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Custody Battle, what really wins a case?

Hello Friends, we all know that one of the scariest things on the planet is losing our children - and today I come to you faced with that. I won't get too in depth with my story (because it's a long one) but my ex husband who has been fairly disengaged for the last 4 years has recently surprised me with a motion for custody with which I disagree. He has a lawyer and not only can I not afford a lawyer but Legal aid in my county is not accepting family court cases. I'm about to send a letter to the judge and our hearing is on Wednesday. My real question is, what really wins a case?

I have plenty of things to say, and evidence to provide... but I'm not sure what kinds of things will actually matter. He doesn't engage in any part of their life outside of visitation and he skips on that when it's convenient, he refuses to follow doctor's and/or therapists orders, he lies to me about our childrens care and his girlfriend (though she's met my children in a limited capacity 4 times) has more sway over his parenting choices than anyone else. It's complicated and dangerous because they have many special medical needs and they would rather not do what needs to be done so they are pushing for the authority to make ill informed self serving medical choices for the kids. I am scared half to death that his lawyer will shut me down.

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ashleyaction

Asked by ashleyaction at 7:48 AM on Feb. 28, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 16 (2,543 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • If you have proof of those things, show them to the judge. The important thing is having proof. However, just because he files for custody doesn't mean he's going to get it. Unless he has proof that you are unfit as a mother, you have just as much a chance (if not more) of retaining custody. You can help your case with proof of his refusal to properly care for the kids mentally, skipping out on visits, etc., but him having a lawyer doesn't necessarily do anything for him.

    Take in your proof, take a deep breath, and stay calm. Good luck!
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 8:03 AM on Feb. 28, 2013

  • child/children have many special medical needs
    *he refuses to follow doctor's and/or therapists orders

    authority to make medical choices for the kids will go to the parent/parents who is following medical advice
    i say parents (plural) if both parents are following medical advice- court could go joint

    if you have proof he has put child/children in danger- it has to be good solid proof...then court/judge will take very seriously

    try not to be scared of his lawyer- if you do not understand something- raise your hand to allow judge to explain
    hope you have a non hurried judge

    good luck

    medical records, medical records, medical records
    fiatpax

    Answer by fiatpax at 8:09 AM on Feb. 28, 2013

  • he just wants say so in medical decisions
    or
    custody
    ?

    he will not get custody away from you unless you have been unfit
    he could have joint decision making unless you can prove he has not been following medical advice
    and if medical needs of children are high and he has shown very poor judgment- he could have to have supervised visits????

    supervised visits for parent who might be danger to a child...you said dangerous- how so?
    fiatpax

    Answer by fiatpax at 8:13 AM on Feb. 28, 2013

  • You need to document everything. Get doctor records indicating the children's needs. Anything that shows you've been the primary person to take care of their medical care. Document when he doesn't come for visits and the reasons he gives. Don't come across as someone who isn't willing to work with your ex to develop a relationship with the kids, just provide the facts.

    RyansMom001

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 8:16 AM on Feb. 28, 2013

  • also
    you can ask judge for a guardian ad liem to be appointed for your child/children
    a lawyer that is for your children
    they will look into anything that is medical danger

    you will have to pay them (if you are poor, maybe you get a break- but do not count on it) however most likely you and ex split the GAL bill, and most likely you can do a payment plan

    might be will worth going into debt, if you have proof he is dangerous and GAL gets proof and tells judge same thing as your concerns
    GAL has HUGE pull in what happens with the child

    fiatpax

    Answer by fiatpax at 8:18 AM on Feb. 28, 2013

  • If you can not afford a lawyer for this, how are you going to be able to afford a lawyer to adopt the baby ? (Your Other Question)
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:33 AM on Feb. 28, 2013

  • Documentation and honesty.
    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:06 AM on Feb. 28, 2013

  • Thank you everyone. He is a danger because he makes reckless selfish decision often impacting their physical and emotional wellbeing. Also I will not be adopting a child as of now, I have a great nephew I thought we would be adopting but his teen mother decided she wanted to keep him afterall. I cannot have any more biological childen and afoption was a consideration before my financial situation changed. I appreciate the advice. I believe I have met the burden of proof for most things but I am still very very scared. My ex and his new girl friend have surprised me with all of this and I am very worried for my babies.
    ashleyaction

    Comment by ashleyaction (original poster) at 10:10 AM on Feb. 28, 2013

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