anyone know about custody,plz help! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I separated from my boyfriend a few months ago. I applied for custody/vis petition, there is a GAL on our case.
He had criminal charges that got dropped and I also had a protective order that got dismissed because evidence got omitted somehow. Well I am now with a new lawyer and working on getting that back in place. But anyhow.. I have had our daughter for a couple months pending the trial. The Gal arranged some visitation and I complied of course. Well after his charges got dropped,we were kind of on our own, but the Gal was still aware of everything. Well , my ex bf, his lawyer, my lawyer, and myself made up a visitation to get us thru until court . Well he ended up getting her this week and not giving her back. His lawyer is claiming there never WAS an agreement, and it wasn't court ordered so I can't get her til court. My lawyer and the Gal are both trying to reassure me that I should get her back at court this week and the court is going to look down on him for what he did. But does anyone have any exp. with anything like this. Like I said, it was just an agreement, not court order. But one that the Gal knew about. She is going to recommend one night visitation a week and my lawyer is going to reccomend one day only.Also he is going for an emergency temp. custody order for me to last thru our final trial probably in march. Do you think I have anything to worry about ?
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#2 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also.. she is only 7 months and I've been the primary caregiver.


We are in VA
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#3 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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I am so sorry, you need to get your baby back as soon as possible. I can't believe your lawyer isn't freaking out and doing more. YOU should be filing an emergency petition tomorrow to get your baby back. This seems to be a new thing that lawyers are having clients who haven't been the primary caregivers do to establish that they are the primary caregiver.

Is the baby breastfed? Typically courts will not order overnights for an infant under a year old, even conservative courts. Also the court wants to keep the child with the primary caregiver, typically mom. What your ex is doing is attempting to make himself the primary caregiver by keeping your daughter.

I would be doing everything I could to get the baby back, I would go over with the police in the hopes that they will sympathize and try to get him to give your daughter back even though you don't have a court order. If you have something written up take it with you and call the police to meet you there.

Yes you should be worried, you need to get your daughter back now. Not only for legal reasons but she must be traumatized if you are the primary caregiver and she hasn't been away from you.
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#4 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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The court will look down on him for what he did for sure.
He may only be awarded supervised or access centre, escort.

I'd also ask for something that says he cannot travel with her as he's a risk and acting in bad faith and won't necessarily abide by any agreement even if court ordered..also the fact he's CLEARLY abusive...

I second the just get the agreement you have drawn up and march down to the police station, maybe cause they can pull up the incident reports they might help the situation as they don't want you showing up at his door.
And cry don't forget to cry...and bring a picture of the baby

8 might be enough
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#5 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We go to court this week. My lawyer has the motion for temp custody drawn up. He said that the police won't really do anything since it isn't court ordered. This is killing me but I think I have to wait til we go before the judge. Maybe it will make my ex bf look worse because at the time of court he will actually have her still. I can't believe his attorney is downright lying,saying there was no agreement. I have a letter that my attorney wrote to his stating it all, signed by my attorney. Also the guardian was sent a copy. The GAL even called him the evening he didnt bring her back to advise him to,but she also, couldn't make him because of no court order.
Thing is I didn't have to let him see her at all until after the court this week. But my old lawyer agreed that it would be best so they couldn't hold it against me that I was with holding. I have a new lawyer , I got him because my old lawyer just wasn't up to par to me. But the old lawyer gave my new one a copy of the letter,so there's no doubt the agreement was in place.

I'm just afraid the judge will over look everything and let him keep her since she is in his possession and only give me visitation til final court in March.
He's had her for the past week.. But before all this I had her for two months besides the few visitations the GAL set up. Which I followed precisely.

I'm just sooo scared. I know the Gal and my lawyer at this point are saying I should have custody but I hear horror stories of how GALS change their minds.
Also one stupid question probably... do you think that my baby will forget me. by the time I see her it will have been like nine days shes 7 months.

