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  1. #1
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Ex is Not Being Held in Contempt of Court

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Texas

    My ex and I have a son. My father picks my son of from her and brings him back to his house where I am allowed to pick him up and bring him home with me, however, in our court paperwork it just says my father picks our son up and brings him back to his house. No where does it say I cannot pick him up. The only reason this was done was because my ex didn't want me knowing where she lives (she's moved thirty times since January of this year) and she and her friends have threatened my wife and I every time we picked my son up and it was causing him and us too much stress.

    Now she picks and chooses when she wants anyone to see him. I am a good person. I work, own my own home, don't do drugs, have never been violent or harsh, I honestly believe she is just doing this all to be hurtful.

    She withheld our son for half of my summer visitation, then when she finally released him she was given one overnight visit with him (and I follow court orders!) but she was supposed to bring him back afterwards... she never did. Now she is claiming that she will not release him for my Christmas visitation. My son is so confused. He's actually afraid of being around me because, "Mommy said the judge didn't write on paper that I can come see you daddy." He's six. He shouldn't be concerned, let alone KNOW what court orders are.

    I've contacted the governor, attorney general's office, courts, CPS (he is also abused and neglected) but it seems that everyone is too busy to be bothered.

    What should I do and why isn't she being held in contempt of court? They all know she keeps moving and keeps hiding my son. The judge originally told her if she ever withheld our son from me she would go to jail.... why isn't she in jail and how can I push for something to get done? I can't afford yet another lawyer.

    Also, I have arrears for child support due to the fact that I was laid off last year and even though I filed the day after I lost my job, my case was not heard for almost a year and the Attorney General handling my case refused to back date or take into consideration that the job I had finally found I made substantially less money at. I pay the full amount owed plus arrears every month and before it is due. I send it in myself, however she always wants it sooner or more than what is ordered and has threatened to have me thrown in jail. Is that possible? I'm almost $10,000 in arrears, even though before I lost my job I was ahead in child support and NEVER behind.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Minneapolis/St. Paul area
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    497

    Default Re: Ex is Not Being Held in Contempt of Court

    In regards to your question about contempt....Have you actually filed a motion with the family court asking that she be held in contempt? That is the first step to getting her held in contempt. After you file the motion, your ex will be allowed to respond. In most cases, ex's do respond - either with a denial of the allegations or a counter claim - at which point the two of you will go to court and a judge will decide the matter. The governor, the AG, CPS, etc...none of these officials have the authority to decide that an individual is in contempt.

    My suspicion is that if you correctly follow established procedures - i.e. file the right paperwork in the right place - then eventually you will see some results.

    But, in addition to filing the Motion for contempt, you will also need to get your ducks in a row. Can you prove that you tried to exercise visitation and your ex denied you your child? Going into court and saying "I waited for her to call and give me my child" is not necessarily considered contempt. If however, you have something akin to emails wherein the two of you established an exchange time, and then she did not show, AND you can prove that she didn't show, then you may actually have a case.

    My personal advice to you:
    1. Obtain a consult from a lawyer to see where you stand (many initial consults are free or low cost).
    2. Get your visitation and exchange plans in writing. So, for this Christmas, for example, send her a certified letter (with return receipt) which tells your ex exactly when and who will be picking up your child. (Or whatever fits your custody plan).
    3. Regardless of what your ex says, either you or your father needs to go to her residence at the indicated time (see 2), and if she refuses to give you your child, then call the police. They won't force her to hand over your child, but you can request that make a report that you attempted to exercise your visitation and she refused. That will go miles in proving that she should be held in contempt.
    4. Seriously reconsider filing a motion to modify your visitation agreement. Maybe you can eliminate some of the loopholes. Also, you can put in there that as the child's parent, you have the right to know where the child is living. You can also put in there that the child is to be exchanged at a neutral location (that way your father is not put in the middle).


    As for your arrears, I'll leave that to the better informed members on this forum. However, I will say that it sounds odd that the effective date of the modified CS was not the filing date.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2010
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    5

    Default Re: Ex is Not Being Held in Contempt of Court

    Thank you for such a quick response.

    1. I was not aware that I could file a motion myself, but after reading into it more, I realize all I need to do is go down to the courthouse to file, however, if no one knows where she is, how will the courts contact her? She filed a fake address last time we were in court. Also, she is in contempt of court on a weekly basis. Do I file weekly or would that be considered harassment or do I do one long contempt of court form and then wait and file another if she still doesn't comply.

