Losing custody of your child, what to do?
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Vicki Allen - posted on 09/08/2012
This just happened to me!
My ex is a conviced pedofile and abusive to kids.
I was blammed for why the kids didn't like him.
I have a sharred parenting order but it doesnt go into effect until Dad says so!
What a crock.
Our courts are corrupt and immoral.
I have cryed and screamed!
Jania - posted on 07/05/2012
I thank you for being so encouraging. Most people look down on others when they loose their children. I blame myself daily for my situation, but I love my children dearly. I'm trying to find help on how to get them back. I can't afford an lawyer and my x-husband keeps them away from me. What can I do?
Aurora - posted on 02/25/2012
I wish I knew the cook county court system seems to believe it is better for my son to be living with his full time active duty single father just because I am on disability for having Fibromyalgia. In 2 years I will be trying again and I can only hope the courts see right.
Danielle - posted on 02/04/2012
Why I came back to the post tho was to find out if there was any update from Kelly yet. Has she researched getting a GAL? How about a counselor for her daughter? Find any local support groups to guide her thru this process of fighting to get her daughter back?
Danielle - posted on 02/04/2012
@Michelle, unless you had it included in the custody modification that he pay to send your daughter to you, you're SOL. You might see if you can find someone in your area pro-bono to help you file paperwork on getting that added thru an amendment; otherwise, you need to schedule time to go see her. I actually had it put into our divorce/custody agreement that the custodial parent couldn't move more than 60mi away w/o giving at least 30-days notice to the non-custodial parent (at the time, me), at which point I could take him to court to block the kids moving. I had it put in there to keep him from up & moving back to CO to be w/his family, thereby taking the kids away from me. Now the kids are w/me & it actually kept me in the area instead of moving to where my fiance works/lived cuz it was over 60mi away & it would've taken the kids from their support base (friends, family, counselors, schools), which we didn't want to do.
As for not having money to pay for an attorney, I used a credit card with a lower APR to cover the retainer (got a 2nd job to pay off the cc over time) and I made a point of asking the lawyer what I could do to keep costs down. Then I provided him with all the documentation he needed immediately as well as additional stuff I could think of that he might need to save him time in handling things. Working a 2nd job is hard but if you don't have the kids, then you have more time on your hands plus it helps you pay off bills faster &/or save up to cover attorney costs. Even after the kids came to live with me, I kept the 2nd job to help cover costs for the kids (esp since ex hasn't been helping w/bills as he should). It gave me extra money to take their dad back to court for contempt charges on not paying support, his portion of medical out-of-pockets & his portion of our son's summer daycare. Even tho DHS is garnishing his paycheck for support + monthly arrearage payments to cover up to the time I took him to court for contempt, there are still all the out-of-pocket expenses he's still supposed to help pay that have accrued since the contempt court hearing which DHS isn't recovering, so my ex continues to get further & further into arrears. 4yrs of working a 2nd job has me beyond tired most of the time but it's helped me stay out of financial trouble while providing for my kids.
Michelle - posted on 01/29/2012
I'm going through something similar, I dont know what state you are from but in NJ judges will not talk to children until they are 14. At least thats what my judge told me. And my daughter wanted to talk to the judge. I'm filing again, because he wont let me see my daughter. I live in another state and he refuses to send her to me. I raised my daughter on my own he really wasnt a big part of her life. he saw her once in awhile here and there. His sister was more apart of my daughters life then he was. He isnt a bad father and I never said he was to her or anyone else, but when I moved he took me to court because of his sister. She got him a lawyer and I couldnt afford one. I still can't afford one but im praying the judge will see things my way this time. I suggest keep filing or get a lawyer
Sherry - posted on 01/27/2012
Hi I'm divorced and my two boys are with their Dad by our own choice. We both are capable of being the full time caretakers for our kids and we have joint custody. I would say two things to consider: 1st go back to court and let them know that you understand the importance of explaining things to your child to insure the relationship with her father stays strong. This is in the best interest of the child. You should never make the Dad look bad in the eyes of your child. Maybe you will have a chance to at least get joint custody and/or have your daughter full time. 2nd - If the court decides to keep things the same, then realize and believe that this is happening for a reason that is for a greater Divine purpose. You have to except it and enjoy the time you have with your daughter. Maybe God is giving you this time to focus more on yourself right now to grow spiritually. If this is the outcome, you will miss your daughter but it will get easier over time. Blessings and Peace
Dawn - posted on 01/24/2012
Child custody issues are always a very sticky situation. Raising children in split home situations myself feel for your daughter and that the judge did not listen to the advocator that was assigned but he must of had seen something that made his decision go that way. It is my belief that a child should know both parents, especially if they both want to be involved in the child's life and the parents should think of the child and not their own feeling and find neutral ground as to the concerns of the child for the child is the one that suffers when they don't.
