I'm very sorry for your circumstances. Employment isn't a condition of keeping custody of one's biological children in any state; however, it may be a factor to consider if it is causing neglect even if it is unintentional. That said, the usually (and preferred by public policy) remedy for preventing the neglect of children who have unemployed parents is to assist the family with social services, such as food stamps, housing, job training, etc. I know it may seem like you cannot possibly afford legal help, but if you feel you are being threatened with a loss of custody, then I suggest you try to make contact with a local attorney. There are many attorneys who will help you find free or low cost assistance even if they cannot offer it to you themselves. As such, I recommend you start making calls. You can find attorneys in your area by searching among the profiles here on Avvo. Good luck!
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So long as you can provide a safe environment for your children to grow up in, your job status should not hinder your ability to have custody of your children. As the primary care giver to your children, you are the front runner to receive custody.