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JerrySJD
JerrySJD, Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Divorce, child custody, support, mediation, alimony
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when in a custody case, and i have character letters for the

Resolved Question:

when in a custody case, and i have character letters for the judge to see, when and how do i give them to him?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  JerrySJD replied 2 years ago.

JerrySJD :

When you have a hearing on custody. The main focus on a custody case is what is in the best interests of the child or children. Letters about your character are somewhat relevant, but the main inquiry will be where will the children be better off.

JerrySJD :

Courts tend to favor mothers where small children are involved. If there are problems with the mother and/or her living conditions, that is different. Housing, schools, who has time to take care of the children, conduct of the parents, and that sort of thing are all relevant.

JerrySJD :

The judge may or may not entertain character letters. Letters that say what a great parent you are can be helpful.

JerrySJD :

Hope this helps. If you need more, just let me know.

JerrySJD :

Thank you for using JA! Please click "Accept".

Customer:

This is a case for custody, that involves my adopted daughter, and her son, and the letter she had asked me to write, was being a witness countless times, when his dad was supposed to pick him up for the weekend, and having him not show up at all, my grandson was heartbroken, every time, and of course he was, it was his dad. So, letters to that effect, and if she had a lawyer, he could look them over, and present them in court, but the fact is, she does not have a lawyer, she cannot afford one, is there any way that she could have someone represent her? and if not, when she goes before the judge, and it is her time to speak, is that when she would tell the judge that she had letters from people that had some concerns of what they had witnessed in the past, when it came to her son?

JerrySJD :

Exactly. If they speak with a counsellor before seeing the lawyer, she should show them then too. She can say she wants the judge to see the letter because they are highly relevant to his consideration regarding custody.

Customer:

this is not the first time they have gone to court regarding custody, the first time, she had initiated it, and was granted sole physical custody, with the dad specified visitation. But before they went before the judge, they were sent to mediation, to try to resolve the issues, could not, and went on to have the judge, "manage their relationship". Now he is initiating it, because he is not wanting to pay child support to her anymore, it's not going to do him any good, but, still, she will have to be there, and cannot afford a lawyer, is there a way for her to get someone, like a public defender, to appear with her?

JerrySJD :

Public defenders are usually only available if there is jail time involved. Right now she has custody. Unless there has been a substantial change in circumstances, it will be very difficult to change the order. Changing primary residence is very tough, particularly when the child or childen are with the mother. Court is an scary experience, admittedly, but she may have to appear on her own if she cannot afford an attorney. If something has changed (move to a bad place, abuse, etc.), then he many have something, but short of that, just trying to get out of child support will not get him far.

JerrySJD :

Has anything changed since the original order issued?

Customer:

yes, it has, she is now in another relationship, has recently had another child, which would be her third child, the second child is the product of a second relationship, that had ended in divorce, the most recent relationship that she is in now, is, if the term is still used, "inter-racial" but would be relevent, because the childs father, has an issue with them residing on the reservation. As far as I am concerned, both of the parents are in living situations, that would be questionable in regards XXXXX XXXXX childs well being, the father, is 31 years old, and still lives at home with his mom, doesn't have a job, has some legal issues, dui's, marijuana charges, etc. The mom's new partner is employed, is a member of his tribal council, is actively involved with not only his children, but many of the others from his tribe, he has no charges through the court. The mother is off on leave from her job as human resources, because she just had a child. Because they stay on the reservation, which is not one of the better places for anyone to be, native or white, living on a native reservation, is like living in a whole different world, but as long as you understand that, and involve yourself and your children with the positive there is to offer, it can be an enriching lifestyle. But if you don't know the ways, which are alot of the time, pretty damned scary for someone that has not lived it, and that is the issue for the father.

JerrySJD :

Main thing is that she has a safe and stable home with a mature and responsible partner. That will carry the day. She is doing well and has a place for the child. On the other side of the ledger is the father with drugs, dui and living with his mother. You can hammer that home to the judge and the social worker. Where are the best interests of the children served? With your daughter as primary custodial parent. He just doesn't want to pay child suppport.

JerrySJD, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 821
Experience: Divorce, child custody, support, mediation, alimony
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