I suggest you consult in person with a divorce attorney. Yes you can put in the petition that you are seeking sole custody. The reasons can be put in there also but can also be addressed later. I do not think sole custody will be any problem. If you are trying to do this yourself I would suggest a trip to either the court's law library at the Daley Center or a one of the law schools. You will waste a lot of time if you do noy do it all properly. You might qualify for legal aid also. you can search that online at the Chicago Bar Association website.
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Yes, you need to state that you are seeking sole custody but you do not have to provide details as to why. You really should hire an attorney to help you but if you cannot, spend some time in a law library to learn exactly what you need to do.
Your prospects are excellent. Your petition does not need to allege anything beyond that "you are the primary caretaker & it would be in the best interest of the children that sole custody be awarded to you." In the "prayer for relief" you ask that you be declared the sole legal custodian. Additional detail is not necessary--Judges don't read these petitions in great detail. If your husband contests the divorce, you then deal with theses matters by submitting evidence...chiefly your testimony.
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Factors for custody don't usually get placed in the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, they go into a specific Petition for Custody. The facts you allege may not be enough to get you sole custody if he chooses to actively pursue his right to be with his children. You mention child support being due; have you previously pursued an action for support or have gotten an administrative support order? As I am often in Court call my assistant Dan London at 312-807-3990 to set up a private telephpne consultation. At the consultation we can discuss the confidential details we need to craft a strategic plan. These details should not be broadcast over the Internet.
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I agree with most of the answers you were given, however, I have a question. You mentioned that you have not received support since 2007. If there is no case previously filed, is there a court order for support? If there is a previous case a dissolution for marriage is not what you should be filing. You should contact an attorney to discuss the specifics of your matter.
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