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Concerned mom about custody

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  • Concerned mom about custody

    Hi. I am a single mother of a 19 month old little girl. She has lived with me since she was born. Her father was not around her first year, however the past 7 months he has began to come around. He has not contributed financially since she was born, and I have recently obtained a child support order. I also filed for sole custody of my daughter and was awarded a temporary order, because the judge did not have time to order a permanent sole custody order. My concern is I am afraid he might try to fight and be awarded joint custody. I know he loves our daughter and would never do anything to hurt her. However, he is not mentally capable of taking care of a child or himself. I refuse to leave my daughter with him because he is simply neglectful and does not think logically. He also has an anger management issue and surrounds himself with people that are trouble. There have been several occasions where he has lost his temper and put his fist through glass. He also set his kitchen on fire by leaving grease on the stove unattended. On another occasion while he was visiting I asked him to watch our daughter while I went downstairs to put a load of laundry in the washer machine and as I was coming up the stairs our 9 month old daughter was on her way down. When I got upstairs he was outside on his phone and had forgotten our daughter was in the house.

    He has missed 2 court dates and now I have to back to court in January for the permanent custody order. I am frustrated with this process. I would like to know what are my chances of getting sole custody? and should I hire an attorney? I work 2 jobs and attend community college (I have not received any child support although there is an order in place), so I really donít have any money for an attorney. Any advice is appreciated and if you know of any inexpensive lawyers I would appreciate that as well. Thank You

  • #2
    Originally posted by candaceD View Post
    Hi. I am a single mother of a 19 month old little girl. She has lived with me since she was born. Her father was not around her first year, however the past 7 months he has began to come around. He has not contributed financially since she was born, and I have recently obtained a child support order. I also filed for sole custody of my daughter and was awarded a temporary order, because the judge did not have time to order a permanent sole custody order. My concern is I am afraid he might try to fight and be awarded joint custody. I know he loves our daughter and would never do anything to hurt her. However, he is not mentally capable of taking care of a child or himself. I refuse to leave my daughter with him because he is simply neglectful and does not think logically. He also has an anger management issue and surrounds himself with people that are trouble. There have been several occasions where he has lost his temper and put his fist through glass. He also set his kitchen on fire by leaving grease on the stove unattended. On another occasion while he was visiting I asked him to watch our daughter while I went downstairs to put a load of laundry in the washer machine and as I was coming up the stairs our 9 month old daughter was on her way down. When I got upstairs he was outside on his phone and had forgotten our daughter was in the house.

    He has missed 2 court dates and now I have to back to court in January for the permanent custody order. I am frustrated with this process. I would like to know what are my chances of getting sole custody? and should I hire an attorney? I work 2 jobs and attend community college (I have not received any child support although there is an order in place), so I really donít have any money for an attorney. Any advice is appreciated and if you know of any inexpensive lawyers I would appreciate that as well. Thank You
    You'll need to be able to prove your concerns to the court. If you have enough proof, the court might order supervised visitation.

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    • #3
      I know the process is long and frustrating. You just want something to happen. Some decision to be made. However, if you can, look at the situation as one that is happening the way it's supposed to happen. What I mean is, the court is giving him enough rope to hang himself. Slowly, he's taking that rope and making sure that noose is well made. He has missed two court dates. Courts don't look too fondly on that kind of behavior. He will have to answer for that. If he cannot keep track of the court dates, not just any court dates but ones that decide just how much he can be involved in his child's life, can he really be trusted to keep track of a toddler?

      In the mean time, get every scrap of evidence you can to show that the way he leads his life is irresponsible and dangerous. Go to every court, police, and sherriff's offices records department and collect every record for him, and whomever he lives with or spends time with. Anyone whom your child would likely be around while in his custody.

      Check with your local Bar Association to see if they can recommend any attorneys or programs that will work Pro Bono (free), for an income based reduced fee, or will take payments. Many law schools offer legal assistance programs for persons that cannot afford representation.

      Good luck to you.
      Don't listen to a word I say because ya know I've gotta be crazy to be a Brown's fan.

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