Chris Rock wants to make sure his now estranged wife doesn't punish him for divorcing her ... by keeping their kids away from him.
In his divorce docs, filed in NJ last Tuesday -- and obtained by TMZ -- Rock complains that Malaak has been preventing him from seeing their 2 daughters on a regular basis. He is asking for shared legal and physical custody of 12-year-old Lola and 10-year-old Zahra.
As for finances ... Rock acknowledges they had a prenup when they married in 1996 -- but says it's expired because they've been together for just over 18 years.
The split has been in the works for at least a month. In the docs, Rock says back in November they identified all the community property to be split up once they divorce.
Interestingly ... Rock points out Malaak has the "ability to work and contribute to her own support" -- which sounds like he's angling to reduce any spousal support payments.