Legal question regarding divorce and custody.

I really hope this is the correct place for this question.

Okay, so my friend and his wife are going through a lot of stuff right now. Bad stuff. He is considering throwing in the towel and just getting out. His main concern, however, is that they have three children together (ages 11, 8, and 5 if that matters). He does not want his wife to get full custody. She has some emotional issues, and he feels that she is not suited to take care of these kids on her own.
He wants to get out of this marriage, and he is wondering if it will hurt his chances for custody in the long run if he just packs up and moves out. Not leave town, not cut off all ties, but just move to a different location.
I appreciate any advice, experience, and/or ideas on this matter. Thanks.

All together now: He needs to consult a lawyer.

As always, your friend needs to find a divorce lawyer in his state preferably before he does anything else to ask these types of questions to. Then, he needs to think long and hard about what he really wants and what is best for the kids and avoid spite (easier said than done).

It depends on the state they are in, the judge that hears the case, and her person willingness to fight over it. There are different types of custody as well. She shouldn’t be able to get true full custody unless he has done something terrible and poses a danger to the kids. That type of custody allows both parents legal rights to make decisions for the children and see them on a regular basis. Full custody only allows one parent to make those types of decisions and he doesn’t want that.

However, there is also the question of physical custody. That mainly determines where the kids live. The father and mother can share joint legal custody but she could also end up with sole physical custody. That is pretty common but it doesn’t have to be that way. Some parents share joint physical custody as well and the kids go back and forth between mom and dad’s house for whatever they agree on.

If they are civil enough, they could work out their own agreement and have their lawyers write it and proofread it. It doesn’t have to be "every other weekend and “two weeks in the summer” for dad. I have my kids for major parts of five days a week and sometimes more because my ex-wife works late. I had that written into the divorce agreement and it is binding even though she technically has sole physical custody.

I can only speak from my experience with divorce, but usually whoever gets the kids when the separation happens, that’s who gets custody of them. Whoever moves out is determined to be too ‘in transition’ for the kids to go along. The courts want the children to have familiarity, and that means staying in the home they lived in, going to the same school they did before the divorce, etc. Family law is quite biased against men, so by default the kids go with their mother anyway unless the man can prove a STRONG case as to how he’s the better parent to get custody.

Work out better for him if SHE would move out.

The correct place for this question is a lawyer’s office in his home state and preferably in the county where the action will be filed.

Closing thread.