My wife and I are divorcing and while I don’t want to keep my kids completely away from her, I think she makes some questionable decisions as a parent. She is going to live with her mother, who has a drinking problem, and that is an environment I don’t think the kids should be in.
What do I need to do to get primary custody?
I am not licensed to practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general information regarding your situation.
In Virginia, where I am currently practicing, the household environment as well as the level of responsibility of both parents are considered when determining “the best interest of the children.”
It is never a good idea to wait until the children have adjusted to a new environment to then ask the court for primary physical custody.
In my state the Court will conduct a “Pendente Lite” hearing at the very beginning of a divorce matter, where the judge will hear evidence from both sides and enter a “temporary” order regarding custody, visitation and support.
However, if neither parent is ready to file for divorce, then a petition to determine custody and visitation can be filed in juvenile court or what some jurisdictions refer to as family court.
Fighting for primary custody of your child is one of the most important actions that you take in this lifetime. The laws and local procedures vary from state to state. It is very important to seek out the assistance qualified, licensed attorney in your state that can guide you through the process and help you avoid common mistakes.