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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12235
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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I am just starting to get paperwork started to try to get sole

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I am just starting to get paperwork started to try to get sole custody and full placement of my 2 year old daughter in the state of Wisconsin. I am so confused of what to do and am scared. I have been abused for 6 years from her father but I don't have anything on record due to being scared of what he may do to me. Now that I've finally realized I can't live in pain and fear for the rest of my life. I'm afraid of what he may do to my daughter now that I'm not there to be pushed and yelled at. What should I do to get full placement of her right now? I still want her father to see her but I do not believe leaving her with him for a week at a time would be in the best interest of my daughter. I'm so scared, please help me.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.
Hello there:

Thank you for entrusting me with your question. Is there a custody order in place right now?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately yes. Child support made us come in together and sign papers that say joint custody. And at the end of it, it states placement is shared equally.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.
You said that you're afraid of what the father may do to your daughter. What might the father do to your daughter? Please articulate your specific fear of what might happen to your daughter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well, he has hit me and thrown me into a wall when I was 5 months pregnant with her. He screams at me and holds me down with force, enough to leave bruses on my arms and body. I'm scared if I'm not there to beat on who's he going to take his anger out on. I'm afraid it will be my daughter. I'm not the first one to be hit. He broke 3 of his mothers ribs by throwing her into a wall and punched out a bus window.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.
That is terrible. How long has it been since the existing custody order was first put into place?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
01/29/2010 is when the last one was issued.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.
Last question (probably):. It has been almost two years since the custody order was last modified. You have not said that your daughter has suffered any actual abuse in that time. I do understand the father's history of violence. What has happened since 01/29/10, if anything, that would specifically lead you or anyone else to believe that the child is in danger?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well, he already constantly yells at her even when she doesn't do anything wrong. Around him she is not allowed to be a 2 year old. A month ago, he came home so drunk and me and my daughter were sleeping in bed, he came and laid down. Later in the middle of the night I woke up to him urinating on my daughter and me. He also took her on a lake that only had a couple inches of ice on it, she had no snow pants, boots, or gloves on. His yelling gets Extremly out of control that one night just a week ago he came home and wanted to have intercourse and since I said no he started screaming with my daughter right there to get the F out. It got so intense that my neighbor got scared for my daughter and me that she wanted to call the cops. She came into my work the next day to ask me if I was okay.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.
That is pretty serious. When there is a danger of immediate, significant, and irreconcilable harm, the court has the power to make an emergency temporary custody order to keep the child safe until the request for a long-term order can be served. This is called an emergency or sometimes an "ex parte" (pronounced "ex-par-tay") order, and it can generally be implemented by a court with as little as 24 hours notice to the other party. You have an attorney, so ask your attorney about getting an emergency/"ex parte" order in place.

I understand that you may have follow-up questions. Let me know if further clarification is needed. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you think I have enough to get a emergency request for custody and placement? I want him to be able to see her just under supervision. I trust his step mom and dad to watch her and thought maybe they could supervise visits for him to be able to see her. I want what's best for my daughter, and I believe her seeing her father would be good. I stayed with him cause he told me he would change that was after he threw me into a wall. Nothing has changed. What are my options as far as getting her and what are my chances of actually getting sole custody and full placement?
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.
If the father urinated on you and your daughter, that alone
is serious enough for an emergency order in most every case. The court will order custody according to the best interests of the child, so your odds of winning are as strong as your case. I only have your half of the story, so my information is incomplete I cannot responsibly estimate your chances of actually getting sole custody and placement based on incomplete information, but I can say that the allegations are serious enough that it is within the scope of possibility.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I'm hoping this emergency thing goes through quickly because he keeps telling me he's going to take her away from me for 2 weeks at a time if I don't move back in with him.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.
Ultimately, he does not have any power unless you give it to him. You have rights, so let the court decide what is best for your child, not the father.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So should I not even give her to him at all right now so I know he won't run off or hurt her? If I don't give her to him right now would I be in contempt to court? Or any wrong?
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.
Do not violate a court's order. The knowing, willful violation of a court's order is contemptuous and you may face criminal consequences. Furthermore, it is not in the best interest of the child for a parent to violate a custody order and it could compromise your case. Don't do it.

You have to decide for yourself when it is safest and best to file. If you believe that it is necessary for your daughter to be in your custody when you file, you can wait until she is returned to you as part of the regular custody order. You are dealing with someone who you have described as a violent criminal, so there is no perfect solution here--what would be perfect is if he was someone else and didn't have these problems. However, "Plan A" did not work out and you are on to "Plan B". The law may be on your side, but you still have to contend with the facts, so do not file unless it is a safe time for filing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Alright, so she is going with him tomorrow. So wait til I get her back, that just scares me. Well, thank you for your help, I go down again on Tuesday to speak to my lawyer. Hopefully I can get things started fast. Should I think of a restraining order for now?
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.
I know that waiting is a difficult decision, but she has made it under this arrangement for two years.

If a restraining order would protect you from a threat of future violence, yes--keep the option open. But you would need to file for a restraining order within the context of your case at large, so that should also be handled by your attorney if you believe it is appropriate.

It was my pleasure to help, and please remember to click accept once you are satisfied. Thank you.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12235
Experience: Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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