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Split custody of 3 kids in TX - have been paying CS for all 3 for 4 years

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  • Split custody of 3 kids in TX - have been paying CS for all 3 for 4 years

    Wow, I'm hoping someone reading this will be able to give us some good advice. I can't believe so much time has passed and this is still an ongoing issue. I am the stepmother of 3 children. One of the 3 moved in with my husband and I 4 years ago. Additionally, another of the children moved in for one year of the past 4 (but has been living back with the mother for a couple of years now). During the time that we had custody of 2 of the 3 children my husband was unemployed for a substantial amount of time and racked up a bunch in arrears because child support was never modified. Over the past 4 years we have continuously attempted to get the modification - numerous meetings where the other parent did not attend or did not agree and so would not sign off on the paperwork. We have been told for years that we will get a court date, and rather than a court date materializing we receive a notice in the mail that the case is closed because no support order exists - of course no order for her to pay CS exists, that's what we're trying to do! 60% of my husbands paycheck goes to the other parent, which is insane considering the arrears amount would never have been an issue if we could have had the modification we've been requesting this whole time. Additionally, I had a child last year so that it one more variable that should be considered. CS hasn't been modified since 2006! It seems like nothing we do seems to accomplish anything. I know a lawyer can take this case for $4k-$5k but we don't have the resources for that right now. Does anyone know what we could do - or has anyone had success accomplishing this pro se?

    Now - for the worst of it. The 4 year struggle has been to remedy the CS to get it corrected. Because of events that occurred last week we now want custody of the 2 children that do not live with us, and again we have no idea how to accomplish this. CPS called my husband last week and said a man living at my husband's ex's house (not her husband) had attempted to sexually assault my eldest stepdaughter (12 YEARS OLD!!!). Did we hear about this from the other parent? Nope. And when I spoke with my stepdaughter about it (she and I are very close) she told me her mother told her not to tell us because we would be mad. Then she told me that she doesn't feel safe at her mom's house and wants to move in with us. We would gladly take in both of the girls but the mother will not allow this (she realizes that eventually the CS will be modified and her paycheck will be gone). My husband and I are a loving couple who have been together since his children were 1, 2 & 4. We moved to an area with great schools when my stepson moved in with us, we made sure we stayed put so he could spend his elementary years in one school...meanwhile my eldest is getting ready to start 7th grade at her tenth school. Every lawyer I have talked to has told me there would be no issues with us getting custody, but they all want money to take the case (of course, that is their job after all).

    I'm so beyond frustrated and overwhelmed at this. We would clearly be able to take care of and protect these children better than they are currently being cared for and yet there seems to be nothing but roadblocks in our getting custody. If it has been 4 years and we can't even get our CS order modified when we have all sorts of documentation about stepson living with us, what is the liklihood we're going to accomplish getting custody of the kids before school starts in August? I'm sorry for the rant, I guess I kind of feel hopeless and more want to vent my frustration than I do genuinely believe this is every going to get corrected. Is anyone else dealing with any of these issues?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Your husband can only resolve this with court action and CPS help. Your husband should consult an Attorney on what actions he should and can take
    http://www.parentnook.com/forum/

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    • #3
      Try contacting one of the free or low cost legal aid clinics here http://www.freelegalaid.com/houston-legal-aid . I can not vouch for any of them and do not recommend one over any of the othesr but it is a place to start. If you are not in Houston, check with the law schools and legal aid clinics in your area. You might also contact Social Services to see if they have any programs to help your family. A 12 year old who has been molested and bounced around with an unstable mother and now plans to live with an out of work father who has a new wife and baby is going to need some serious help.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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      • #4
        Just to clarify my husband was out of work for a year but has been employed and paying CS since that period. Also, my husband and I have been married for 7 1/2 years, since my eldest stepdaughter was 5. She is most definitely in need of counseling and I have contacted several abuse advocacy groups as well as my employee assistance program. If/when she moves in with us both she and the youngest will go through counseling. Also, I have contacted TX Wesleyan, SMU and several Legal Aid agencies but because of my income we do not qualify. I keep hearing that resources are slim and only available to those who are indigent. I saw some advice on another post to someone to paper the local family law offices and see if any of them will take a case pro bono. Has anyone had any success with this?

