Question: My ex-wife, who lives in Roswell, Georgia, has custody of our two daughters. They are 3 and 4 years old. But I want to get custody of the children. Our custody agreement is just not working.
The problem is that when my wife travels on business she lets them stay at her mother's house and because my ex-wife is an alcoholic and she uses drugs.
My wife travels on business a lot and she can be gone for a week or two at a time. When she travels the girls stay with her mother who lives close to them at Martin's Landing. Their grandmother is a nice lady but she has dementia and sometimes can't remember what year it is, what city she lives in or her house's address. I don't think it's safe for the kids to be there.
Also, my wife drinks a lot. She goes to AA meetings but that hasn't stopped her from drinking. At a Super Bowl party I heard she passed out while the game was on.
And she uses a lot of pot. She was recently arrested in Roswell for possession of marijuana. I think she is self-medicating her bipolar disorder.
How should I go about getting custody switched to me? I'm not looking for a custody battle and our custody arrangement worked for a while, but I want to do this as soon as possible so that the kids will be safe.
T.O. in Roswell
Answer: You need to bring a petition in the Fulton County superior court seeking a change of custody. Only a judge can order a change of child custody.
The standard the court will apply is “best interests of the child.” You need to demonstrate to the court that your former wife is not a fit custodial parent for the children. You need to show that it is in the children's best interest to be removed from her custody and placed with you.
You need to gather evidence and identify witnesses that can help prove your case. From what you are stating, it does appear that the children need a change of custody for their safety.
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