A television host and actress recently won sole custody of her child, but was not successful in seeking a protective order against the child's father.

The mother and father of the child in question were not married, though they met when the woman previously filed for an annulment order in 2000. The two lived together and had a child together a year after they met. In 2005, the woman filed for a protection order, citing allegations of both physical and verbal abuse. Further she claimed she was forced to sign a document that would allow her former partner to gain full custody of their now seven-year-old son.

The television host was able to uphold her rights to custody over the son in court, but was not able to adequately prove her abuse allegations. The woman said she had been mauled and slapped several times. She claims at one point the boys' father hit her head on the floor.

The father in this case argued that she went about her every day routine, and even hosted a television program the night following the alleged violence. Her petition seeking a protection order against her former common law spouse was dismissed on those grounds. It is speculated that the common law nature of their relationship led to the granting of sole custody in her favor.

While this situation did not happen in Georgia, many families go through a similar situation in the state. When that happens, individuals should consult with an experienced attorney. Family laws are different in every country, and even within the U.S., the laws differ from state to state.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, "Plinky Recto wins child custody battle," Marlon Ramos, Oct. 25, 2011