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My ex got a dui and child endangerment, and lives with his girlfriend and her mother. Do I have grounds to get custody?

Mena, AR |

He has got a dui and refusing to do bac and recieved child endangerment. I believe there to be neglect also he will not take her to the doctor. She recently had staph infection that had been there atleast a week. He lives with his girlfriend, her children and the grandmother. My daughter shares a room with her daughter. I am engaged and moved to Oklahoma for work. I know that is against me but I would never be so careless with my daughter. He also will not speak to me in person or on the phone and usually won't let her speak to me.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    Was your ex awarded full legal & physical custody of the child? Do you currently have visitations? You can challenge the issue of custody, you'll have to prove that the father is unfit and that it's no longer in the best interest for the daughter to live with her father. There are several factors that would be taken into consideration.

    Has the father been convicted of these charges yet "found guilty"? This could be important when looking into seeking custody.

    You should consider scheduling a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your options since a lot depends on the facts involved in your case.

    Best wishes.

    The information provided should be considered an opinion only. This information does not establish a client-attorney relationship. Until the facts of your case are completely evaluated the answer provided could change. You should consider setting up a consultation with an attorney in your area.


  2. I assume the child endangerment is your daughter in your ex's car while your ex is driving intoxicated? These are significant issues as to custody. Your divorce attorney will be able to best direct you as to what to do with this information.
    At your service,


  3. In order to get custody of a child in Arkansas, if there has already been an order granting custody to one of the parents, the other parent must show a "material change in the child's circumstances" that would indicate it would be in the best interests of the child for custody to be changed. If your ex actually has a court order granting him custody, then the court will weigh what he has done against whatever reason it had for giving him custody in the first place instead of you. The fact that you moved to Oklahoma for work is not necessarily a point against you. But you must NOT be living with your boyfriend if you want to get custody. Arkansas judges are notorious about that (and yes, I know he lives with his girlfriend, but you can't complain about that if you're doing the same thing) .

    You should speak to a family law attorney immediately about petitioning for emergency custody, especially because of the DWI and child endangerment. As for the staph infection, if there was no doctor, how do you know it was staph? If there WAS a doctor visit, be sure you get copies of all the paperwork from the doc so you can document the staph infection.

    It is difficult to change custody after an Arkansas court has already made a custody decision; however, it sounds like you definitely have some grounds here (neglect, living with girlfriend, child endangerment) that would be considered a material change in the child's circumstances. Be sure you have your life in order so the judge will look favorably on you. That means no drugs, no alcohol, don't live with a man or have overnight visits when the child is there, pay your bills, and be sure you have enough room in your place for your daughter to come live with you.

    Good luck!

    No attorney-client relationship is established with this answer. It is not to be considered legal advice, but is merely given to point you in the right direction and give you a general answer as to the law regarding the question you have asked.

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