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  1. #1

    Default Child Custody Case, No Money for a Lawyer

    Where do I even begin? This is going to be long, but someone please respond!
    Ok, I got married to my ex Nov. 2003 (I had just turned 19, and he had just turned 18). After only 2 weeks, his mom brought me divorce papers and said you need to sign these. My ex didn't know anything about this. We fought off and on. Feb 2004 I get pregnant. We moved and during this time, he left me stranded with no money, no car, not even the house or mailbox keys, no way to the dr. he never called nor did his family to see how I was doing or how the baby was developing. I had my son Nov2004. We got back together. I kicked him out after one month. I had surgery and he wasnt being much help. He then filed a DVP against me. And I also filed for divorce. I MISSED MY SON'S FIRST CHRISTMAS. I am almost positive it was bc he wasnt happy with the xmas arrangements I had made. It got dismissed, no evidence. I in turn dropped the divorce and we got back together. Things were fine for awhile. July came around and we were fighting non stop. He filed for divorce this time. I then left and took my son with me. During this time, my ex only saw our child one time. It was in August, because our child began walking at 9 months! (His development was completely fine and ahead in some things!) The hearing for the divorce was Dec 20th. This judge favors men, it's been told many many times. We got split custody. 1 week with me, 1week with my ex. We would drive an hour each way to meet in the middle and switch. Our divorce was final on Feb. 2006. I began to notice my son was having HUGE behavior problems. I informed my ex, his mom, anyone who would listen. no one believed or understood what i was saying. During this time, I started to get along with my ex and his mom again. So I moved closer to this situation easier. Plus I picked up a better job. Yes, it was for my son and also bc i thought we had a chance of having a *normal life* again, if that even exists. I moved in with my ex's parents in Oct 2006. He was living in a house the next block over, partying all the time, and getting into trouble we all later found out. He couldnt pay his rent bc he was buying drugs, guns, etc.(we didnt find out why he couldnt pay rent until around march) He got evicted the end of December, So in Jan2007 I moved in. He didnt want to move in with his parents. He has told me over the years how much he hates them, then he loves them, etc. So I let him move in with me and our son. I also got my son into a program called WV Birth to Three. It is for kids who have developmental delays. Our son qualified. Speech was the big one. he has had alot of ear infections andwas suffering hearing loss bc of them. he eventually got tubes put in in April 2007 and now he is fine. His behavior was the big one mentioned in all of the reports from each person working with our son. But it is yet to be *corrected*
    This is where it gets crazy....
    After about a week, my ex tells me that he is going to keep our son home from daycare, so he can bond with him since he havent been a good father lately and hasn't seen him much. I was okay with that, I believed him. One night, I came home from work and our son wasnt in bed yet, so being the mother that I am, I wanted to do the bedtime routine that night. When i went to change my son's diaper, he had HONEST TO GOD ABOUT 20 BRUISES ON HIS BUTT. I immediately yelled for my ex and he said oh yeah he got his butt busted good today for spilling my raspberry ice tea on the floor. he had his diaper on when he did it! our son knew it hurt, he tried to tell me that daddy whipped his butt. Crying, Confused, and Angry, I called my ex's mom to see what I needed to doin this situation. She proceeded to say * It's okay, I've done that before, left bruises on my kids* Don't tell me you wont ever lose your temper and do it* I SAID NO, I DONT EVEN THINK SO... I went to bed and held our son that night and just cried.. The next day my ex was *threatened by his mom and dad* that if he ever did that again they would make sure he could never lay another finger on anyone... well, I still felt uneasy about this, but i went to work. I called home every time i had a chance.
    Later that day, I found out he had left him home alone, but *only for 5-10minutes*. I DONT CARE HOW LONG IT WAS. he is 2 and gets into everything, anything couldv'e happened. he knows how to open doors, could've been a fire, etc.
    I kicked him out. I left work to make sure he got all of his things. When i got there he was carrying stuff out to his car. He then went into the bedroom to get his bullets for his gun. I thought he was going to kill me. HE DID THREATEN TO KILL ME. so i knocked the bullets out of his hands. I put our son in his bedroom and picked up the phone and called 911. He then got our son and put him into the car and said he was taking him to his mom's. He was gone by the time the cop arrived. I told him the situation and i told him i did follow him and he did take our son to his mom's. Nothing was done about it.
    Other things happen during this time, my ex's dad goes into hospital for 9 weeks, my ex disappears for 3 weeks, etc.
    In March, my ex was arrested for possession of a deadly weapon on school property and wanton endangerment. his mommy bonded him out and he got put on home confinement until this was over in Nov. During this time, my ex said he found God (who doesn't when you are facing jail time nowadays?) I didn't really truly believe him.
    In August, I let him move back in with me. It lasted about 4 weeks. I ended up kicking him out bc of his temper/anger again. I noticed belt marks on my son's walls. I always checked my son out and nothing was on him. I did take pictures. (but they are on the camera that he broke in and stole on Nov 9th) At the end of that month he pleaded guilty for the 2 felonies and also picked up a misdemeanor for unemployment fraud. he gets sentenced at the end of Nov.
    We start arguing alot. We ended up going back to the week on/off schedule. He would get mad if i picked our son up from daycare to even go to the dr. He insists I wasnt being a productive part of my son's life.
    October, I was sick, ALOT. The 24th, I found out I was pregnant. I ended up quitting my job that month as well.

