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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 114713
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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My ex wife left our then 9 year old daughter at a community

Customer Question

My ex wife left our then 9 year old daughter at a community center alone on three separate weekends while she worked. I was deployed and voluntarily doubled child support to cover any needs like baby sitting. She decided to pocket the money instead of using it. I have been trying to get other issues resolved by requesting family counseling. However, it has failed. Can I still claim abandonment after three years?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

I am afraid that if you did not raise this issue immediately upon your return and file in court abandonment 3 years later based on 3 weekends at the community center is not going to be a valid claim. However, it can be used to prove she is unfit as part of a motion by you to change/modify custody to seek to get custody of your daughter away from her. You can use the proof she is not properly caring for or supervising the child as your good cause reason for why custody should be changed. Even though it is not abandonment, it is proof that she does not properly care for the child.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
changing custody is my goal at this point. There are also other issues such as insulting, yelling and anger outbursts. My daughter now needs medication for anxiety issues with mom and is refusing to go to moms for visitations. We have 50/50 joint timesharing. I tried to get it resolved but Mom refuses to cooperate. I asked for and was granted a Guardian Ad Litem for my daughter and reported it to her to investigate. However, I don't know if it is better if I deposition the witnesses myself or let the GAL do it for me.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

So that incident 3 years ago would just be a part of your evidence as why the custody needs to be changed. Here refusal to cooperate and her behavior would all be used against her as your evidence to prove that you having custody alone would be best for the child.

You are better having your attorney deposition the witness, a pro bono deposition does not usually turn out the best. As far as the GAL, it can be a coin toss, because these GAL many times operate on a bias they develop for one parent or the other and if for any reason this GAL is against you, then letting that GAL do the deposition would be a disaster and one sided.