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Amber E.
Amber E., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1482
Experience:  Experienced practitioner in family law, including divorce, custody, and domestic violence cases.
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My ex-wife is a horrible mother and I want to know how I can

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My ex-wife is a horrible mother and I want to know how I can get custody. Our divorce was done in Texas. I am active duty military and stationed here in Texas. Her husband is also active duty military and they got reassigned 6 months ago to California. I have 4 daughters. Ages 6, 9, 15, 17. She allows the older two to smoke drink, have boyfriends over, spend the night at boyfriends and I can't do anything! I have been told that unless I can prove she is abusive or neglectful that I don't have a chance. Well, last weekend she was arrested in Yuba City, Ca for embezzling from Toys r Us but the amount was $3000. She does have a record so this is her first offense. I am told that this doesn't directly affect my children so it won't help me any. However, I have no record, my wife is an RN with no record. My stepchildren are well behaved and make good grades. My children miss school alot and their grades suffer. What can I do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Amber E. replied 7 years ago.
Q. My ex-wife is a horrible mother and I want to know how I can get custody.

You may file a petition for custody; or, file a motion to modify custody. The court will sort out the details and determine custody based on the information you are able to provide about any and all things affecting the well-being of the children. One important factor that the court will consider is the capacity of each parent to ensure that the children are educated; if they are now missing school and their grades are suffering, then those are things that will factor against her and in your favor. If boyfriends are spending the night, smoking and drinking, etc. are allowed, then those things also would factor against her as well, because they would demonstrate a lack of stability, supervision, as well as morality in the household.

You will also, of course, have to show that it is in the best interest of the children to live with you. In other words, as much as you can show that she has problems, you have to show that you are more stable and better able to provide for the children than she is. The fact that your stepchildren are doing well will help you in that regard.

You do have a chance; the court often does what is common sense. If it doesn't make sense to you what she is doing, then it probably won't to a judge who sees this sort of thing everyday.
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