CHILD CUSTODY ADVICE PLEASE!!!!!

Veronica - posted on 09/23/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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For the past 3 years the father of my children and I have supported our kids together. He has had them a majority of the time due to me not being approved for any kind of aid or having the support system to watch them while I am at work. He is remarried and his wifes family watches the kids a lot while they work. The one person who was helping me with childcare passed away last year, leaving me with no other choice but to leave the kids with him a majority of the time. About a month ago he called me and asked me if he could move 4 hours away for a better job opportunity and better schooling opportunities for my kids. Hes always had a way of manipulating me and got his way. Shortly after they moved I realized I needed them with me and started finding out information on how to file for custody. Well 4 days ago I received a call from the attorney general saying hes filing for child support. I saw a lawyer immediately and he said he cant since they haven't established 6 months of residence in that new city. I am prepared for a battle and am ready to fight tooth and nail to get my kids back. I now have the support to be able to take care of them and go back to school to better myself for them as well. I just don't know what my next step should be. Should I go pick them up and bring them back to my city and then file the papers? Should I file for custody and see what happens? I dont know what to do. Any opinions? I realized I have made a huge mistake by letting them leave but I am not ready to lose any more time with my girls and need them back with me. Please. Any advice will help.

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Jodi - posted on 09/23/2011

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Veronica, you need to document EVERYTHING, especially the times you call to speak to the kids and he refuses, or the times you request to visit and he refuses. Get yourself a lawyer and continue to document. Make sure you ALSO document the times he DOES allow you to speak to them too, because this makes for a complete record.

Jodi - posted on 09/23/2011

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In addition to what JuLeah has advised, you are also going to have to come up with why it is in the children's best interests to be with YOU, as opposed to their father. Just because you *need* them with you is not a sufficient reason to uproot the children if they are settled in the situation they are in.

JuLeah - posted on 09/23/2011

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I'd trust legal advice, which I can't give. Seek legal aid, hire an attorney .... your ex has a long established history of being the primary care giver



His wife has the established history as step mom and care provider



All of this was with your permission and okay



So, you are going to have to come up with something major, a big reason, something that has changed for you to now want the kids with you



Your ex will agure that you only wanted them back after learning you'd be asked to pay support, so be ready for that



You need to ask yourself if the pain your children will face, the suffering they will endure as a result of legal action is worth it to you



Maybe you could move to where they are now living?

Ez - posted on 09/23/2011

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If this man has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and a notorious anger problem, why have you allowed him to be primary carer all this time? I will be honest here, and I mean no disrespect but it seems like you are now grasping at straws for reasons why the children should return to you. If it looks like that to me, a court will get the same impression. They will wonder why you were happy for him to have them when it suited you, and pinpoint the move and the request for child support as the trigger for you changing your mind.

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It's not about your needs. It's about your kids needs. Uprooting them from their current home environment MAY be in their best interest, but it may not be. I guarantee if you go into court wanting your kids back because YOU need them.... you aren't going to get very far.

What is the current custody order? What kind of visitations do you currently have? Is it possible for you to move closer to them and share custody/time w/ your ex?

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Amanda - posted on 09/25/2011

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I have to agree with Erin, if 2 years ago your ex was good enough to have your children, then the courts will see it as hes still good enough to have your children. Your children have the right to live with their other half sibling, and have lived with them for 2 years now. Im sorry but you have an up hill battle to fight. Btw his past addictions have nothing to do with today.

Veronica - posted on 09/23/2011

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i am...im backing up all the text messages that we are exchanging right now in case they get deleted from my phone. hes blaming me for some henious things right now. i cant even believe it. im so frustrated and dont know what to do. i spoke with a lawyer 2 days ago and he was willing to take the case but he wanted $2,500 upfront and i just dont have it. so i have an appointment with the legal aide on wednesday.

Veronica - posted on 09/23/2011

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right now there is no custody order. my x and i were civil enough that we were doing things equally. now all of a sudden this happened with no warning. he contacted me today and refuses to let me talk to my kids and says that they have had trouble sleeping and that a church recommended that they have no contact with me for a week. what is that about!? he wont even tell me if their okay. i feel like my kindness is being taken advantage of. and i say their better off with me because the x has a history of violence, drugs and alcoholism. hes corrected a lot but with them being so far no i have no way of knowing that their safe all the time. and that bothers me to no end. he also has a very short temper. he will call me screaming at me and blaming me for things that never happened. he also has another kid with his wife and one of her kids with them as well. i just feel that my kids would get better individualized attention as well as have their family support here. ESPECIALLY now that hes telling me that their not adjusting well over there. They need to come back home where they belong and where their comfortable.

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