    I wasn't invited to my son's bday party, but i allowed my ex's mom to come and pick him up. ( I was calling places in the phone book to see where it was, i did get to go, i was an hour late and me n his mom got into it, she even invited my alcoholic dad and his wife over me!!)
    I told my landlord on Nov 5th that I was moving home. I told her I was sorry, but I would be out by the 13th so someone can still move in for this month. She said okay. I also took my son to the dr this same day. He has impetigo. Got antibiotics, etc. My ex picked him up and he took the meds with him on the 6th.
    Nov 9th, my ex, his mom,dad, bro and sis break into my home and steal almost everything! my furniture, cell phone, digital camera, my son's birth certificate, sscard, etc..etc.. I filed a police report. And as of Nov 30th, the detective called me and advised he was issuing the warrants. My ex has 2 chances to do a statement and he didnt.
    Nov 11th, he didnt return my son so on Nov13th, i filed contempt charges. I went to see my ex at work and told him i want my son. He says * You will never see him again, I will make sure of that. And mom isnt going to give him to you unless she is made to give him up* I was FURIOUS to say the least. I left crying, knowing something was up that I didnt know about.
    The same day, his mom files an ex parte saying i am in contempt if i leave the court jurisdiction. and that my son has serious developmental problems. (HE IS NORMAL, the reports show that, but he was delayed in speech bc of his ears, in fact the reports show how smart he is and how he picks up on things most other kids dont. It's his behavior that is out of control)
    Nov. 19th, my ex is sentenced to 5 yrs probation, 100 hrs comm service, drug/alcohol meetings, psych eval.
    Nov. 21st, the hearing for the ex parte. I get our son til the 27th, which is when his eval in my city is. then he goes back to my ex and his mom. if i want my son, i have to have him to daycare at 8am and pick him up at 5 pm for the duration of my week in my ex's city until the judge gets reports back. WHAT A CROCK OF CRAP LET ME TELL YOU!... I am going to file an appeal on that.
    Nov 22rd, I took my son to ER bc he has severe drainage from right ear, and STILL HAS IMPETIGO. My son is obviously being neglected. There are prior incidents of abuse, etc. So on Monday the 26th I call CPS. They say the best thing I can do if i feel i or my son is in danger is to file an emergency protective order. The morning of the 27th, i went to the court house, filed this and then went on to the place where my son is to get his evaluation. I knew I was going to be late so i called to let them know.
    My ex and his mom are there when i arrive. I immediately go talk to one woman to tell her about this and then she says well his mom has an order of temporary custody. I said YES UNTIL THE 21ST. it is already past. Basically she didnt understand the whole situation. Meanwhile, I had to go change my son's diaper. My ex was waiting out the door. He picked our son up and said we are leaving. i said no ur not. He said well i have papers that override your dvp. I then tried to say well i had him at the er. And his mom was like * yeah i bet you did* and they walked out the door. I called police and nothing could be done bc he hasnt been served yet. He has now, bc i got papers from his lawyer wanting to combine the dvp into the contempt hearing in that county instead of mine.
    Later that day, I did the intake for the CPS and explained i had done the dvp but they took him anyway. Now i am just waiting. Haven't heard from anyone.
    I go to court this coming Tuesday for the contempt i filed. (he is also 1000 behind on child support, he only pays 70 a month)
    I am going to go to CPS and get something showing i filed a report with them and that they are investigating. I am also going to get something from the detective regarding the warrants being issued. I also have the ER papers showing he did indeed still have impetigo and now an ear infection. Aren't antibiotics suppose to clear up any infection? If he had been giving him the meds like he was suppose to, he wouldnt have either one right??hmm
    And since the papers i got from the lawyer state i get him back today the 2nd, but he must be at daycare tomorrow at 8am, I need to go get ready. I am sure they wont show up. I am going to get gas receipts and also something showing i was there waiting the whole duration. Wouldn't he be in contempt again??
    What if i dont take him to daycare tomorrow if do i get him? I feel he is getting the impetigo from the daycare, and then they might think its just a rash. And how could they not see/SMELL the drainage from his ear? This isnt the first time this has happened... I called and bitched out the director one day bc it was horrible. The dr told me to rush in bc they thought his eardrum ruptured. (keep in mind he had tubes put in in April to correct this, and he has to wear earplugs in the water) I think that daycare is a waste of time! I want to put my son in headstart or something.
    I dont know what to do. SOMEONE PLEASE RESPOND. I do have to go drive an hour to hopefully pick up my son.
    Thanks to all who read this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Re: Custody Case, No Money for a Lawyer

