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Fighting for sole custody Pennsylvania

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  • Fighting for sole custody Pennsylvania

    Not sure where to start. My fiance' and I have had partial physical custody of his son for three years. With modifications one year ago, giving more time to us due to mother's drug arrest and her having a sex offender around the child. We had the child removed once by police when we found the offender there. She had to take us to court to get her time back. Which all the judge said was the offender could not be there again or she would loose all rights till the child is 18. Due to her drug arrest she finally got sentenced to house arrest and probation, while she was wearing a electronic monitor device, she could not resist the drugs and tested hot for them. Once again she got arrested and served two months in prison, in which we were told we could not file an er order. We could only file a petition to modify, which we did immediately. Now that she is out we had to go back to the way things were when she went in. But now that she is out, we can file an er order. In the meantime, we had another hearing to modify the order in front the custody master, the master needed time to make her decision. We asked her to please allow sole custody to us, till mother can get her life together, she has no driver's license, she is on probation for 3 years. We asked for supervised visits and mother should complete all her programs. If she gets caught doing anything wrong, she will go back to prison for 20 years + supposedly. Anyway today we got the masters report. She is actually stating more time with the mother by changing days and times. We can still file an er order, but the finances are starting to take a toll on our relationship. Both of us are scared for the boy. The mother rolled over on her dealers and we fear about retaliation against her. Drug dealers don't care who is in the way. The child is scared to go with his mother. We kept him once and were in contempt, but she never filed against us. We don't know if we should keep fighting and strain our relationship along with our wallets or let it go, because it seems the courts are not on our side. Can anyone give advice on this situation that maybe we are not seeing? Please

  • #2
    You should ask Child protective services to investigate. If they feel that the child is in danger- then they will intervene.
    How old is the child?
    You stated he is "scared" . YOu should try to make every attempt to stick to what the court ordered. I know it's hard. You should never discuss anything negative about the mom with the child...
    What the child sees with his own eyes, well that is another matter. You should ask if Child protective services could help you to get a counselor for the child OR see if your fiances insurance will cover it... Therapist are manditory reporters (so if they feel the child is in danger they will report it to CPS too.) Also the child is in a transition that may be hard to understand and it may help the child to adjust to his visits with mom.


    • #3
      fighting for sole custody

      We had gotten cys involved. They said the offender did his time to society and he did treatments and is rehabilitated. We did get a court order to finally keep him away from the child. The child is 8 years old. This is actually the third time we have spoken to cys. This first time was because the mother left the child wonder around the park she lives in and a neighbor actually called and complained. They investigated and just told her about it. Second time, was because he said another one of his moms boyfriends was touching him. We got them involved again, and took him to the pediatrician. The child told the pediatrician same thing. So we have those records from them, but because there was no (penetration) nothing we can do. CYS and police said not enough to convict the guy. It just seems that no matter what she does, she comes out on top smelling like roses. Every man she has been with since the child has been born has a criminal record of some kind. Everytime we fight, we go through all the right legal channels, it just keeps costing us and the child has made a comment stating "why do we always have to go to court with mommy?" We even paid to have three evaluations done through the courts, which the doctor is what helped us get the child the last time. We have to decide this week, whether to take the custody masters decision or go for an emergency order. The custody master left so much stuff out, like the sex offender paragraph to keep him away, vacation times, and the childs sports functions, which all are in the current order. The child has asked his grandfather to come visit him while he is in his mothers care to make him feel better. This is her father, which she does not get along with, but he goes there every Monday night and spends a few hours with him. We asked him if he would speak on our behalf. He is nervous too, which we understand. Not sure what else we can do. We were in the process of building a home, but we ran out of money now, due to the court cost that keep increwing. She on the other hand has had 6 different lawyers since all this has happened, we found out she don't pay them and then fires them. When do you just say ok, we should just stick with what we got, wait till she makes another mistake and goes back to jail?......So many thoughts and questions...feels hopeless. The child is very good about all this, he is dealing with it. The doctor he saw, said he seems to adjust ok, but lacks supervision when in care of mother, which is why he gets over the visit when he is there. He runs the household there and knows he can get away with it.....


      • #4
        He is old enough to tell you if he is in danger or if something bad happens... Just make sure he knows your phone number by heart and knows how to dial it if he needs to. Tell him he can call you if he has a problem. Tell him to call 911 if he see the offender there.
        You may wish to take a wait and see approach and if the mom does anything call CPS or if she acts like she is under the influence of any drugs her probation officer.
        If you could find a family member that was willing to supervise the visits like the grandpa that may help too. Or a faimily member of the mom that could "pop" in and check on things during the visit. The key is to tell them that they are under no obligation to tell you anything or to "check in with you". That all you want is for them to check on the child during the vist to make sure everything is okay. Your only concern is for the child and you don't want to put them in the middle of anything. You'd be surprised how willing people are to help you if they don't feel like they are having to choose sides or be a spy. And how quickly they will call you if they do happen to have a problem or concern about the child!


        • #5
          fighting for sole custody

          Thank you for your input. We found out that the custody master has only been in her position for 6 months. She hears at least 10 cases a day. Our attorney told us she never looked at the past paper work. So we are now going in front of the judge, who does not like the mother one bit. We don't have a date yet. In the meantime, the mothers father has agreed to go visit the boy at his mothers house and spend time there. We did tell him about 911, and to run out of the back door if he is really scared. We hated to make him more scared, but he had to know what to do. We found out from the mothers dad, that she is back in touch with one of her ex's. Who is a three time convicted felon. This man has been in town for visits with their older son, she he and her have been talking and went out. Her father is very upset and told her about it, she said that was his past. It is just a matter of time till she gets caught. But we decided to keep fighting and really cut back financially on alot of things. Again thanks for your input. I will keep this log up to date on our status after we go to court....Wish us Luck!!!!