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Father Appealing Child Custody South Carolina

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  • Father Appealing Child Custody South Carolina

    My sister is worried to death about this. Please offer her some reassurance, or guidance on what she can do.

    Some background: Sister's ex has been charged with possession and had his license suspended for a period of time, has been a drug user (could still be, don't know) and is an alcoholic. Sister and ex have been seperated since Nov. '08 (verbally and emotionally abusive, physically abusive once). Ex hasn't gone out of his way to make sure he sees his children, but only sees them when it's convenient for him (regardless of visitation "schedule") (he was once unable to spend his weekend with the children because he had a world of warcraft fight/battle/mission. WHATEVER [this just shows his priorities]) or when he has a family or church appearance to make. For the entire 1 year seperation he was very hit-or-miss on any sort of support, but doesn't seem to have any problems buying beers at the bar. Divorce court date comes around and he doesn't show up in court (his ride [sister] drove 2 hours to pick him up because he had totalled his car, but once she had gotten up there and was "laying down the law" that he wasn't going to yell at her, be rude or mean, or smoke in the car, he blew up and she drove the 2 hours back without him). They had agreed that my sister would have custody of the children and he would have visitation rights. My sister claimed EIC for both children on her tax return and now ex is livid and threatening to sue for the money. She offered him a portion, but he refused it. On top of that he's now threatening to appeal the child custody situation so that they have joint custody. Knowing his personality and character, he's only doing this for control and not interested in seeing the girls anymore than he does now. He lives in a very bad part of town notorious for gangs and drugs, so anyone knowing his history with drugs does not make them confident that he's clean, and because of the rough neighborhood any visitation with his children is done either at church or his father's house. Obviously, my sister is worried about him getting joint custody. Is there any advice you can offer my sister? Thanks! (MY question is can she request him to be drug tested prior to the court date? and if he tests negative, how likely will it be that he'd get the joint custody he's fighting for?)

  • #2
    Your sister needs an attorney. Thats the best suggestion I can make now. There are too many issues in that email to address in this limited forum.
    I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
    Thomas Jefferson

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TissToast View Post
      My sister is worried to death about this. Please offer her some reassurance, or guidance on what she can do.

      Some background: Sister's ex has been charged with possession and had his license suspended for a period of time, has been a drug user (could still be, don't know) and is an alcoholic. Sister and ex have been seperated since Nov. '08 (verbally and emotionally abusive, physically abusive once).
      Is there a record of the abuse?

      Ex hasn't gone out of his way to make sure he sees his children, but only sees them when it's convenient for him (regardless of visitation "schedule") (he was once unable to spend his weekend with the children because he had a world of warcraft fight/battle/mission. WHATEVER [this just shows his priorities]) or when he has a family or church appearance to make. For the entire 1 year seperation he was very hit-or-miss on any sort of support, but doesn't seem to have any problems buying beers at the bar.
      Is he court ordered to pay support? If yes, has your sister been filing for contempt for non-payment?

      Divorce court date comes around and he doesn't show up in court (his ride [sister] drove 2 hours to pick him up because he had totalled his car, but once she had gotten up there and was "laying down the law" that he wasn't going to yell at her, be rude or mean, or smoke in the car, he blew up and she drove the 2 hours back without him). They had agreed that my sister would have custody of the children and he would have visitation rights. My sister claimed EIC for both children on her tax return and now ex is livid and threatening to sue for the money. She offered him a portion, but he refused it. On top of that he's now threatening to appeal the child custody situation so that they have joint custody.
      He's entitled to do this (file, that is).

      Knowing his personality and character, he's only doing this for control and not interested in seeing the girls anymore than he does now. He lives in a very bad part of town notorious for gangs and drugs, so anyone knowing his history with drugs does not make them confident that he's clean, and because of the rough neighborhood any visitation with his children is done either at church or his father's house. Obviously, my sister is worried about him getting joint custody. Is there any advice you can offer my sister? Thanks! (MY question is can she request him to be drug tested prior to the court date? and if he tests negative, how likely will it be that he'd get the joint custody he's fighting for?)

      Frankly your sister will need PROOF that he's doing drugs. The physical abuse may have mattered initially, but because she's allowed the children to be with him despite this, she's basically saying that she's fine with the situation.

      The court won't usually even demand a drug test unless there's a somewhat solid indication that it is necessary. Living in a bad area isn't anywhere near enough. Even if he tested positive though this is not going to be a bar on him having joint legal custody and it usually won't even jeopardize his chances at physical custody unless there is a chronic issue and/or that the children have been directly endangered by his drug use.

      With this in mind, if he fights, he'll probably get at the very least joint legal custody. Joint physical is far less likely (it usually only works when both parents are willing to work together; in an acrimonious situation such as this I just don't see that happening).

      As Morgana advised, have your sister speak with an attorney.

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