Good Day! I'm a Family Law expert here at JA and will do my best to assist you. Please remember, though, I can only provide general information. I am very sorry to hear of this. When was the last court order re: custody and visitation?
trial custody was for 1 year, order went into effect june 4 2013
So this is a rather recent order. Was the step brother living at the custodial home when the order was made?
she now says she is very uncomfortable with him.
she will not go into details
I see. Generally that is not a good sign. Has any therapists/counselors been involved?
not that I am aware of
We have been in the past through the sexual abuse clinic d/t physical signs when she came back from visitation there several years ago. However, this custody change was her prference at the time
hence I did not contest it. Now she does not wiosh to return there
OK. Well, a court order is effective until it expires by its terms, or another superseding order is entered. If the child is in danger, the proper authorities should be consulted - if a social worker is being unresponsive, a supervisor should be requested. As for the court order, that would need to be modified in order to prevent reprecussions (contempt, accusations of parental alienation, etc). If there is an emergency situation, the party can request an expedited hearing. It would help if the child was seen by a therapist, as the therapist could sign a declaration/affidavit stating that the child is emotionally unable to return to the custodial home.
The expedited hearing is for emergencies. If the child is able to express her reluctance, it is possible to get a temporary order changing custody, pending an actual hearing.
my lawyer here got annoyed and told me to call a cop and have him document that she was unwilling to get into the car to return there. can her father have me picked up for contempt of court order if she dos so?
The father can bring contempt charges; but generally there is a hearing and the court will determine if a contempt citation should be issued. However, if the daughter is refusing to go into the car, it is best to have this documented by having an officer issue a report that the noncustodial parent is having difficulties getting the child to return to the custodial home.
can he force her into the car?
Did your lawyer suggest a modification based on this?
lawyer is not much help at all.
He can request the officer to instruct her to go with him. But if the officer senses underlying issues, given her age he may suggest to the father that he let the girl have a night to cool off. If the officer explores the issue enough, he may suggest that the 19 year old stay at a friend's house for the evening.
what if she refuses? she was very adamant this past weekend she did not want to go back...
That's where the documentation comes in - so the contempt charge can be contested. A contempt charge won't be issued if a person is unable to comply with a court order (i.e. a debtor can't be held in contempt if they have no money).
I can't do anything to help her if I am in jail for not making her go...
We cross posted. Were you able to review my post above?
yes I can see it. Chances are he will be on the phone to his lawyer before he clears my driveway. How long does it take the proverbial poop to hit the fan after this happens? What does the court do? Will they make her return? And how can I best help her get out of a situation she is not comfortable in?
Will the court regard her refusal as akin to running away?
If the judge thinks, based on the papers filed, this is an emergency situation, it can be a few hours. Typically, if it is deemed not an emergency, but urgent, there will be an order shortening time, so anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks (depending on the docket, the severity of the issue etc). If it is deemed not an emergency then 4-6 weeks. No, I have never seen them deem it a runaway; the court usually listens to the preference of teens, and as long as she is reasonable (versus "Dad's too strict") they will listen to the teen.
It may be worthwhile to get her in ASAP to a therapist, so there is further documentation re: her refusal to return, and the reason why.
You mentioned your attorney is not of great value. You may want to consider finding another attorney. If she is only 13, there are a few years left where issues may pop up.
I am a foster parent, and she has all the classic signs they teach us to watch for, for sexual abuse, big shapeless clothes, refusal to undress, sleeping in clothes etc. But she won;t say a word, said he does not touch her inappropriately.
Money is an issue with a lawyer.
Under those circumstances, I would strongly urge you to get in to a therapist - perhaps you meeting with the therapist to summarize your observations. (therapists have different ground rules on this). But yes, those signs would concern me.
Have you looked for any legal aid from the county? or since you are a foster parent, perhaps your social worker would be able to recommend an attorney that is reasonably priced.
you know, I never even thought of asking her, thanks you :) She may know someone my daughetr could speak with as well.
You're welcome! And there may even be a county "behavioral health" specialist that would not charge.
And county therapists are well aware of the signs, so that would be a good thing.
Lol, you are not local :) is not much county anything in rural ND
But I can contact the lady she saw for about a year before, she prob can recommend someone here (I have moved since she used to seer a therpaist
*See a therapist
That would be good, as she would have the established relationship and would probably open up quicker.
So basically my ex will file a contempt charge, but if the cop documents that she would not go of her own accord chances are not much will happen. meanwhile I can try and get her in to see a therapist and see if they can give valid reason why she should not have to return to that household. Am I understanding correctly?
where does my daughter stay while all this is going on? am I realize you are giving me probablilities...
Yes, that is correct. You can also ask your attorney to write a letter and send via fax to ex (or attorney) as to the circumstances, and requesting that the adult male temporarily move out until the matter resolves.
The court would likely make a temporary custody order - generally the other parent is given priority.
other parent being myself?
or other parent, since yu are taking to me, to him?
Sorry- Yes, the noncustodial parent.
if she sticks to her story that nothing has happened there, will they make her return?
she sdats things like he's mean, and she will say she's afraid of him, and then turn around 10 minutes later and say she is not
That would totally depend. Generally, if a teen does a blanket refusal and won't provide detail, the court will order counseling. Then the court will often "rubberstamp" the counselor's recommendation. It is possible that they request an evaluation of any adults that will be in her presence also.
The therapist (a good one) can be quite amazing at what they can get kids to reveal. I don't know their techniques, but I know they can often get results.
my ex could convince you your grandam sucks eggs. he lies frequently, but does it so smoothly you want to believe him even when you know better
so where does she stay durting counseling?
am soory, am not a good typist during normal hours, much less middle of the night
temp. order, yuou already told me, i zoned it
I understand. Normally there would be a temporary order, and generally she would stay with the noncustodial parent. If this is not possible, then a close relative. They try to find an arrangement that is most consistent with what she's used to. Oh, just saw your last response but I'll post this because it has some more detail.
temp orders last for how long? till x time or till x results or data is gathered or?
The court will set a timeline - for example, say they think 4 therapy sessions should be ample time to get a report- they may order therapy 2x/week, with a court hearing to follow up in 2 weeks.
I do live about 100 miles away from him, so diff school etc
Oh, that's going to be difficult. They may do a homestudy program if it's only going to be temporary, or up in the air for a few weeks.
so timeline s completely at judge's discretion?
Yes, but they generally want to resolve these issues ASAP as that is best for the child.
If the therapist needs more time, the judge will generally allow a continuance, as this is good cause.
Yes, the judge is there to make sure proper decisions are being made. And while they don't want the child in limbo forever, they do want a concrete plan, as stability is important.
ok, I think you have answered my original question plus many more :) Thank you :)
You are very welcome. I try to give as much info as possible, particularly when a child is involved. I wish you the best on this, as I'm sure it is distressing. Take care.
you too, and thank you again :) I will give you an excellent, you were very helpful in explaining everything that my physically here lawyer left vague...
Oh, thanks- very kind of you! And I would still encourage you to find an attorney that responds to your concerns, but I know the bill can get out of control.
first round was 46000 for divorce and custody hearing..,. lawyer was fabulous, but could not afford him again...I may die of old age before I get that paid off lol. I will continue to look.
Good luck on that - I know there are a lot of attorneys that are more in it for the money and don't do right by their client, but somehow manage to look at themselves in the mirror. I hope you find someone good, and affordable!
here as well :) Good night, and thanks
Night. You are welcome.
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