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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28087
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Can an approved home study that has negative contents be

Customer Question

Can an approved home study that has negative contents be used against you. In a custody hearing
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Generally, the information that's in a negative home study could be used against a person in a later custody hearing, if the person who made the report comes to court to testify as to what they personally observed during the home visit and it available for cross-examination. A party could object to having the report entered into evidence without the testimony of the person who made it, both because the report cannot be authenticated and because the information contained within it would be primarily hearsay. The party who wants to enter the report would then need to establish an applicable hearsay exception (likely the business records exception, but someone still needs to authenticate it).

The parent against whom the report is entered would also be able to explain any negative information in the report and how things have changed when he or she takes the stand.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The home study was done when my Husband and I started the Adoption of my Granddsughter who is my biological granddaughter . No relationship to my husband other then adoption.Back in 2012. All history is 20 years old . The home study was approved and we finalized the adoption t he beginning of the year. My soon to be ex was aware of my past . Now we are getting divorced and he is using it against even though in Twenty plus years my life has been a completely different
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You can try to argue that it's not relevant, then. But you'll also be able to explain how your circumstances have changed in the past 20 years. Judges like to give people second chances, and your current situation with this child is going to be more important than something that happened 20 years ago, especially if you've changed since that happened (and the home study ultimately didn't even stop you from getting custody at the time).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My ex kicked me out with my granddaughter 2 months ago . For 3 weeks I loved on a friends couch with her . I realized he wasn't going to help us . My sister in Texas offered to help us , I got an Apartment , got her in school. A job . My ex gave me all her thing . Then a month later he wants custody. He lied and used this study . When in honest I know it's about the money. Im scared this is my son daughter I love her . Would a judge take her away .
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do I have any hope. M heart is broken. Also she has a half brother in text . My daughter and their kids live there and sh has been attached to since I got her from Montana
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Half brother in Tx.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I'm very sorry to hear that this happened.

A judge is not likely to take away custody based solely on a 20-year-old report made with reference to another child. He has to consider all relevant facts, including your relationship with the child and ability to provide a caring home.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dose the judge take into consideration that I'm her natural grandmother. How will he feel about me moving to Texas. 3 weeks after he kicked us out . I was working but I had no where to go my income wa limited due to cover health insurance for my Family as he was fired from his job . My daughter who granddaughter loved was already there . Along with half brother.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

If your husband adopted her, then it doesn't make any difference that he's not biologically related to her. Adoptive relatives have the same rights as natural relatives.

The fact that you had to move after being kicked out with nowhere else to go shouldn't count against you, especially if you've made efforts to contact the child after leaving.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You would need permission from the judge to move to Texas with the child, so if you're planning to STAY there, that could count against you. You'd have to be able to convince the judge that it's best or the child to also move to Texas. Being near her other family might help.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I ran into a mutual friend of my ex and I and my ex is telling everyone his lawyer said to prepare to possible bring her home tomorrow. Because of the negative stuff in the study . This devastated me should I be worried or is this just gossip
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

It's possible that he's planning to go to court on an emergency hearing for temporary custody. There unfortunately isn't any way to stop him from doing that, and you won't know until after it's over. He'd have to be able to show that the child is in current danger, though, and I don't know that a 20-year-old report says that. But that's only a temporary order, and you'd still be able to go to court for the final hearing and explain why you should have primary custody going forward.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It an ex parte order to show cause
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, he can do that. It's a temporary order. You should be prepared for the possibility that the judge might grant the order since you won't be there to tell your side of the story. But you should also remember that temporary orders can be changed later.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

It might be in your best interests to look for a local attorney who can help you with this. You're at a disadvantage if he has a lawyer and you don't.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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