My brother needs to get custody of his kids. He and his wife are having troubles because she is out partying all the time lately and always leaving him with the kids. What proof does he need to help his case for custody showing that she is not a fit mother?
First I must preface my answer that I do not practice in Pennsylvania. Because each state has laws governing dissolution of marriage, it is important that your brother seeks the advice of a domestic litigation attorney licensed in Pennsylvania prior to taking action.
Most courts decide custody issues based on the ‘best interests of the child’ test. This test is made up different components which can differ from state to state. Components can include moral fitness of a parent and the respective environment offered by each parent.
Proof as to these components could include his testimony (and other first-hand witnesses) as to how much time each parent spends with the children and the activities each parent does with the children. If her activities outside the home are affecting the children, such as coming home intoxicated, this is also a factor.
Your brother should begin keeping a journal documenting what hours his wife is gone, where she says she is going, and how she acts when she gets home. It will help him remember details when they do begin litigation.
I would also suggest your brother contact a domestic litigation attorney licensed in Pennsylvania to discuss what factors child custody issues are decided on in that state.
Nancy R. Shannon, a Nebraska native, is an Associate Attorney in the Omaha, Nebraska office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed in the state of Nebraska where her primary practice is exclusively in the area of domestic relations. Ms. Shannon received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Doane College and her Juris Doctor from University of Nebraska – Lincoln, where she was a finalist in a Moot court competition and active in Client Counseling activities.