Now, I do not know the whole story of your family that have created the custody issue but sounds like to me that both her dad and you want what each of you think is best for her and apparently do not seem to see eye-to-eye on this. Since she is 9, give her the chance to build her own opinion of her father without you interfering. Sorry to be so harsh but it is your daughter that is the one suffering with all this.
All you can do now is repetition for another hearing, with a different judge if you felt that judge was impartial. You can request a re-evaluation of placement and custody after she has spent time with her father so they can speak to her again on how she feels about her father and if her living arrangements should now be adjusted. Hopefully the opinion of the advocator will be heard this time.
Back in October my son decided to live with his father so I know that not having your daughter living with you is hard but this will be very good for your her to show her you support her love for her father. Just remember to reassure her every time you are with her that you still love her very much too.
As for him and her activities she is involved in. You have no control over whether he takes her or not so don't stress yourself over this. I do agree though that he should at least take her to the activities she has always done when you guys were married especially if she is the one telling him she wants to go. This can be considered as father daughter time and shows her he supports her choices. Now if the activities she is involved in are so many that she has no time for other things, like spending time with her father, then some of the activities should've been eliminated so she can spend time with her father. You needed to show her that her father is important to, no matter how you feel about him.
Michelle - posted on 01/18/2012
The best advice I've seen is to get a child lawyer - there should be some way to have that - that could probably force the judge to speak with her.
I'm for father's rights - I only live where I do now because I believe that - but as a child gets older their needs/wants should also be considered. It is an awful thing as a child to basically be told that because your parents are split up you have no rights to want/need anything for yourself until you turn 18 if it conflicts with visits with the other parent.
I have a friend going through this - to get one activity for her child required getting the judge to listen to the child. He was against any change in the order until he listened to the child.
I feel for you - but this is something you might have to appeal, you might even need to shop for a new lawyer, even if expensive. I wish you luck and pray your daughter comes through this experience unscarred.
Amber - posted on 01/18/2012
I am surprised the judge refused to talk with your daughter. The judge talked to our daughter when we went through the custody battle. It was a lot different though the bm was very unfit to have our daughter alone for any amount of time. She was using drugs and was arrested several times. The bm did try to make a last ditch effort for a GAL. She claimed that our daughter was uncomfortable with the supervised visits because she was not able to talk privately with her. The judge listened to what our daughter said and recognized that our daughter preferred the security that the supervised visits were able to give her. Caitlin was 9 at the time. If the judge is not listening to other professional in your case and will not talk to the child to see what she has to say then you need to see about getting a new judge.
Judy - posted on 01/17/2012
My x got custody of my only son because he had more money than I did. So as the saying goes "Been there done that". The best thing you can do is when you have your daughter with you go straight to the judge's office and ask to speak to him. If you are told no just nicely say ok I will just sit here until I can. Anyways once you get to speak to the judge introduce yourself and your daughter then tell the judge that you are going to walk out of the room and that your daughter wants to talk to him about the custody. If your daughter wants to come back and live in your house she needs to tell him and also tell him why she is not comfortable living in her dad's house. Best of luck. God knows it hurts like nothing else and it doesn't get any easier. I had to do it for 14 years and it never got easier, the pain was just the same the last visit as it was the first.
Best of luck Judy
Danielle - posted on 01/16/2012
Lisa, sorry for the problems your husband went thru. I'm glad dads are getting more rights in court too; I just don't like how the courts can't seem to use common sense for a middle ground to benefit the child and BOTH parents. Instead the courts (just like some parents) seem to go to extremes.
Danielle - posted on 01/16/2012
Bianca, if your daughter didn't want to eat her vegetables, would you also not force her to do that? How about her going to school? Taking yucky tasting medicine when she's sick? While there are things kids don't like, unless it is actually detrimental to her mental & physical health to spend time with her dad, the fact that you aren't making sure she does what she's "supposed to do" isn't helping anyone. You're taking the easy way out. Kids oftentimes don't want to do what needs to be done. It's your job as her parent to make sure she does things she doesn't want to do. Unless you have in writing from the judge/court stating otherwise, you need to do due diligence to foster your daughter spending time with her father. How would you feel if you were in his shoes?
