Can the fact that my kids don't want to live with their father help me get full custody and child support? 15 Answers as of March 30, 2011

My husband and I have been considering getting a divorce. He had me and my kids move out of our home and into an apartment that he pays for. I do not work, and feel as though he has purposely been neglecting me and my kids (5, 15, 17)) since I brought up the idea of divorce. Although he forced us to move out, he does not help to pay for our bills or the childrens' expenses. I believe he is having an affair and that is why he is neglecting me and my children so much. I am a hands on mother, but I am worried that I will not get custody because I do not have a job (the reason I don't have a job is because I've been a stay at home mom for our kids). Can the fact that my children don't want anything to do with their father help me to get full custody of them? They are very worried that the custody agreement may require them to spend time with their dad, which they don't want.

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Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
Unless a parent poses a serious threat or risk of harm to children, a court will more than likely require a reasonable parenting plan for your husband. It doesn't sound as though you would have trouble getting custody or child support. In Oregon, custody does not really mean which parent the child lives with. There are two types of custody, sole and joint. In Oregon, "custody" just means that one (sole) or both (joint) parents have decision making power over the children, as to what religion the children practice, where they attend school, medical decisions, and where the children live. Custody does not mean whether or not a parent sees their children. That is a parenting plan.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 3/30/2011
Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
You need to call our office to schedule a 30 minute consultation to discuss your specific case. The courts looks at what is in the best interest of the child(ren) when determining child custody and who does or doesn't have a job is just on area that the judge takes into consideration.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 3/30/2011
L. Smith Legal Help
L. Smith Legal Help | Laura J Smith
There are many issues here. First of all, there is no way to guarantee the custody/visitation situation. What is ultinately ordered by the Court is determined by what the Judge determines is the best interest of the children. Sometimes Judges will consider what the children want, but only older children - not a 5-year old. Also, you entitled to have your husband continue to financially support you is that is the way it has previously been. If you initiate the divorve proceedings, you can ask the Court immediately for financial support. It is important that your husband is not spending his money on a new woman and not his family. If he is, the Court can hold him accountable. You should contact an attorney quickly so that your rights are enforced.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 3/28/2011
Goldberg Jones
Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
You have a lot on your side. The children will have a large impact on the outcome and do will the status quo. If you are ready to divorce you should consult with an attorney ASAP. You may need to hurry up and file your request for financial support and custody.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/28/2011
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
The children's desires will be considered, but they don't get to make the final determination (although your oldest likely will and your 15 year old will have strong say). That said, your work status will not be held against you. You will likley need to seek employment for a number of reasons, but you are likley entitled to both child and spousal support, which should help you. The fact that he may or may not be having an affair is of no relevance, however. California is a no fault divorce state. If you are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/28/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    Children of the age of 15, and 17, may have a great amount of say as to where they will spend their time, and with which parent. Although the ultimate decision is with the court, as long as you prepare your case with competent legal counsel, the childrens desires will be heard. This is a case that requires competent legal representation to be sure you get what is best for the children.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Van Der Jagt Law Firm
    Van Der Jagt Law Firm | Grant Van Der Jagt
    Yes. All of these factors will be considered. Please schedule an consultation with our child custody specialists by calling our office.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    The answer depends on your definition of "full custody". By way of explanation the Texas Family Code assumes that both parents will have parental rights and decision power (this is called conservatorship). As to which parent gets the right to establish residence - yes, your children's desires play a large role. Furthermore, the child support goes to the parent with right to establish residence. Do you live in Collin or Dallas County? If so, I would love an opportunity to discuss the case with you, including information on temporary family support, division of property, etc. You can find a lot of information on these subjects on my website or answers I have posted here. Contact my office and we will set a time to discuss this subject in person.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Raheen Law Group, P.C.
    Raheen Law Group, P.C. | Wali Raheen
    Courts consider many factors in deciding child custody and the focus is the best interest of the children. The preference of the children is only one factor. Not having an income will certainly be considered for child support purposes, but for child custody it would be considered only to the extend that it would have any negative impact on the children. And that could be determine only after all the facts and circumstances of your case is considered. For now, unless the children themselves really don't want to see their father, preventing the father from seeing the children would go against you.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Your children's opinions can be considered by the court, or a guardian ad litem who is investigating for the court, but often are not considered because it is assumed children should never be put into the position of choosing between theirparents. Oftenchildren express things you want to hear because they know you've been hurt. If the basis of their feelings is abuse, etc., then thatis the important reason to restrict the child's access.It is assumed both parents should have a relationship with the children, because that is best for the children,unless their is a strong reason to totally restrict contact. A mere preference of the children, without more, is probably not enough. I would not put much weight in what the children are telling you and would encourage them to have a relationship with their father, give them permission to love him, if it is a healthy relationship. Given what you've stated, unless there is something dramatically wrong with you, the children will reside primarily with you. If you are being neglected financially, it is possible to getmaintenance ordered without starting the divorce (many attorneys are unaware of this in Washington), or you should start the divorce. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Your question really requires an extensive answer, but, based on what you indicate, you will probably get primary physical custody of the children and he will have to pay child support. He will probably get some visitation as well but as I indicated they will most likely live with you most of the time. Please contact us if you wish to discuss further.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    In Alabama, the desires of the children are a factor for the court to consider, and the older the children, the more weight the court is likely to give their expressed desire. Absent abuse, the court will likely require the noncustodial father have a right to standard visitation.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Being unemployed does not negatively affect the custody determination. In fact, being a stay at home mom is in your favor in terms maintaining the status quo of the current custody/visitation arrangements. You are also entitled to child support and temporary spousal support. I strongly suggest that you contact a local family law lawyer to discuss the specific facts of your case, including your options to get appropriate orders. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
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