My son is 2.5 years old, we live in North Carolina. His father and I were never married, never lived together. Since birth my son has resided with me.
The first 2 months of my sons life, his father visited every other week for a few hours. From there, it went to once a month. Then he started visiting once every other month. August of 2006 he visited for the last time. He has not called us since then, I've received two emails from him since and in neither one did he ask to see his son.
A year later, to the week, I get served papers that he's filed for custody. He's claiming they had a close and loving relationship up until last summer, but then I, without just cause, denied him access to his child. We have a Temporary Custody Hearing in a week. I'm completely baffled, as I never denied him access. I have my phone records as well as our email communication showing that he hasn't contacted us. The sad part is, he lives 100 miles away and drove down here to retain a lawyer and file this, but didn't bother to try to see his son... I'm also baffled, because when he did visit those few times, he spent all of his time on his cell phone or even sleeping (yes, he came to my house to visit his child and went to sleep on the couch...).
Not only does my son have no idea who his father is and is dealing with seperation anxiety, he also has a health condition that his father is ignorant to. He has multiple severe food allergies that are life threatening. He has no idea how to handle the allergies and I doubt he could even name half of what he's allergic to. Placing the child into his care would put the child's life in great danger as he has gone into shock before from exposure (before he was diagnosed), placing him with someone for a lengthy period of time where they're required to feed him but have no education on how to do that could be fatal. I'm desperately afraid for my child's life!!!
I can't afford an attorney, the only attorney who can take my case needs 2500 by Tuesday and I don't have it. legal aid won't take the case, every other lawyer I've contacted cant even get me in for a consultation until after the hearing. We live in a small town, and his father retained one of the best lawyers in the area.
The lawyer I did see said that first and foremost, I need to submit an answer. I asked him how, and he said "Pay for a lawyer". UGH. What do I do? I need to convey that this child's life is at risk until his father become familiar with it and that the things that he's alleging are false. I'm running out of time...