Children age 16 and 10 want a change in custody

My husband of 5 years has two children with his ex wife age 10 and 16. They both are begging to come and live with us. Their mother is mentally ill and it is causing a SERIOUS strain on their life. The 16 year old is responsible for her brother the home,chores ,cooking, going to school… Their mother has refused to work or contribute to the children’s raising in any financial way for over 10 years. And she tells the children that we do not send money for them. Visitation has been erratic at best some years we have the children all the time they are out of school and some years we are not allowed to see them at all. Their mother has custody from an ex parte hearing in which she cited a “fear of my husband moving the children to the state where the oldest was born.” There is no custody mention in their divorce at all. We having been trying to save for a lawyer for years but the child support we pay for the kids has put us in a place we can not save money. We pay for the oldest to have a phone and we as well as my husbands family pay for all clothing, band gear etc… Which is fine but we NEED to help the kids get a change NOW. The children also share a room and are opposite gender. They are finding awkward at their ages and dislike it very much.
CPS is investigating their mother currently. The oldest told her school she did not feel safe at home. How can we help them legally??? This situation is causing the oldest to have emotional problems so we REALLY want to help them!! We have a child who is 2 and we have had no issues or investigations into our home. We want to go get the kids but the sheriff there said we could not take them with out their mothers permission.

I’m not sure of the exact filing or term but you should be able to file for a change of custody. With the age of the oldest child the judge should want and be able to take the child’s wishes into consideration.

I saw somewhere on line that there is case law for children as young as 10’s wishes being considered by a judge. We are afraid if we only get the oldest the youngest will suffer more. Because he will in effect be loosing his care giver.

Your husband should file a motion for modification of custody.

Can we get that paper work at the courthouse? And will it need to be done in the county we live in or the county the children live in? Thank you for your time!!