Stay-at-home mom of 4 seeking legal advice on getting a legal separation.....

Carrie - posted on 08/08/2013 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I am a stay-at-home mom with 4 kids ( 5,9,12, and 14). My husband is a binge drinker and I have come to the realization that he isn't going to quit. I have no idea where to go to for a legal separation. Do I get an attorney? I just got a job. I haven't worked in 20 yrs., but it's time to do something about this problem. My hopes are that if I do get a legal separation, he will realize what he is losing and do something about his drinking. He thinks he is going to get the kids half the time. I want full custody! He has driven my kids home drunk before! I'm in desperate need of any legal advice o advice from mothers that have gone through separation. Thank you, Carrie

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Shonda - posted on 08/11/2013

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You shouldn't need a lawyer for a legal separation, but you may need a little help. There are papers that differ in each state that one fills out for a legal separation. The papers are then filed at the county clerk's office.
Call your county clerk to see if you can obtain the papers from them. If they don't have the correct papers, you should be able to find them online. Ask the county clerk about a fee waiver too. It's simply a paper you fill out to have the filing fee waved since you have been a stay at home mom and currently don't have much money.
Be sure to keep yourself and your kids safe during this whole process. The advice about getting proof, take it. It is very good advice.

*There have been millions of cases in recent years where mom or dad finds out the other is seeking a separation or divorce, and they take the children to their parents or another relative's house. They don't allow the other parent to come visit or take the kids. Virtually kidnapping them, in my opinion. The police will not help because there is no custody order.
If you are going to go through with this, don't allow him to take your kids anywhere. It is actually best to leave with the kids yourself, and then tell him what is happening over the phone, or meet him somewhere.

I know that sounds awful, but it's the truth and it's very damaging to the kids.

Good luck.

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Ok, first you must understand that if you are deciding to separate from him to teach him a lesson or to get him to change, you must still keep alot in mind. He must want to change, and leaving him might make him realize what he has but TIME is most genuine way to know if someone has really changed. Now , But filing legal separation and he is opposed to it might bring alot of problems to the table legally and mentally. You need to prepare your self for a fight if he believes you will leave him. You need to expect that this man will prob use the dirtiest tricks in the book if you separate from him and want to take the children. You need to have SOLID evidence that he is an alcoholic( Be creative)...videos,pictures, receipts from the liquor store anything and everything. Your word alone will not suffice in court. If you were the primary care taker , which it seems you were of the children that is already something the courts will look at. In order to obtain full custody you must prove a lot. If domestic violence has occurred or is occurring and there is a record of it. You maybe able to seek legal help through legal aid in your state. If you choose to file for a separation you should file for custody on the same day because if you don't he defiantly will. I cannot tell you enough to be prepared for what's ahead if you leave him even it's temporary if he is a controlling man he will put you through hell. If you cannot prove he is a danger to your children the courts may award 50/50 custody because he is the father. IF this happens you will have little say in what occurs with your children while with there father. I have just gone through all this and am going through some more now. It's been almost a year since I separated from there father and he put me through hell, and is still trying when he has visitation of my kids. Good Luck ,message me if you have any other questions :)

Mariecortiz - posted on 08/09/2013

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Safety is number one! He needs help and so do you. Reporting it to a social worker might complicate your situation?? The children might me move out of the home so I'm worry about that. Maybe talking to your family or his might help. Also, a church or community center. Someone to act as a mediator for the benefit of the kids.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/09/2013

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And you also have to fit income guidelines in order to qualify...Just found that one out when checking for my niece...

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Go to or call your Family Court Offices. They will be able to appoint you a lawyer who will work on a pro bono case. All lawyers are required to do a certain amount of pro bono work each year, so there are always lawyers available. Unfortunately, when depending on a pro bono status, you don't get to choose your lawyer through the courts system, you have to accept the one appointed to you. However, you can contact the lawyer you want to represent you and talk him or her into taking your case pro bono. Many are very willing to listen to your case because this allows them to accept cases that they want and still get their pro bono credit, as opposed to accepting whatever the court appoints them.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/09/2013

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You'd start looking in your area, calling legal aid, and checking with each attorney to see if they'd offer reduced or possibly probono work.

Natasha - posted on 08/08/2013

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You can find lawyers in your area that sometimes will do the case for free, its called probono work

Carrie - posted on 08/08/2013

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I have no money. And I want someone I can trust. My husband owns his own mortgage company and can hide money! Where do I go?

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