    2. No one knows where she lives. The only address I have ever had for her is her mother's PO Box, and the certified letters I have sent have always been picked up by her step father and she never replies. She replied via text message once with a fake address. My father picks her up from a different home every other weekend or from the local liquor store. She refuses to let me pick up our son, and if she knows I am picking him up, she'll have several of her friends there threatening me and my wife. It's a small town, and the people she runs around with are dangerous.

    3. She changes her number once to twice a month and my father only gets it when she finally calls him to pick up my son because, "She's sick of dealing with him." Then when my father gives me her number, I only call for emergencies. For example, my son was put in a mental institution for beating her with a baseball bat a few months ago (he's six) and I called her to find out where he was. I never mentioned anything about the fight, just that I had heard he was in the hospital, and wanted to see him and let him know everything was ok (overnight stays in hospitals are scary for little kids). She lied and said he was staying overnight for an infected spider bite. When I asked where, she refused to tell me, hung up and her number was changed within the hour. We didn't hear anything for two weeks.

    The hardest part is finding her, in just one month she moved five times, and she's moved thirty times that I know of since January. I've been slowly backtracking and finding where she's been living, our son has gone to five different schools and will be failing kinder again this year unless they pass him out of pity. I have pictures of all the dumps she's lived in. She was living with one man and his five daughters in a two bedroom trailer while his wife was in jail for methamphetamines and most of the other places she lived in, there were five people to a bedroom.

    She runs around with known meth addicts, she's friends with them on Myspace and Facebook, so I do have proof, and their names have been plastered all over the news for huge drug busts. Two of them could also be my son's father, because I was never allowed a DNA test since I didn't find out about the posibility until after he was three. (She got mad at me and admitted it, then threw it in my face that it was too late to do anything about it.) None the less, he is my son no matter what DNA says.

    I have pictures, recordings, neighbors statements, phone records, text messages, as well as receipts. However, the last 9 times we went to court (once a month because she wanted more money and refused to settle, I don't know why the judge didn't put a stop to it) I had dr statements, nurses showed up in court on my behalf (this was all about my showing proof of her abuse and neglect as well as proof of her denying my visitation) the judge just told her not to do it again. I'm just afraid that the judge will slap her on the hand and be done with it.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Ex is Not Being Held in Contempt of Court

    Please expand on the abuse and neglect allegations.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Ex is Not Being Held in Contempt of Court

    Abuse: Bruises across his back, legs and face (some were the shape of footprints), beaten severely with a belt by one of his mother's boyfriends, fingerprints in his arms (you could see all five fingers) from being grabbed too hard, black eyes, verbal and mental abuse (I know that verbal and mental abuse don't really count in the eyes of the law), witnesses claiming he was thrown against walls or couches, smacked against the head so hard her ring left a gash (she admitted to this but said he ran into her hand), thrown down on the concrete when he was throwing a temper tantrum, strapped into a stroller and locked in a bathroom, tied to his bunkbed for misbehaving. The only two incidences I am not sure about are the bathroom incident and the bunkbed incident because he told me this, and I have no proof of these two incidences.

    Neglect: Left home alone for hours, left to babysit his infant brother (my son is six now, this has gone on since he was four.), started going bald from ringworm he had on his head that she refused to treat for 6 months (we have pictures) because she didn't want to go buy the $4 tube of medicine to treat it and when I gave her some, she refused to treat it (I couldn't treat it all in the two days I have him every other week, but when I finally had him for a whole week it was treated and gone!), was found close to the highway one night by a neighbor, his mother was not home and never came looking for him until the next morning, found one night wandering around at 11pm and no one was home or came looking for him until 3am, she refused medical attention when he swallowed a bottle of iron pills at two years old and began vomiting blood (she called to tell me this but refused to take him to the hospital or tell me where she was, because she said CPS would take him away from her. I didn't hear from them for almost a month after that incident and when it was brought up in court, she denied it ever happened) No food in the house, my son resorted to stealing, we even caught him digging in the trash in our house on several occasion for food even though we explained to him he could eat anything he wanted out of our fridge when he was at our house. He said he never had food in his mom's fridge. His clothes were always several sizes too small. He was wearing onsies until he was three and a half. He had a gash (not a cut or scratch) from supposedly getting his head caught in miniblinds. I understand kids are clumsy, but had you seen the severity of this injury, there is no way he was stuck there for just a minute like she said. Her neighbors admitted to watching her push my son outside when men would come over and lock him out for hours at a time. We explained to her neighbors that they needed to call the police when they witnessed him being left home alone, but the police never caught her. They tried for months to get in contact with her, but finally gave up, and then apparently my ex threatened the neighbors and they backed out, but not before giving a written statement. He's gone to five different schools in a year and a half, had to share rooms with up to four or five other children at a time.

