Obtaining temporary custody

Would your ex agree to let the children stay with you until she gets "back on her feet? If not, then I suggest that you file for emergency temporary custody modification due to the changes. If you are able to talk with your ex, you should do so that she does not feel as though this is another “attack” on her. It could trigger her to take drastic measures. You should let her know that this is strictly in the best interest of the children and has nothing to do with her. Gather all the information that you can including the arrest information for court. Get her family to testify if they will. This can be tricky since it’s her family, but there’s a chance that they will be loyal to the children…
I would not wait for the next thing to happen. If she has been arrested then and is emotionally unstable, your children do not need to be there to witness this.
Be prepared though. Talk to the children also. You do not have to give details, but you need to let them know that this is what’s best for them.
If they are anything like my stepsons, when their mother has gone through this type of thing, including being hospitalized for attempted suicide, they feel it is their duty to take care of her. They did not like the idea that they could not stay out of school so she wouldn’t be alone, though her mother was living in the same apartment building. They are 10 & 13…

My ex-wife and I have been divorced for 4 years and have 2 children, 14 and 12. She has been awarded primary custody and I have visitation, every other weekend and every other Wed. She remarried but her husband left her almost 2 months ago. The week prior to his leaving, she was laid off and is still out of work. She is suffering from depression and is taking valium. She is and has been subjecting the kids to the details of her problems with her current estranged husband. Her husband obtained a restraining order against her for threats and harrassment, which she has violated numerous times by calling him. She was arrested this past Friday night and spent the weekend in jail. She got out this morning and is constantly crying and very distraught. Right now she has no job, is facing possible foreclosure, is suffering from depression, and is now in a volotile situation with her extranged husband. Additionally, she is facing charges for violating the restraining order. Our kids are very distraught as their mother constantly lies to them about what is going on. He father and sister both agree that she needs psycological help and don’t believe she is fit to care for the children. We all believe that she suffers from bipolar disorder.

Given these circumstances, I fear for the well-being of the children and the emotional turmoil that they are subjected to. I also have a fear of probably violence between their mother and her estranged husband. Two months ago their mother threatened to kill herself and claimed to have taken a bunch of pills in conjuction with alcohol. Her husband called the sheriff who tracked her down since she left the house after he called. The sheriff took her to the hospital to have her evaluated in case she did take some pills, but evidently she lied about that. There is a sheriff’s report on file for that event.

My question is how can I go about having someone intervene and determine if this is a stable & safe environment for the children. I would prefer that the court award me temporary custody until she can get herself together and is able to provide a safe, stable & nurturing environment. I’ve called child protective services, but they refuse to take any action since it’s not a clear case of physical abuse or neglect, and they can’t seem to advise me of the appropriate action to take. All I want is to have my kids away from that environment until she can get herself emotionally stabilized and the threat of violence between her and her husband is no longer an issue. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.