Jennifer - posted on 01/16/2012
I don't know your circumstances. if your daughter has been legally awarded custody to her father, the only thing you can do is appeal. This will require you involving a solicitor and giving a case as to why the decision is wrong. Good luck.
Lisa - posted on 01/16/2012
I'm sorry to hear that you lost custody, but I must say that I am glad to see that judges are finally starting to see that Dads have rights too. My husband has no relationship with his 20 year old son due to his ex-wife not allowing him to see the boy for 10 years. We went to court and the judge would do nothing for years. I do hope that you and your ex can work things out and do what is best for your child.
Bianca - posted on 01/15/2012
My daughter is 10 and she also refuses to go to her dad. I don't force her. I believe in kids having a good relationship with their dads and I encourage her to go, but I cannot make her go (her dad lives in another town and she is supposed to go every second weekend). I also don't think that it is a good thing to bounce a child back and forth every week between parents, children need stability and routine! If a child has activities then it is up to the dad to make sure that he fits it in, compromise is important. If you tell your child that she cannot do certain activities because he/she has to go to her dad, then the child will start resenting that parent, try and fit everything in and maybe find activities that you can watch them do or that you can do together!
Amber - posted on 01/15/2012
Also as for the possible abuse. Only call the police if your lawyer tells you too. Take pics of the bruises. Make sure you are not documenting bruses that are on the shins as thous can be normal childhood bruses. If you know that there is abuse and can prove it ask your lawyer to get an emergany order to change custody. And take your daughter to child protective services to have it documented. This is another reason that a court appointed counselor would be a good thing. They can document this for you as well.
Kelly - posted on 01/15/2012
LaLasha, it was. He told stories of how is daughter ingores him, is mad at him, and won't speak to him when I am around. That is why the decision to have her go with him and take me out of the picture so they can bond
Amber - posted on 01/15/2012
Ask your lawyer about getting a GAL. Also Ask about getting a court appointed counselor for your daughter. This why the counselor can report to the court what he/she is hearing from the child and help fight for what is in the child’s best interest. I understand that the order was just put into place but that should not prevent getting a counselor and a GAL. You should also keep a journal. List when you call her how long you are able to talk to her, when you see her, if he is using a babysitter instead of asking you if you want the time with her. Record Everything. Make sure you make note of any time he prevents you from seeing her. He should also be letting you know of all doctor appointments and school related activities and teacher meetings. I live in Ok. I have noticed that Judges want to see a relationship between child and father. Unfortunately, sometimes they want to see the to the determent of the child. Good luck
Isobel - posted on 01/15/2012
and I understand your position a little bit too...the child advocate LOVED my ex and truly thought that he was the better parent when he was a drug user and video game junky that ignored the kids to spend all of his energy doing whatever he felt like...he only fought for custody so he wouldn't have to pay support.
It's never easy and I am sorry, but the advice I gave you was honest. See her as much as you can, offer to take her off his hands so he can relax, and make sure you tell your daughter how awesome her dad is every chance you get.
That way when you get back to court you can show them either that they were wrong in the first place or that you've learned your lesson (because they won't think they made a mistake)
Kelly - posted on 01/15/2012
Laure, I just want you to know I understand. I felt I was supporting my daughter. In addition to that Dec 2010 our court order said that she was to stay in her activities and he was to take her and support her. I as a teacher, mother, and administrator know that child grown from the support of the parent. I followed the court order and every time I did I got in trouble. He was the opposite. Did follow didn't get in trouble. I just don't get it. My heart is empty and I miss her so much, and this is just wrong.
Isobel - posted on 01/15/2012
I have a friend who is the sweetest kindest loveliest man on the planet and I've sat by and watched his heart break because his ex keeps over scheduling his kid and telling him how horrible his father is...it is difficult for me to hear a story like this and not take it with a grain of salt. I've heard SO MANY times on com women who felt that they had the right to keep children from their fathers that it makes my head explode.
I hope that your child lives a long, healthy, happy life...whatever and however that may be.
Pamela - posted on 01/15/2012
Custody fights and their outcome can be one of the most cruel situations to face in life. The first time I faced this situation was when my oldest son was 9 yrs. old and semi-comatose. His father, who had not been active in his life, was informed of his condition. He came to see his son whom I had removed him from the hospital after six weeks as the doctors had said "We can't diagnose, so we can't treat".
