QUESTION: I have been entangled in a custody battle for many years. I’ve been to court several times but I don’t feel that I’m getting a fair judgment because my ex has the most powerful, manipulative lawyer in the small town that I live in. The last time we went to court was because I was trying to move out of state with my daughter. The home that my ex lives in isn’t a good environment for a child- there is drinking and drugs. I can never get proof of it but I know that this goes on over there. They didn’t do a home study either. When we went to court we tried to settle things before the proceedings started. His lawyer offered to have my daughter stay with my parents during the week and then with her father on the weekends. I was given only the week after Christmas and the whole month of July.
When I told my lawyer I didn’t like this agreement because I wanted more time with my daughter, he told me that this was the best option I could receive. I felt betrayed by my lawyer, my ex and his lawyer that day. I feel I should have been given more options. I don”t have any more money to fight for custody of my daughter. I need some advice on what I can do!
ATTORNEY ROMAN’S ADVICE: It is very hard for me to give you a clear answer to your question without having the exact facts of your case. Courts are usually very jealous of removing a child from the mother’s care and custody unless the other party proves abandonment, abuse, or neglect. This is especially the case if the parties have never been married and the mother was the primary caretaker of the child.
On another note, removal cases (when one parent wishes to move from one state to another) are usually very difficult to win unless you can prove that there is a significant advantage for the child. If the father has been very involved in your child’s life since birth, the courts tend to give the father more rights.
I am guessing there is some background history in your case that caused the father to get custody of the child and only visitations for your parents. I would recommend that you try to establish rapport with the child during those visits and go back to court at a later date to establish that you have a good relationship with your child and that you would like visitations of your own.
Eneida Roman, Esq.
Roman Law Offices
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