    If you care to present a short version of that, along with a clear statement of your question, I'll look at it. In the meantime, since you raised the issue of money for a lawyer, take a look at these resources from the ABA.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default Re: Custody Case, No Money for a Lawyer

    Good god woman. For a post as long as that, there are a ton of holes.
    Basically, you got involved with someone with a hot temper, drinker, and drug user?
    You keep leaving him, and keep taking him back, and moving in with his parents, when he lives down the street or something.
    He hits your son to the point, he's leaving bruises?
    Answer a couple of things.
    Who has custody, you or him?
    What is the visitation schedule?
    How many kids do you have, and how many are with the him?
    What part of the custody orders, is he in violation of, and what are you in violation of.
    By the overall picture of your post, you should be eligible for free legal help.
    If you both have to drive an hour to the pickup/drop off point, then that's pretty fair. I think that was your question?
    I don't know if my answer helped, but I'm not able to re read your post. Have to goto work tomorrow

  4. #4

    Default Re: Custody Case, No Money for a Lawyer

    Well, I have called legal aid here in WV (not VA) many times and no one returns my phone calls. I did have a legal aid lawyer for my divorce, i've even tried leaving him messages and no response.

    As far as custody goes, the divorce papers state we both share split custody, all decisions, etc. In that particular county it's a known fact, the family court judge is too fair to men. Because my ex filed for the divorce the 2nd time around (and he had a lawyer who his momma spent tons of money to get), he is listed as the custodial parent. BUT the divorce decree states that only for the purpose of this order and state statutes, etc. AND NO OTHER REASON.
    We are suppose to switch on Sundays at 3 pm. One week he has him, then with me the next week. Over the past year, I had moved to his county to make it easier on my son and his behavior problems. So then we sort of went to a schedule that we agreed upon. He would take him Fri, Sat, and Sun nights, while I had him Mon, Tue, Wed and Thur nights. Based on my work schedule that was the most convenient way without going back to court to fight over him.

    BASICALLY my main problem now is this:

    My ex and his mom are trying to get full custody by stating that me moving is detrimental to my son's development. She filed an ex parte granting temporary relief. That's over. We went to court, but in order for me to get my week I have to take him to that particular daycare at 8 am and pick him up at 5 pm. The director of the daycare and a person from a program that i put my son in (WV Birth to Three) both stated that I advised them that I didnt want to be a part of Kayden's progress and to direct everything to my ex husband. I had filed a paper stating that my schedule was changing and that I would begin school soon and would need all of the team to work around my schedule, if at all possible. It states that if that wasnt possible, then I did allow them to speak to my ex husband only. I NEVER TOLD THEM I DIDNT WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY WAY. When they got up and testified neither one could give a date, time, etc. One *specialist* admitted she never even looked at my son's whole program file. She had only worked with my son 5 times. She is stating he has sensory deficits and tactile defensiveness.. (The most recent report shows he has absolutely no problem with that) The *expert witnesses feels it is in my son's best interest to stay at that daycare*. Even on one incident at a review when my ex and his mom were present it states: Tina wants Kayden to stay at playmates, doesn't want to consider headstart at this time* Why didn't it say Kacey? Why did she put herself at the top to be in control????
    I want him in HeadStart or Pre-K! my ex and I had even discussed that was the best option!!

