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Father with roommate wants to know how to improve his chances of custody; mother somewhat volatile

Your Question:
Just starting the divorce process, my wife has custody of the kids. I get them on most weekends and pick them up after school two - three days sometimes we spend time together or they spend the night. I have the kids two-three nights a week quit often. I want to take the children full- time, because I believe thier mother is abusive mostly verbal, but not far from going physical at any time. My 12 year old daughter wants to live with me but, her mother has told her she would dis-owner her if she did that. My eight year old son gives me a simular story, mommy won't yell at him any more if he stays with her. I'm moving to new living arrangement and would like to know what kind of situation I would need to be living in to have custody of both or one of my children. How do I go about trying to get my children in a home with me. I currently I'm living in a room mate situation.

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My Answer:

I asked you a few further questions, and you explained that you currently live with a female roommate and will likely move into a place with a male roommate. You described that your daughter sleeps on a fold-out couch, and your son usually sleeps with you. Sometimes the two kids both sleep with you.

For you to have a shot at 50/50 custody, or even more, in your current situation; the mother would have to be unfit. You are describing a mother who may have some issues of concern, but who is not unfit.

Your home situation is not appropriate for you to have significant physical custody of the children. A court may find it even less appropriate if you live with an unrelated adult male, given that you have a 12 year old daughter who doesn't have a private bedroom.

You need to do two things: build your case, and get an appropriate home.

An appropriate home is where your 12 year old daughter has her own bedroom. Ideally, your 8 year old son would also have his own bedroom, but I don't think that's quite as crucial right now. If you give him a separate bed in your bedroom, and if he has his own play area in the living room or corner of your bedroom, that's likely okay as a temporary situation.

I strongly recommend against having a roommate who isn't related to you. If you can move in with your folks or with a sibling (i.e., the kids' aunt or uncle), a court would be much less likely to have concerns about roommates. I know finances are often tight, but you need to find a way to do this.

Building your case against the mother means documenting-- in a credible way--- what you claim about her. If what you say is true, and if you have a way to convince a court of it, you'll be in a good position ONLY IF your home is ready to take are of the kids.

I suggest you look at my Strongly Recommended page. I think you would benefit from reading it.

Good luck.


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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