Any advice on helping me keep my sanity til later this week when I go to court would be GREAT too.
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#6 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My lawyer filed the motion for emergency temporary custody to be granted to me. thursday is the earliest we can get to see the judge..

i hope my ex can't make it look like hes been the primary caregiver since it will have only been nine days total.. not to mention the WAY he obtained her.. breaking an agreement he abided too..

im really scared now but like i said, the cops wont step in with no order.
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#7 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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Well you aren't married so i would call the cops.Go to his home and wait outside until the cops show, i would have a copy of whatever agreement you say your lawyer has, show it to the cops, tell them you aren't married but you are in the middle of a custody case and pray for the best. Either your ex will freak out that you called the cops( bring up his prior criminal history and the protective order) and just give her back or the cops will help you. Say you breastfeed and she is a baby who has only been with you. You being on his doorstep with an agreement and his prior history or protection order and criminal past may sway the cops. What do you have to lose? Go do it now.
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#8 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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do you guys really think that these nine days will have traumatized her ? she is only 7 months, but i lived with her father for the first five months... so she is somewhat familiar with him. although she didnt spend almost every moment with him like she did me.
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#9 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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And you don't know the cops won't step in, you weren't married and you can try.
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#10 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:43 PM
 
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i don't think she will be traumatized, she may have to readjust but she will be fine as long as she is well cared for.
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#11 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:43 PM
 
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The court will look down on him for what he did for sure.
He may only be awarded supervised or access centre, escort.

I'd also ask for something that says he cannot travel with her as he's a risk and acting in bad faith and won't necessarily abide by any agreement even if court ordered..also the fact he's CLEARLY abusive...
Shiloh, I hope you are right but I have seen a few people that this has happened to and there were no repercussions for the father, in fact it helped him gain more custody. It is essential that there is an established caregiver relationship and by doing this he is establishing that he has been the primary caregiver for several days or weeks.

In a fair and just world you would be right, I just think this may actually work for the father in this case.
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#12 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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And your lawyer could file an ex parte tomorrow with an order to shorten the length of the hearing ( so you could have it tomorrow) and you could be right there before the judge. Your lawyer isn't very good if they didn't tell you that.Educate yourself. Tell the judge what happened, show all the proof and if can be done tomorrow.
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#13 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well our court date is thursday.
my lawyer and the guardian ad litem are saying that i cant do anything til we get before the judge on thursday. they both are convinced that i will get her back then . gal thinks that my ex bf should still get one night a week with her after this .. but my lawyer seems to think the judge is going to look harder at this than her .. that he is going to be very upset. i know the gal claims to be upset. ive made it from tuesday til today. i have a few more days to go. i am sure he is taking good care of her and being responsible but i know ,and the gal said, she needs back in my care asap. i just have this fear in the back of my head that the judge will let him keep having her since shes already in his care and give ME visitation... do you know if the judge usually goes along with the GAL ?????



i just made a phone call and found out that the police will not get involved without an actual court order.
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#14 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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And you don't know the cops won't step in, you weren't married and you can try.
I agree, I think you should take the agreement you have and see if you can get the cops to mediate.

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i don't think she will be traumatized, she may have to readjust but she will be fine as long as she is well cared for.
I agree, I don't think she will be permanently traumatized but I am sure she is going through a very difficult and traumatic time that she will need to recover from.
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#15 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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He said that the police won't really do anything since it isn't court ordered.
well is there harm in trying? It will show how destraught you are and will put an incident report on the books so even if he pulls this again after a court order they might take it more seriously....

I'd grab a friend, the babies blanket and a picture and march on down dress uber respectibly.
Quote:
I'm just afraid the judge will over look everything and let him keep her since she is in his possession and only give me visitation til final court in March.
well then you might not return her either....

babies never forget their mamas don't worry.
But I'd be at that police station now.

8 might be enough
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#16 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok the way i just had it explained to me is that an ex parte is for an emergency when the child is in danger of domestic violence, and he has never abused our daughter ..

im now relying on hoping and praying for the best on thursday.
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#17 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:53 PM
 
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Listen to that fear, i cannot beleive you have not called the cops sooner because you can and more then likely if you followed what i said you could get her back. Showing the judge you are desperate to get her back will show on your character and sitting back and waiting and seeing will show something else. I would be frantic, threatening kidnapping charges ( using the agreement between lawyers) and i would camp on his doorstep until i got my baby back. I would stop listening to your lawyer and try. There was another mama here last month who if she had listened to her lawyer would have lost her nursing baby for almost a week but thankfully she went with her gut and found out the court screwed up and she had a hearing the next day and got to have her baby home with her. Lawyers don't know everything, but you have rights as an unmarried mother.
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#18 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:54 PM
 
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or you could ask the police in light of your history to just go drive by knock on his door and make sure everything is okay (who knows maybe they will find him smoking a joint Either way it gets your concerns recorded.

