother's address, etc.  Once there has been service, and he has notice of what you want, if he does not appear in court, then you can still proceed with your case and possibly get the orders that you wanted.
You've raised a number of other issues, apart from wanting sole custody (such as your husband adopting the children, changing their last name, etc.) that are quite complicated and you should definitely consult with a lawyer about all of those, as well as getting some advice on how to start your application for custody or guardianship, and the court process.

Posted over 6 years ago

Yours truly; Zahra Jenab Barrister & Solicitor Tel: 604-925-6005; Fax: 604-925-6007 email:

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact Zahra Jenab, or search the Lawyer Directory.

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