My hubby of 12 years has turned into a stranger. He has a string of affairs and recently admitted to having three children with different women. He was a teetotaler but nowadays comes home drunk and turns either physical or verbally abusive when asked why he has changed. I want to move on with life with our two daughters aged seven and four years. Is there a legal process to ensure I get the children without confrontation?
It is possible to move on with your children under a legal provision known as custody. Custody is when a married couple with children either separates or divorces and questions arise over who will keep the children.
It is a legal process and you must apply to the court for an order of custody for you to stay with the children. However, you must prove to the court that your husband is irresponsible as alleged before securing orders to take the children away. Normally, the court considers the interest or welfare of the children to be most important and gives custody to the parent with the best interest at heart.
Further, precedents show that courts in most cases give custody to the mother because of the nurturing role she has to play towards their growth. Other considerations are if either of the parents has neglected the matrimonial home, is a drunkard, drug addict, abusive or violent.
You have not mentioned whether you are employed but it is never an issue when one parent has more money, as the court can order maintenance by the spouse that earns.
Should your daughters reach 18 years, they can seek orders from the court for payment of their tertiary education or the custody orders may end after the adult children decide who to stay with.
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