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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    1

    Default Mother Mistakenly Signed Final Custody Order Believing It Was Temporary

    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?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Mother Mistakenly Signs Final Custody Order Believing It Was Temporary

    If she wants custody now she'll have to prove that there's a significant change of circumstances first, and then prove that those circumstances warrant a switch in custody.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: Mother Mistakenly Signed Final Custody Order Believing It Was Temporary

    Quote Quoting mididen
    View Post
    ...At the hearing the judge stressed that this was not a temporary order, but that it was a final custody order (permanent).

    ...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

    .... 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...
    This should NOT be very difficult to understand in light of the fact mom voluntarily relinquished custody. This despite the fact that although the judge STRESSED to her the order was permanent, mom chose instead to believe someone else who said the order was temporary and easy to change.

    The first thing that needs to be understood is exactly what occurred at the last hearing to change custody. If mom's filings were legally deficient, which is highly probable, it may be that in itself was enough for the judge to dismiss her request for change in custody.

    IF the circumstances at the time of the custody change was such that mom was unable to properly care for her children, AND IF the circumstances now are that she can care for her children, that is arguably a significant enough change in circumstances of a parent to support a petition to modify custody.

    That said, if mom tries to wing a custody change on her own she will get nowhere, as has already been shown. She needs to find an attorney to review and handle her case.

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