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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 30382
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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I live in Nevada. I am married with 3 & 2 year old daughters.

Resolved Question:

I live in Nevada. I am married with 3 & 2 year old daughters. My wife has reached the point where she wants a separation (but says she does not want a divorce). For the term of our relationship she has struggled with everyday life: organization, scheduling, sleeping disorder, proper care of the children while I am at work, a lack of career and a lack of helping with our family's finances during these rough economic times. She is tired of hearing my disappointment, dissatisfaction and criticism from the issues listed along with other sub-standard issues that were not in-line with our families quality of life.
At first, I was 100% against any of her plan, but I am tired of fighting a losing battle. Although we are still set to attend counseling, it is obvious that we cannot find a situation were our everyday life is comfortable living under the same house.
A couple of months ago she went behind my back and created this gameplan to pursue renting a small house in a bad neighborhood and getting some sort of child aid for the girls to go to daycare. Obviously, she is set on taking the girls with her, and I assume she is dependent on it b/c she will be expecting me to pay some sort of child support or something during our separation.
I need to know what rights I have b/c one of the reasons I have had such a hard time with her is her unfit mothering (letting the girls run amuck without proper supervision at times, being too tired to wake-up and deal with the girls in the morning, basically doing the minimum amount the majority of the time where I usually arrive home to a very messy house and a chaotic situation. There's been more than a few times I have worried about the general safety of my girls while at work and there have even been a few times were friends or previous neighbors have inquired about some worrisome situations they have observed (girls being unattended in the yard, etc.).
I have accepted the fact of her leaving, but I do not want her to take the girls. She has not proven that she can handle the current situation when she is ask to only do half the work, what am I to suspect if she has them all the time?
At this point I must mention my wife takes medication for depression and fibromyalgia. I know the medication is suppose to help, but her diagnosis' are 2 huge reasons to our marital and family problems.
If I can somehow show that our current household (located in one of the nicest/richest areas in Sparks, NV) is a more structured and better environment for the girls with me, can I legally stop her from taking them and bringing them into a new environment that is poor with a higher crime rate and no guarantees that my wife's instability will cause more endangerment than good for them?!?!
Blame and simple (although she won't admit it), she knows she needs to have possession of the girls if she plans on getting any of my money. How can I stop her from 'using' them in that fashion?
I want to avoid her 'getting away' with not really accomplishing/supporting anything during our marriage, but now expects that I will pay for her 'single life' so she doesn't have to get a real job or something???
Should I just file for divorce and ask for full or joint custody and nip this situation in the bud, or would I have little success with that since I am a male and females are usually favored?!
Thank you greatly for any response!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Lucy, Esq. :

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Lucy, Esq. :

It is a common misperception that women are favored over men in custody issues. The children go to the better parent, regardless of gender.

Lucy, Esq. :

The test is what is in the best interests of the children. Factors include: income, living situation, better school districts (when they're older), parenting plan, relationship each parent has with the child, fitness to parent, whether either child has a history of violence, drug abuse, or a criminal record, stuff like that.

Lucy, Esq. :

This site has forms you can use to apply for temporary custody:

Lucy, Esq. and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Chat Conversation Ended

If you are still working with your Expert on this question, you can post additional replies and receive additional information on this page.  If you received a satisfactory answer in Chat, you can accept the chat conversation above.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Sorry, I had to step away from the computer.
Thanks for the response.
I was hoping to avoid the whole custody thing for right now b/c I wanted my wife to feel like it was an open door for her to come by and be with the girls whenever she wanted... she is the one that wants/needs space... not me & the girls.
Other than applying for temp. custody, what are other common actions that I am allowed to take? For example, can I call the police if she tries to leave with them this weekend without my permission?
With regards XXXXX XXXXX I live, if she does something like that would it be considered kidnapping?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
I can understand why you want to wait before filing for custody, but it will make it more difficult for you.

If there's no custody order, it wouldn't be considered kidnapping if she just takes them with her when she leaves, because, at the moment, you both have authority to take the kids. But, since you are still married, if you call the police, unless you can show an immediate danger to the kids, police will usually just say that it's a civil issue, and that the judge should handle it.

Also, if she leaves with the kids, and if you eventually decide to divorce and the living situation appears to be working (with them living with her), the judge will be more reluctant to grant you full custody, because he won't want to rock the boat.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok, I definitely understand that point of view.
I'm going to take a moment to look at the link you sent me.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Also, although my wife is in favor of playing the separation game, my full intention will be to file for a divorce once she starts her residence somewhere else and the therapist we/I go to don't have any better ideas... I don't attend to force the full custody thing, I would initially pursue joint custody. But of course if she wants to make it a battle then things will of course get muddy like they usually do in custody battles - I just wish there was a way to avoid it...
In your opinion, do you think it's best to do a separation where no documents are signed, involve the paperwork and get a legal separation, or just go with the divorce? Advantages/disadvantages to someone in my situation?
Obviously I am worried she is going to try to "rob" me of my finances in one way or another (after robbing me of a family life) but in any case, i need to seek the best pathway that will be the hardest for here to touch the money i would need to raise the girls and give them & myself the quality of life we have been accustomed to.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Honestly, it depends on you. If you really want to work it out and see what happens in therapy, go with a separation. If you truly believe that you won't be able to fix the marriage, then go ahead and file for divorce. But, if she thinks you are still trying to work it out, and you file for divorce, she may not react well. It could make therapy (and reconciliation) more difficult.

The ultimate outcome won't really depend on who files first, or whether you file for separation or divorce initially. The judge will award the children to whoever can provide a better home. If the two of you share custody, she will be entitled to some amount of child support, but not as much as if she had full custody. The judge will want to make sure that the children have the same quality of life with her as with you.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I thank you for your help.
I will be going to the location on the link you sent me tomorrow to acquire a temp.custody form.
I will "accept" your answer.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
You're welcome, and thank you. Good luck with everything.