Ask A Lawyer: How Can I Keep The Children In My Care


My wife has been threatening for months that she is going to leave me because of an affair I had over a year ago. We have 1 child together and she has one childen with her ex. I work and go to school part time, as well as take care of both children most of the time when I am home. I get up in the morning, bathe, feed, dress and take our oldest, her ex’s, child to school. I also pick her up from school. While she is gone, I care for my child.

Almost every night she brings up what happened. She is abusive not only to me, but has one more than 1 occasion slapped /screamed/spanked our oldest. I’m no saint but when I ask her to help me she yells at me saying that I’m a bad parent, yet she sleeps until between 11am-4pm while I am up taking care of both children. I need to know if there is any chance on getting custody of at least my child, but I want custody of hers. She had legal problems when she was younger, and her mom, who lives with us, also has a child abuse charge against her. I have no record. I own the house, and once I am out of school, will be making 90% of our income. Do I have any chance of getting custody?




In most states there is a presumption that either parent is suitable to have custody of the children.  The court will ultimately award custody based on the best interest of the children.  When determining best interest the court will likely look at several factors including:  the age and gender of the child, sibling relationships, wishes of the child and wishes of the parents.  

The fact that you have been the primary caregiver will work in your favor.   Your goal is to prove that it is in your child’s best interest to be with you.  You not only want to tell the court the concerns you have about wife’s parenting but you want to show how you are the better parent.

Read more about preparing for the custody battle.


Clarissa Finnell is an Associate Attorney in the Indianapolis office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and has been licensed in Indiana since 1997.  Read more about Clarissa Finnell.

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