How can I get custody of my children in the event of a divorce?

UPDATED: Jan 25, 2011

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How can I get custody of my children in the event of a divorce?

For the past 5 to 6 months my family and I have been living with my wife’s parents. Now all my wife keeps talking about is a divorce and keeping me away from the kids. Her parents make stuff up and tell her things that I’m doing to our kids. I try to tell her that it’s not true but she doesn’t want to listen so now they want me out. However, I don’t want to leave the kids here for they even told my wife that they don’t want to live here any more; they are scared of their grandparents and how mean they are to them.

Asked on January 25, 2011 under Family Law, Arizona


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

There are many types of custody that are available to parents in Arizona and it is my understanding that one is not favored over the other. Basically there is legal custody and there is physical custody.  Legal custody is the right to make decisions for and about the kids.  Physical custody is who has them when.  Courts favor spending time with both parents but all decisions are made "in the best interest of the child."  Your situation here is not the best in that you are living in an environment that seems to be taking its toll on everyone.  But do you have the ability to setup a home for you and the children?  Then seek help from an attorney about filing for physical custody of the kids if you leave but there are so many things you need to figure out: who will watch them when you are at work?  Finances.  But I think that the biggest plus you have going for you is your obvious love for the kids and that the environment is not a good one.  Good luck to you.

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