    My ex and I had another child that died when she was an infant. My ex had tried to give her away but I refused, then when I went out of town for work, our daughter mysteriously died. SIDS and SBS was ruled out, but my ex's story has changed numerous times as to what happened. She claimed she fed our daughter two hours before she notice our daughter was dead, however the coroner claimed she had been dead for a minimum of seven hours. My grandmother was there before the police and saw my ex move our child's body from a cubby hole in a dresser to the bed, but she didn't know until a year later that my ex had lied about where our daughter was when she died. Her friends have claimed that she went out and left our children home alone, but refuse to testify against her because they are afraid of her. Also, it's hearsay, and the case is so old I've been told by officers and CPS it doesn't matter anymore. How awful that my daughter's death "doesn't matter." CPS was never even notified of her death.

    There's so much more, but I know you don't want ten pages of incidences. I've been told these are not severe enough for custody to be changed.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ex is Not Being Held in Contempt of Court

    I'm sorry - what was your late daughter's actual cause of death?

    And what PROOF was there of the alleged abuse/neglect?

    There's a reason for my questions.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Ex is Not Being Held in Contempt of Court

    Actual cause of death is undetermined. That is the actual statement on her death certificate, but in the investigator's report it states that SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome were ruled out.

    As for proof of abuse and neglect, I have well over a hundred dated pictures, police records, CPS case records, recordings, witness statements, neighbor's statements, his doctor's statement, a nurse's statement (we had a neighbor who was a pediatric nurse who examined him several times when he came to us and sat in court with us for six hours but was never listened to.), arrest records (for domestic violence) on her boyfriend, ER records for four different hospitals since he has been to the ER on numerous occasions, and a few people who she has lived with are willing to make statements against her as well.

    I'm not really sure what other measures I should take. I've taken him to the ER, they stated that he'll "bounce right back, or maybe he's autistic" (because he hid in the corner of the ER room), I've taken him to the police and they said the bruises were bad, but not too bad because they had already begun to heal. He is now seeing a therapist (third in the past year) because of anger issues and supposed ADHD, which his family doctor even stated he is a perfectly normal child when he is with me. But he only sees a therapist a few times, stops, and eventually sees another one, so nothing is really getting done, but two that I have spoken to have said there are deep issues, but would have needed more time to resolve them.

    I understand that it is almost impossible to take a child away from their mother, especially in the state of Texas, and if she woke up one day and realized that she needs to be a mother and actually TRIED, I would cheer her on, but until she grows up, I'm willing to do anything and everything for my son. He needs to know that at six years old, his only concern should be learning to read and write his name, playing outside and making friends, not babysitting, worrying when he'll eat, who's mad at him now, how to act without making anyone mad (He has asked me before why his mom treats him the way she does I stress to him constantly she loves him, that I love him and that he will NEVER make me mad and I will NEVER stop loving him... even though she has told him differently. I just believe her vision of love is very twisted, a six year old little boy doesn't need such worries)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ex is Not Being Held in Contempt of Court

    The cause of death is the "what" - what disease or injury led to death.

    The mechanism of death is "how" - how was it incompatible with life?

    The manner of death is the "why" - why the cause of death came to be.

    I can absolutely understand the "manner of death" being listed as "undetermined". But as to the other two? I find it difficult to understand how the ME or coroner could list those as "undetermined".

    SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion; in other words, if there is no other obvious cause of death, SIDS may be considered. There is a VAST difference between SIDS and SBS, for example. Also, I have never heard of SIDS being specifically excluded without there being an actual cause of death determined upon autopsy.

    It's in part because of this confusion that the only advice I have for you is to speak with an attorney.


    There are many oddities in your narrative that cause me to believe you don't have all of the details.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  9. #9
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Ex is Not Being Held in Contempt of Court

    I want to thank you for taking the time to help me and I appreciate your advice and will most likely speak with an attorney again. I hope you have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2009
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    Minneapolis/St. Paul area
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    Default Re: Ex is Not Being Held in Contempt of Court

    I'm curious about things from the alternate perspective. Are there CPS reports and allegations against you? If not, then based upon what you've posted I would be fighting to obtain a change of custody. It's definetely time to speak with a lawyer.

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