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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102320
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My Ex Husband has Physical Custody of our two Kids. It has

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My Ex Husband has Physical Custody of our two Kids. It has been this way since June 2006. Our kids are 13 and 10, a boy and girl. They no longer want to stay with their father because they feel they have no rights. I get them on summer break and holiday's if they are in the states. We are both in the military and in the divorce the decree it states that he can't leave the state without prior court order his legal resident is FL he left in 2011 and promise that we would make it work. It also states that I should be able to contact my kids without it being a problem, well that's not happening he has told me several times that I can only speak with them on the weekend. They are currently stationed in Hawaii and I am stationed in Tampa FL. Last year I had to pick the kids up from Hawaii and return them on my dime, well not entirely after we had a fuss about it he said he would only pay for the kids the kids are not old enough to fly by themselves. At that point I had to buy my ticket and fine a place for me to stay. He is deployed more often than not I feel that if he is always deployed what reason would you not want them to be with the Mother instead of the Step-Mother. They have stated to him and the Step-Mother that they don't want to stay there because he is always gone. Is there something I can do to get my kids back with me in a happier and stable environment. Thanks in advance for your time.

Best Regards
Deauna Robertson
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation.

Is there something I can do to get my kids back with me in a happier and stable environment.

Yes, but this would involve filing with the Court. Someone in your situation would have to file a Petition to Modify Custody with the Court and ask the Judge to switch custody from him to you as the managing custodian.

According to Hawaii Statutes - Title 580 - Chapter 46, the Court will make the decision for a custodian based "in the best interest of the child." This involves subjective factors such as , general stability of the parent, financial stability, indoctrination of the child in the current school and environment, household condition and living condition of the child, other persons living in the house, etc. The children's preference is not controlling of the outcome, although it is an influential factor in the Judge's decision is the Judge feels that the children (or child) is mature enough to make such a decision in Court. His frequent deployment may be something that you can use to your advantage to illustrate instability - something that the Court abhors and tries to avoid for children.

While the petition is pending, you may request temporary orders to temporarily switch over custody until the final hearing.

An attorney is recommended. May I recommend the Hawaii Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP. But yes, unfortunately the jurisdiction lies in Hawaii if the children reside there.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck. Finally, thank you for your service.

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