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        • #5
          If both of you are working you might have better luck working out a payment plan with a lawyer rather than getting free legal services. Surely the children are worth it. Your EAP might even be able to refer you to someone or offer consultations at a discount. Many do.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

          Comment


          • #6
            Contact your local BAR (not one you drink at lol) ask them for names of Attorneys or firms that do Pro Bono work. Not to be rude (please dont take it that way) but its possible no Attorney will talk with you as you are a legal stranger to child. Dad needs to do this
            http://www.parentnook.com/forum/

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by FrustratedinTX View Post
              Wow, I'm hoping someone reading this will be able to give us some good advice. I can't believe so much time has passed and this is still an ongoing issue. I am the stepmother of 3 children. One of the 3 moved in with my husband and I 4 years ago. Additionally, another of the children moved in for one year of the past 4 (but has been living back with the mother for a couple of years now). During the time that we had custody of 2 of the 3 children my husband was unemployed for a substantial amount of time and racked up a bunch in arrears because child support was never modified. Over the past 4 years we have continuously attempted to get the modification - numerous meetings where the other parent did not attend or did not agree and so would not sign off on the paperwork. We have been told for years that we will get a court date, and rather than a court date materializing we receive a notice in the mail that the case is closed because no support order exists - of course no order for her to pay CS exists, that's what we're trying to do! 60% of my husbands paycheck goes to the other parent, which is insane considering the arrears amount would never have been an issue if we could have had the modification we've been requesting this whole time. Additionally, I had a child last year so that it one more variable that should be considered. CS hasn't been modified since 2006! It seems like nothing we do seems to accomplish anything. I know a lawyer can take this case for $4k-$5k but we don't have the resources for that right now. Does anyone know what we could do - or has anyone had success accomplishing this pro se?

              Something is amiss here. The other parent doesn't have to agree to a modification nor do they actually have to turn up in court. As long as the petitioner follows through, a decision would have been made. On the other hand, if the court believes that Dad is actually capable of working and is voluntarily under- or unemployed, then the modification would likely be denied.



              Now - for the worst of it. The 4 year struggle has been to remedy the CS to get it corrected. Because of events that occurred last week we now want custody of the 2 children that do not live with us, and again we have no idea how to accomplish this. CPS called my husband last week and said a man living at my husband's ex's house (not her husband) had attempted to sexually assault my eldest stepdaughter (12 YEARS OLD!!!). Did we hear about this from the other parent? Nope. And when I spoke with my stepdaughter about it (she and I are very close) she told me her mother told her not to tell us because we would be mad. Then she told me that she doesn't feel safe at her mom's house and wants to move in with us. We would gladly take in both of the girls but the mother will not allow this (she realizes that eventually the CS will be modified and her paycheck will be gone). My husband and I are a loving couple who have been together since his children were 1, 2 & 4. We moved to an area with great schools when my stepson moved in with us, we made sure we stayed put so he could spend his elementary years in one school...meanwhile my eldest is getting ready to start 7th grade at her tenth school. Every lawyer I have talked to has told me there would be no issues with us getting custody, but they all want money to take the case (of course, that is their job after all).

              I'm so beyond frustrated and overwhelmed at this. We would clearly be able to take care of and protect these children better than they are currently being cared for and yet there seems to be nothing but roadblocks in our getting custody. If it has been 4 years and we can't even get our CS order modified when we have all sorts of documentation about stepson living with us, what is the liklihood we're going to accomplish getting custody of the kids before school starts in August? I'm sorry for the rant, I guess I kind of feel hopeless and more want to vent my frustration than I do genuinely believe this is every going to get corrected. Is anyone else dealing with any of these issues?

              Thanks!


              Yes, there are roadblocks.

              Your husband has absolutely no chance of getting custody modified before August; at best he might - MIGHT - be able to get a temporary order. What is the status with CPS?

              Did you tell the attorneys that you've spoken to that custody has already been decided and your husband is looking to modify? (As opposed to no custody being determined and this being an initial attempt)

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