okay, let me figure out how to start this so that everyone understands the situation thats going on. i am a 19 year old male, living in the state of alabama. i have a 17 year old girlfriend with divorced parents whom no longer wishes to live with her father. her father lives in deatsville alabama, her mother lives in houston texas.
in february of this year (2006) my girlfriend was struck by her step mother, and her mother came from texas to remove her from the home and for her to come to texas. her father orally gave permission for her to leave under the circumstance that no charges were pressed.
on august 30th, she flew back to alabama to come stay with me and my mother. this was allowed with her mothers permission.
at this point i should go head and state her educational state. due to the divorce of her parents, she was held out of school for 2 years. her father would not allow her to take placement tests and skip grades, because of that she was a 17 year old high school freshman before she left in february. she withdrawed from school when the incident with her stepmother happened.
when she came back on the 30th of august, she had the intent on comming, getting her GED and her drivers license (she was forbidden by her father and stepmother to get it to get it) and begin looking into enrolling in college.
when her father caught wind that she was back in alabama, he filed a police report on her as a runaway and had the local authorities returned to his residence against her will. when this happened, her mother came in to town yet again to remove her from the home. this time i came with her for moral support and to offer any assistance i could. we went to the courthouse where her father resides to begin looking into either an emergency temporary custody or an emancipation. we spoke with the local circut clerk and he pointed us the the direction of a local dhr worker. we went over to dhr, explained the situation and were told that we had to goto the place where the divorce happened.
now, the way that custody is with her is that her parents have joint custody but her father has custodial/primary custody of her. the divorce occured in new orleans, la. so we went to new orleans over the weekend to talk to people and figure out the best solution to this problem.
we were told we would require a lawyer for all of this, and with the lack of finances. that gives us a problem.
we went to a local law office in new orleans right across the street from the courthouse and explained our situation, he told us that the two ways to get out of his custody so that she could move on with her life were notary or in court. meaning he could just sign away custody or fight it in court. well we tried to call him and ask him to sign off custody and he continually refused, but he also refused to come to court. (id like to mention that in the custody papers, he was told that he would have to give notification if he moved his daughter 60 miles from his new orleans residence. that never happened, thus he has a contempt of court charge against him already from 2003.).
i really dont know what else to say, i think ive stated as much as i could. but i really need some advice on how to get a pro-bono lawyer or ways that she could get out of this so that she can move on with her life. she is afraid to do anything for fear that her father is going to find her again and put her back into his house. when she was picked up by the police and taken there, he had already made threats against her well-being and her education. he has even stated multiple times that this is a game to him. in my opinion, and please dont take this into much consideration anyone. he hates his ex wife and by hurting his daughter and trying to control her he is therefore hurting his ex wife, which seems to get him off.
we have been looking into emancipation and into removal of custody from him. please give me any suggestions or advice that you feel would be useful in this situation.
i forgot to state this, but really all we are looking for is a process tog et started, or something to protect her from her father, so that she can go out and take care of things that she wants to get done for her future, without worrying about endangering herself or anyone else. (the guy has a house full of firearms and has made death threats to her mother, me, and even her before.)