My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Washington
This question involves a divorced mom who became pregnant by her boyfriend. Her employment required working in the evenings and weekends. As she dealt with her pregnancy and work schedule, it became increasingly difficult to arrange for her two previous minor children to be picked up from school and/or childcare.
Her ex-sister-in-law offered to help out by letting her two children, ages 9 and 5, to stay with her until she could find a more suitable job that would allow for her to manage her children's care.
Over time, her ex-sister-in-law requested that the mom sign a modified custody order so that the needed medications for her oldest child could be brought to school and managed. At the hearing the judge stressed that this was not a temporary order, but that it was a final custody order (permanent). When asking how difficult it would be to reverse the order, mom was assured (in court) by her ex-relative, that they would gladly sign a reversal order when circumstances had changed for the better in her work schedule.
Throughout the months, it became increasingly apparent that the ex-relative and husband had changed their minds and had no intention of signing any order that would return the mom's children to her. They began to site erroneous facts and situations as to her unfit nature, making accusations that were twisted situations and/or simply completely false. Since mom's oldest son suffered from Epilepsy, he received a nice disability check from the state. Phone texts were kept, untruths about cancelled visitations were documented, and text messages were twisted, etc. The mom began paperwork to have a hearing on the subject, hoping that the judge would hear her side and return her children to her.
NOTE - HER CHILDREN WERE NEVER REMOVED FROM HER, NO CPS INVOLVEMENT, NO SITUATIONS OF HER BEING ACCUSED OF BEING UNFIT.
After the appropriate parties were served papers regarding the hearing, and responses were received, the hearing took place to determine if any further actions would be taken. As of today, the judge made no changes to the final order and her children will not be returned to her. This is very difficult to understand in light of the fact that numerous parents of questionable character have their children returned to them; children that were removed by the state.
Did she sign the final order of custody a year ago? YES
Was she assured at the time that she would be able have her children returned to her when her circumstances changed? YES
Were her children removed from her for any reason related to poor parenting? NO
Was she unfit? NO
This mom has raised her children well, through very difficult times as a teen mom (through child rape at 14) and low income situations over time - as have millions of other parents. She is loving and a good caregiver to her kids. Her two children have lived close to a year apart from their real mom, visiting on weekends throughout the year.
Is there no recourse?