I am the primary care giver for my kids, I have kept my job for over 5 years, I pay all the bills, I pay the insurance for my kids all of the above. At the current moment he watches the kids during the day while i'm at work because I have no other choice, I couldn't afford daycare at the time. The father of my kids is going to trial for his 4th DUI, he has a felony record. He is an alcoholic. He has no job, no car, a suspended drivers licence. The relationship has gotten abusive, I have called the cops numerous times on him. I don't want to deny him of his kids but I fear for them when he is with them because he is an alcoholic. I'm afraid he will do everything to prove me wrong about all of this.
Family Law Attorney
If you have a pending action for custody and parenting time or you intend on filing the same to protect your children, I would suggest you retain the services of an experienced and aggressive family law attorney. You need to properly present all the evidence to a judge to insure you are granted sole custody of your kids, that father's parenting time be restricted to insure the kids are safe while with him (eg alcohol testing before and while the kids are with him, completing alcohol assessment, etc). Also if he has a pending 4th DUI, I would assume it has been charged as an aggravated DUI, a class 4 felony and if found guilty will be facing mandatory prison time.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
In Arizona, when there are two fit parents, the court will normally order Joint Legal Custody. Frequently the court will order equal parenting time, if the circumstances justify it. (Custody is the decision making part of being a parent, Parenting Time is the time that the child(ren) spend with their parents.)
However, when there are substance abuse issues and/or criminal behavior, the court may allow one parent to make all of the decisions and may possibly require supervised and limited access to the other parent.
The court will give little consideration to what he has to say and more consideration to the “evidence” presented.
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I would add that the children's father being convicted of a DUI raises the presumption under the Arizona family law statutes that he is unfit for custody. If you don't have a formal custody arrangement with the court now would be a good time to get one. You should petition for child support also, though in his condition it is unlikely you will see any soon. You could get the court to pressure him, though, into seeking employment and rehabiliating himself under the threat of prison time.