NO CUSTODY AGREEMENT - children want to change households

We need advice. My soon -to-be step children (15 yo and 14 yo) have been living with their mom after their father and mother divorced in 2001. Recently (within the last 2 years) the living situation in the mother’s home has become very unstable. Her only income is about $700/month child support and she does not try to get a job. She has moved other financially struggling people into a 3 bedroom house so that now there will be 9 people and multiple animals living there. This weekend, the children told us that they did not want to live with her anymore. They asked to live with us instead because (and these are their words) they were tired of different men coming in and out of the house that their mom meets online, they didn’t have as much to eat as they needed, and it was disappointing to see the choices that their mom was making with her life.The 15 yo son expressed his concern about the safety of both his mother and sister since one of the men that moved in with them recently stole $500.

On Monday of this coming week, the children are going to tell their mom that they want to stay with us for the upcoming school year due to the stress. We do not expect this to go over very well - what options do we have? Now that the children have told us EVERYTHING going on and how they feel, we absolutely want them to live with us. Agan, there is no LEGAL custody arrangement - only a verbal one made when the divorce occurred. HELP!

The children’s father may file an action for child custody to gain full physical custody of the children.

Thanks. The children told mother they wished to live with their dad for the school year. She proceeded to scream at them, curse at them saying awful things, and then basically told them to get out and never come back. We have most of this on tape. I guess my question now is should we go ahead and try to get an emergency custody order of some kind in place so we can at least enroll them in school here? it will start in 3 weeks.


The situation is not one in which I would advise filing an emergency action, as those actions should be reserved for situations in which the children are at risk of harm, and/or removed from the state for purposes of fleeing the jurisdiction.

If she has told the children to get out, I assume they are now living with their father. If that is the case, they may be enrolled in the school district where he resides.