My wife presented me with divorce papers for a household without minor children. We are guardians to our niece. Is this a problem?

Question:

My wife presented me with divorce papers for a household without minor children. We are guardians to our niece. Is this a problem?

We are guardians to our niece who is 7 years old. We were appointed guardianship by an Ohio Magistrate. Both of our names are noted in the guardianship paperwork. She has been living with us for the last 5 1/2 years.The problem is my wife is very rarely allowing me to see my daughter. There is no history of behavior on my behalf, which would exclude me from seeing her. My daughter has expressed an interest in seeing me and spending time with me.

I don’t know what to do. Is this type of divorce decree the wrong divorce decree for our family?

Answer:

If I understand correctly, there is a Guardianship Action out of Ohio that involves your niece. Further, your wife has filed for divorce here in AZ where you both reside with that niece. You two have no minor children together.

If that is correct, than wife would have filed the correct papers if she filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage without Minor Children. Your niece would not be a party to the AZ action.

I would also caution you not to refer to her as your daughter, simply put, because she is not your daughter, she is your niece. Only her legal parents have the right to call her “daughter.”

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

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