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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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My friend is father of four childrens. His wife cheated on

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My friend is father of four children's. His wife cheated on him, found a boyfriend and wants a divorce. We need suggestion on how to become a legal custody for children's.

They were a christian family. About a year ago she started cheating, my friend forgave her but cheating continued. That situation happened couple times, until one day she left children's at home and left for three days to casino. My friend had to take off from his job to stay with children's. After that, he asked her to try starting "new life" one more time, but this did worked and she wants a divorce.

When she left to casino for three days, the babysitter opened a claim to child protective services. It is under investigation right now. Couple days ago she left 4 children's at home for more then three hours and we have people who can witness. Will this be a strong enough point for dad to be a legal custody?

Church is ready to support him in the court to be legal custodian but what else can he does so he will be legal custody?
Which steps need to be taken so he will be the legal custodian?
What are the chances for him to be legal custodian?

His three children's are older then five and they wants to be with their dad. Will the be counted in court?

Please give us detailed response as detailed as you can.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

The father should file a petition in the family court for full custody. If the divorce has already been filed, then the petition can be filed with that same judge as part of the divorce. If the divorce has not yet been filed, then the father can start a new case for the purpose of determining custody. The father should retain an attorney for this purpose. He will have the best chance at winning custody with the help of an attorney. However, if the father cannot afford it and if the church cannot help with finances, then the father is entitled to file the petition himself. The court clerk should have the required forms. If you tell me your state, I may even be able to find the forms online for you.

As for whether or not the father will win, it certainly sounds promising. Based just on what you told me, and assuming the father has no issues regarding parenting, then I suspect that he'd win custody. It is absolutely irresponsible to leave the kids alone for days at a time. The judge will not be impressed. I suspect the father would win physical custoday, and the mother would have limited visitation (possibly supervised).

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

If you would like to direct additional legal questions to me in the future, then please type "To VAMD" in the subject line of your question.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Family lives in California. Can you please send us that form? We would really appreciate.

She left children's at home, alone, lots of times, but we only have witness for one occurrence. Will this be enough at the court?

Does it matter who starts the divorce process, he or she? Are there any advantages/disadvantages if he starts the divorce process?
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Hi again.

The form for custody (and child support, which should also be requested) is found HERE.

While the father should inform the judge of each time the kids were left alone, just one occurrence would likely be enough to be awarded physical custody. No, it does not matter who initially files for the divorce. The only real advantage is that the party that files can choose the most convenient venue (i.e., the court most convenient for him).
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