He was being cared for in our home by my Mother who was a trained RN and had spent her life as such. She had just retired. She came to live with us and help to nurse our son back to life. We were giving him acupuncture and poultice treatments which saved his life. My ex didn't like what he saw so he fought me for custody after being absent from his son's life and not making contact for years. The judge gave him summer custody every year. He left the day school was out and arrived back home the night before school started, which meant that we didn't get to enjoy his company during the greatest part of his free time from school. The way I dealt with it was to put him in the Creator's hands while he was away from us and TRUST that he would be taken care of in the best way possible.
It was a very difficult thing to do, but with GREAT FAITH I was able to get through. In my second marriage after the divorce I shared joint custody until I moved to another island to find better employment. My sons from my second marriage were young then and I did the same thing. Put them in the Creator's hands for their safety and protection.
In my life being separated from my children left scars that I am still dealing with releasing, but as the saying goes, Time heals all wounds. So does the ability to release the pain and suffering once and for all!!!
May you work on healing the wounds that this separation creates. I have no idea why you lost your daughter, but the important thing to remember is that you need to TRUST her in the hands of the Creator. Put her there with SINCERITY in your heart and words and KNOW in your heart that she will be safe, protected and watched over from above. May the highest and best come from all of this.
Danielle - posted on 01/14/2012
Kelly, I used to live in CO. I have friends who live there still who haven't had much luck w/the courts concerning custody & divorce/support. I actually filed for divorce in OK in 2006. The kids wanted to stay w/him at that point, he had been their primary caretaker, he wanted them to stay w/him too, and I needed to get back to a healthy place (mentally/emotionally) so I agreed to it and moved out after fighting to get him to agree to more than 54 overnights/year. I went for custody in 2009 only when both kids told me they wanted to live with me over him. Otherwise, no matter how much I missed them & wanted them w/me, I put their needs first.
Who was the primary caretaker of your daughter while you were still married? Do you have anyone who could provide witness to that? How is he taking care of her now? Do you have anyone who could provide witness to that? Push for more time with your daughter for the sake of having more time with her. Are you close enough to her physically to be able to do so? Also see about getting her in to see a counselor regularly to help her deal with these changes. Get to know the counselor, not so much to learn dirt on your ex but to find how you can better help your daughter. If the counselor has reasonable suggestions and your ex refuses to follow thru, that isn't helping your daughter and can be used by GAL to make your case.
Regardless of where you are, see if there are any single mom groups in your area who can provide some local guidance, including objective/fair GALs, honest attorneys and how to fight for your daughter. Find out what you need to know & compile to help you make your case. Before I filed for custody modification, I started making copies of all our email & text message correspondence to show I was trying to work w/him to continue coparent our children. His coparenting dropped to practically nil after he remarried :( Based on what you've written of your ex, he's similar to mine that that they prefer not to have to go out of their way to continue relationships w/the kids; it's more likely to happen if the child is conveniently there for interaction. My ex exercises full visitation rights (ie overnights) w/our son but none w/our daughter because it causes too much strife w/his wife. I make a point of reminding our daughter to communicate w/him to ask him for rides to/from events & appts as it gives her some time w/him and it elevates some pressure off me & my fiance on having to get my daughter to all her activities. Ex barely financially supports our daughter... might as well try to get SOME help even if it's only in the form of him using HIS gas to get her around sometimes.
Jacaline - posted on 01/14/2012
Get a lawyer and pray eveytime you go to court but the thing isyou got to change your life style, change your atomsphere and eveything will be ok. I know been there done that. Prayer changes things promise you that.
Mary - posted on 01/14/2012
The girl is what I think 9 most children that age know who really cares and wants them around. Its dad's fault he could've started a relationship with his daughter if he wanted it. Chances are this is all to get back at kelly for whatever reason. The judge ignoring police calls is crap and chances are she's holding a grudge about something thats happened to her or her child. Maybe her mom tried to keep her away from her father. And the daughter is getting to the age where she needs her mom more than ever. I would try to over turn the judge's decision as soon as possible mostly for your daughter then anythingelse.
Kelly - posted on 01/14/2012
In this case the childs wishes were ignored. It is very sad that her life will change dramatically and is not what she wanted. She was very involved in the community and started her own foundation helping foster kids, now that is all taken away from her in one day. Very very sad.