Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Boy, your sisters attorney is a bastion of good news huh? Her attorney should be fighting on her behalf and not telling her all the reasons why she will lose this case. This is ridiculous. My first thought is that she needs to fire this attorney, seek a refund and find a new attorney who will be willing to fight on her behalf -- but her current attorney will probably take a good chunk of the money she has already paid (on phone calls and such) and her refund will be minimal to nothing. So, if she cannot get another attorney (and if she does choose to find another one, then she must interview a few of them first and make sure they will fight on her behalf), then she has to tell her attorney how to run the case. This attorney she has must accentuate the positive: (a) he is a loser who abandoned her during the pregnancy and is only seeking custody now because he lives with mommy & daddy at the age of 38 and wants to get out of paying her child support -- and it appears that his mommy & daddy will be caring for this child -- not him (b) his lack of caring and concern is shown by his request for her to terminate the pregnancy (his mommy & daddy probably put him up to seeking custody) and (c) separating a young child from the mother is not conscionable.
And, the attorney must put a request into the court that she be permitted to move back to Michigan so long as she can show the court that she has a strong familial and friend support base in Michigan and perhaps she can show that her chances for finding a job in Michigan are better than in North Carolina. It might even help if one or more of her family members can travel to NC for the hearing to offer her support and to testify that she has a place to stay and get on her feet in Michigan if she chooses to return there. You seem like a strong enough person -- if you could speak with this attorney and relay some of this information, that might help on her behalf.
If, in the end, your sister loses custody and this lawyer did not fight enough on her behalf, then she should file a complaint with the NC Bar Association against him and seek return of all of her legal fees so she can hire another attorney and attempt to get her child back.
Please press the GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so I will be paid for my time.
You're analysis of him is DEAD ON. We do believe it's his family who wants him (they are a Korean family whose beliefs are much different than the "typical" American family). Could she write a letter to the judge? How would she do representing herself by telling the judge her story. There's so much more than what I was able to convey in that short message. By the way, he's an M.D. who's looking for a hospital to "pick him up" so he can finish his residency.
If she is representing herself, is there an upcoming court hearing on the matter that she can speak at? Typically judges will not entertain outside letters like that when the case is ongoing. I am serious when I say that perhaps if she is not a very strong person that you or another family member should get involved to give her a hand in making sure that all of these things are brought out at a hearing.
Another point in her favor: If he is going to finish what is usually a very grueling residency hours, how is he going to take care of the baby and bond with the baby? So your sister's lawyer wants to put the child in a position where there is no mother OR father paying attention to the child? That is ridiculous. It is not very difficult to see through what is going on here (mommy and daddy want the child more than he does). Hopefully the judge will see right through it and with a little assistance from a supportive family member to drive the points home at the court hearing, she should be okay. She should also be countersuing for child support and be keeping a close eye on where he ends up working, etc. because once he becomes an established MD, she can take him in for an increase in child support payments.
Let me know if you have any further questions. GOOD LUCK