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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12832
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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DCFS has declared my step-children are in need of care or neglect.

Customer Question

DCFS has declared my step-children are in need of care or neglect. My husband and I would like to be given custody. We have evidence proving that the biological mother is unfit. Such as pictures of the condition of the home she had these children loving in, medical records stating mental illness and substance abuse, medical records of the youngest boy (now 2) having to be in detox when he was born. The state appointed attorney for the children does not want to even look at our evidence. He did, however, let the judge know at the first trial (adjudication) that the oldest child (11) has stated that he has no interest in his mother seeking treatment nor in staying in her home. The children are covered under my insurance and under advise from DCFS I found a counselor and set up a meeting to have one or two on record when we return to court. The mother, however, has had the father removed from the list of people allowed to check the child out of school so he could not attend the meeting. I advised DCFS of this and they say they have tried to call her bit she does not answer the phone. Which is nothing new because she never answers the phone. She even denies the children's father the right to speak to his kids unless she can have him on speaker phone to monitor the conversation. I send this woman $1,000/month and the boys still call me crying about how hungry they are. I have the school councelors notes stating that the oldest boy says they never have money cause mommy has to buy her medicine (methadone) and its really expensive. Now DCFS has seen some of the evidence I have but they act like there is nothing they can do unless she answers her phone. Yet the court has ordered her to comply with DCFS. It's as if she's going to get away without a scratch simply by not picking up the phone. My husband and I feel so helpless. Any advise??? Please help. What can we do? That sweet. It just wants his voice to be heard. DCFS has already done a home evaluation and background checks on myself and my husband. But even the courts seem to be turning a blind eye to all of the mental and emotional abuse she is putting these children through.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. I encourage you to ask me for clarification, if you are not clear with my Answer.

I am sorry to hear about your difficulties.

Have your husband actually filed a Complaint for Modification of Custody with the Court?

What are the current hearings/trials for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
For E Lawyer: no we have not filed for custody yet because even if we did the court would make us wait until this matter is resolved. The trial is STATE OF LOUISIANA in the interest of the minor children against their mother. Her brother, who just so happens to be a police officer, is the one who has called DCFS on her twice. Once in August 2010- that case was closed due to non compliance on her part and then he called again in Octobef 2011- which is still going on
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the information.

If the Court would not consider a Complaint for Modification of Custody at this time, your husband still needs to file papers with the Court asking that the Court force his ex-wife to list him as one of the people that is supposed to pick up the children from school. If the situation is this bad, your husband at the very least should file a Motion for Temporary Custody pending conclusion of the State's case against the mother. Someone needs to look after the children while the case is going on.



Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What can DCFS do in order to make her comply with their requests that the child sees a councelors. All I get from them is- we tried and she don't answer the phone. She damn near attacked the boy in the lobby of the courtroom and I defended him and told her to get back on her side of the room and the balliffs made her leave until our case was called. We asked the judge to at least let the child come home with us until the next courtdate but he denied it and ordered her to "be nice to him" when they got home. I thought DCFS could show up unannounced to do home inspections and I wish they would because the child cannot even sleep in his own room. She could be on that show Hoarders. It's just so trashy and the kids smell like smoke when we pick them up. She definitely does not encourage a healthy relationship between father and sons. And she will slip through all this unscathed just by not answering the phone. It's BS!!
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 2 years ago.

What can DCFS do in order to make her comply with their requests that the child sees a councelors. All I get from them is- we tried and she don't answer the phone. She damn near attacked the boy in the lobby of the courtroom and I defended him and told her to get back on her side of the room and the balliffs made her leave until our case was called. We asked the judge to at least let the child come home with us until the next courtdate but he denied it and ordered her to "be nice to him" when they got home. I thought DCFS could show up unannounced to do home inspections and I wish they would because the child cannot even sleep in his own room. She could be on that show Hoarders. It's just so trashy and the kids smell like smoke when we pick them up. She definitely does not encourage a healthy relationship between father and sons. And she will slip through all this unscathed just by not answering the phone. It's BS!!


Response: I am quite surprised that inspite of the mother's behaviour that DFCS is not doing much and the Court is ordering the child to go back to the mother. DFCS should be telling the Court what the mother is doing and asking the Court to allow the children to stay with you and your husband until the mother can comply with DFCS requests. DFCS should be doing a lot more to get the children out of that house by actually telling the Court what she is doing and asking the Court to remove the children from the home to the custody of their biological father. Without DFCS cooperation, I am afraid you cannot get much done, regrettably.

Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12832
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
Phillips Esq. and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
For E-Lawyer,
I appreciate your timely response to my previous questions. I apologize for falling asleep! But I do have one more question. I am considering calling the judges office myself to let them know what is going on since it seems that no one else can help. They all act as if their hands are tied. Is that too bold of a move? I've already sent a complaint to the Louisiana Public Defenders Association regarding the children's attorney, not accepting the evidence we have that could prove his case. I realize that he cannot discuss anything with us since he is only there to represent the children but he could at least look at it. I will accept your answer as soon as I send this question but I do hope to get a reply, as our lawyer sees fit to charge us $2,000/ day to sit all day and twice have this matter continued. All the while the children are suffering. Especially the oldest one because he knows what's going on and that his mother is a liar and an addict
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 2 years ago.

I appreciate your timely response to my previous questions. I apologize for falling asleep!



Response 1: No apology necessary. We all need some sleep. I went to sleep myself. Thank you very much for the Accept.



But I do have one more question. I am considering calling the judges office myself to let them know what is going on since it seems that no one else can help. They all act as if their hands are tied. Is that too bold of a move?


Response 2: Yes, it is because you are prohibited from communicating with the Judge's office on an ex parte basis. That is, without the other party to the dispute present. In any event, even if you called the Judge's office, the Judge cannot take any action because of your phone call. Anything that needs the Judge's attention must be filed as a Motion with the Court and copy of that Motion given to the other side.


I've already sent a complaint to the Louisiana Public Defenders Association regarding the children's attorney, not accepting the evidence we have that could prove his case. I realize that he cannot discuss anything with us since he is only there to represent the children but he could at least look at it. I will accept your answer as soon as I send this question but I do hope to get a reply, as our lawyer sees fit to charge us $2,000/ day to sit all day and twice have this matter continued. All the while the children are suffering. Especially the oldest one because he knows what's going on and that his mother is a liar and an addict


Response 3: If the children have a Guardian ad litem that you find that is not doing anything, then you need to file Motion with the Court and request that the Guardian ad litem to be removed. So, everything unfortunately goes back to the presiding Judge in the case. Your husband should still go ahead and file Complaint for Modification of Custody and Visitation along with a Motion for Temporary Custody and then file a Motion for Expedited Hearing on the Motion for Temporary Custody. While the Complaint for Custody is pending, he can at least have custody of the children. I know you have stated previously that he cannot file the Complaint until the pending case against his ex has been resolved. I say, file the Complaint anyway. The worst thing that may happen is that the Court may deny his request. However, that risk is worth taking since the children's safety is at stake.

The forms for filing the Complaint and the Motions are available at the Courthouse in the Clerk's office.


All the best,


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