    My ex's mom has a control issue. She keeps interferring with my rights to Kayden and tells me all the time what to do, when to do it, etc.. She even makes decisions even when me and my ex are involved. She ALWAYS sticks her nose in where it doesn't belong. I don't like it and I NEVER wanted her to participate!! Only my ex did!!

    My ex even changed info (like addy, phone number) so all info from the program would go to him instead of me, to make it look as if i didnt want anything to do with Kayden's progress. He even allowed his mom to sort of *take over* and allowed her to make changes, WITHOUT MY PERMISSION!!!
    I dont know what to do!! I am going to file an appeal on this. I have plenty of documentations, reports, PROOF!! I just dont know how to put it in order, etc.
    I had many reports, evals showing how smart my son really is, and no one cared to look at them. He was speech delayed like i mentioned earlier bc he couldnt hear. I, NOT ANYONE ELSE, got him evaluated and he needed tubes put in. Since then, he talks non stop.

    My questions are :
    1. how can my ex allow his mom to take control and change things without consulting me first? Or how can he change info to where I dont receive anything? How can i prove to the judge that when i filed the police report for the burglary on Nov 9th, they had this stuff planned when she filed the ex parte on Nov 13th? I do have papers that my ex's mom signed where she inquired on guardianship, stating *we* would be served, custody of Kayden if issues arise. Kacey's criminal history. etc..This was dated in July. And if she was so worried, why didn't she try to get him then instead of waiting until Nov 13th?
    2. The program was a voluntary program i put my son in. I am allowed to take him out anytime i feel services were no longer necessary. How can my ex/ his mom use that against me? Even with all of the reports on my side saying my son is very bright, picks up on things other kids his age doesnt, shows empathy already, etc.., and only 2 *expert witnesses* testified on their behalf, stating it was detrimental for him to be removed from that particular daycare and that routine. What about what I think is best?
    3. When my son turned 3 on Nov 2nd, he was no longer eligible for that program. That is why I waited to move until after his birthday. If I didn't want anything to do with him, why would I have moved to that county in the first place when his behavior got out of control, got him in that program, etc.???
    There are many more questions. But I can't think right now.

    OH AND HE DIDNT SHOW UP TO GIVE ME MY SON. I got there at 2:52 and waited until 4:20 pm. I got receipts to prove what time i arrived, etc.
    The order even states that I get him back today, but that i must take him to daycare at 8 am, etc. ISNT HE IN CONTEMPT YET AGAIN??
    Sorry this one is long as well..


  5. #5

    Default Re: Custody Case, No Money for a Lawyer

    Oh and this is our only child. I am currently pregnant, but not by my ex husband. I am only 11weeks, due June 20th. He has no other children. ( that I am aware of) I hope not bc he doesnt even keep up on the child support on this one and he is only required to pay 70.91 a month! he is 1000 behind!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Custody Case, No Money for a Lawyer

    I am needing help with my appeal. Grounds and facts. With the info I gave you earlier. And is there a form for a memorandum of law? I found the appeal form for WV. Also it states no new evidence, but what if i presented, read off evidence that the judge didnt want a copy of and i offered?? isnt that grounds right there?? he only copied one thing of mine that i presented. ( i didnt know I needed to give him copies of everything before hand but i do now).. PLEASE HELPPP I HAVE TO FILE THIS EARLY TODAY BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Re: Custody Case, No Money for a Lawyer

    As you still appear to be in need of a lawyer, again, take a look at these resources from the ABA.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Custody Case, No Money for a Lawyer

    Okay, legal aid finally contacted me.. i dont qualify.. i *make too much money*.. what now?? i have no money.. all lawyers here want a retainer of like 5000... 4000 if i know someone who owns a home.. this is crazy...

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