8 might be enough
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#19 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:58 PM
 
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I just read through VA's laws regarding custody. If you are unmarried then
Unmarried Cohabitants

If the parents are unmarried, the child is the child of his/her mother. In order for the father to assert rights to the child (including rights to custody or visitation), paternity must be admitted or established in court. Paternity can be established by: judicial determination of paternity; father's acknowledgment of paternity in writing; father's open and notorious recognition of the child as his own; or by marrying the mother and then acknowledging himself as the father, either in writing or orally. In order for a father to bring suit to establish paternity by judicial determination, he should file an action for "filiation"; but, this is not required to seek custody if any of the other three methods has established paternity. Once paternity is established, neither party will be given a preference based solely on the gender. If you are seeking to establish paternity, consult an attorney




If he hasn't done this then you have all the rights as of right now. Call the cops. I am serious.
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#20 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok i just called the cops and they said they cant do anything without a court order,that is is a civil matter and without custody established there is nothing to enforce.
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#21 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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paternity has been established.


well, i've made the phone call and it's on record.
i dont know if im naiive or stupid for listening to my lawyer but he seems really competent and the GAL seemed to agree with everything he said.
they are telling me that its out of my hands until thursday and that everyday he has her without returning her is looking worse on him and better on me for the custody trial. i miss her terribly and ive never been without her for more than a few hours at a time. its devastating. all i do is worry and cry, but its almost over now.
i know my lawyer tried to get in with the judge sooner and so did the GAL. i think my ex bf has really hung himself on this one. at least i hope the judge sees it my way. its just a terrifying situation. my attorney advised me that i dont want to call my ex or have any contact because he is working on me getting the protective order back in place.
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#22 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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I would go and get her. Sit outside his door wait if I had too.

Decluttering 500/2010
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#23 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i hope that this agreement is legitimate enough in the judges eyes ....


since it doesnt mean much to the police.
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#24 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bunny- I'm afraid of him and any contact I have with him at this point is going to hurt me in being able to get my protective order back in place.
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#25 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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Honestly I would (sorry typo) would not just call the police I'd go down to the counter with a friend or family member and talk to them face to face show them the documents, express your concerns ask they go by and check on her tell them its eating you up (the don't want you going to his house and creating a serious domestic) bring a car seat for her and appropriate clothing....and ask for help

8 might be enough
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#26 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 10:12 PM
 
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also make a diary of the times and dates of every incident, the phone call your emmotional state, everything. Type it up and see if you can put it in your file

8 might be enough
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#27 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well since i havent up to this point what will it look like (tues afternoon)

i have just been totally at the mercy of my attorney and the gal. they have both been great so far and i've just trusted them. i know they both went to the court house right away to see about getting in with the judge sooner and my attorney filed those petitions for me right away. thats why i didnt do anything else. i was told then..and then now on the phone, that they dont get involved in custody disputes without an order by the court. the only signature on this agreement is my former lawyers.
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#28 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 10:19 PM
 
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hang in there mama and thanks for sharing your experience.
I hope you get into court sooner

8 might be enough
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#29 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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Well if he is scary or quick to temper then maybe you should go to his house and attempt to get the baby and just maybe he will get upset and yell at you and then you would be forced to call the cops on him and get yourself and the baby an immediate protection order. Take a friend just in case but i would keep trying. I'm not saying that lightly but when i was ready to leave i knew my ex lost his temper easily and it only took one quick argument for me to have to get the police and get the kids and i an order. Just a thought.
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#30 of 172 Old 01-06-2008, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all your advice and opinions and ill let you know how this turns out.

if any of you believe in the power of prayer,say one for me and my little one tonight

thanks again!!
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