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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17462
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I am in the middle of a child custody case, currently

Customer Question

I am in the middle of a child custody case, currently pending mediation. In the middle of sorting out details for a Final Order, giving both parents getting joint managing conservators with exact 50/50 time during the weeks, and I will be the primary- designating the county we will be geographically restricted to. I am the biological father of my 3 year old daughter.My ex impulsively abandoned me and my child on April 5th, leaving us solely responsible for all the bills and child care. My ex stopped paying for the child care we had, and inadvertently un-enrolled her from the care due to this. My ex has no family here in the State of Texas. She originally wanted to take our daughter with her to "a friend's house" on April 5th, but would not tell me an address or show me the inside of the domicile to prove it was suitable for our child or in case of an emergency. Later, she admitted there was no place for our daughter where she was going, therefore admitting she didn't prepare for the well-being of our daughter (I have a voice recording of her saying this). I didn't feel comfortable about not knowing an address, so I decided to go to my mother's house with our daughter for the evening to cool off on April 5th. When I came back to my home in the middle of the night, I discovered we had been abandoned because my ex had taken off with someone despite not having a car. She hasn't come home ever since, and has only shown trickles of communication through text message, being very hostile and aggressive. For the first few days, I begged her to come back home multiple times so that we could try to work this out, go to counseling together, and try to salvage what we have left. She has no desire to do any of this, she has made it very clear that we are done, and that she doesn't love me anymore.She is being ruthless behind her case, frivolously claiming that she is afraid of me and the idea of me having our daughter, however she has already stated in a text message conversation (I have screenshots) that she is not afraid of those things. As well, she obviously abandoned her daughter with me in the first place. She is also claiming that I have been emotionally abusive in the relationship, as well as physically abusive, but has no proof of either claim. In fact, I have proof that she has tried to manipulate our babysitter into writing a favorable statement for her case regarding a claim for physical harm, in which the babysitter responded "I will write exactly what I saw" twice.My ex has not shown any interest in the well-being of our daughter throughout this entire time- not asking how her daughter is doing, not asking if we need anything, etc.My ex has a history of heavy marijuana abuse- smoking about every 2 hours. The problem is- she has taken a urinalysis as well as a hair follicle test and passed both without any detection whatsoever, and I'm appalled. I have reason to believe she has tampered with her hair enough (multiple bleaching and dying back to original color, red) to pass this test, so I wanted to inquire about how I can go about requesting a fingernail test as soon as possible.My ex's attorney set up a Rule 11 agreement (due to having 2 passing drug tests) to establish a complete 50/50 schedule between the both of us for our daughter. I was extremely hesitant to agree to the Rule 11 due to my certainty about her tampering with her hair for the drug test, but my attorney advised me that even despite that, I should agree to it so that my daughter can see her mother. My attorney said that I still have peace of mind from the Standing Order that was served by the court (cannot hide or secret the child from the other party), and that if she does not abide by the Rule 11 agreement, it will look bad on her in court. I expressed multiple concerns about the situation, including how many proven lies my ex has told, as well as her instability and impulsiveness, yet my attorney still advised me that agreeing to the Rule 11 would be a good idea. So I felt inclined to agree. I felt very rushed into making the decision. It was 4PM when I heard about the Rule 11, and I was supposed to drop her off with her mother at 8PM that same evening. Something just didn't feel right about the situation. I feel as though my attorney thinks I am lying about my claims of her marijuana abuse, due to the two passing drug tests, and despite my certainty that she tampered with her hair to pass.I dropped my daughter off at the place my ex is staying on 4/20 at 8PM, and I am scheduled to pick her back up 4/22 at 8PM. I am very apprehensive that when I show up at 8PM, she may withhold my daughter from me.Can you please advise to the best of your ability how I should proceed in this situation?Please advise on all fronts... Thank you...
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 months ago.
You should persuade your Attorney to file Motion for the fingernail test. If she is tampering with the hair follicle test, the fingernail test would expose her. If she is abusing drugs, your daughter is not safe with her and you should be given 100% custody. As for the pick-up, if you arrive at the appointed time and she refuses to surrender the child to you, you should immediately contact the Police to assist you in getting your child back. You should also inform your Attorney about what happened so that the Attorney can file Motion to rescind the agreement. When you go for the pick-up, make sure that you have a copy of the agreement with you so that you would be ready to show the agreement to the Police. Kindly give a positive rating to my response so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for doing this. Thank you for your cooperation.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
How quickly do you think she will have to do the fingernail test?Even though the Rule 11 agreement is not court ordered, the police will still assist me?Do you think I should take this case to court if the mediation doesn't pan out fairly for me?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
...and do you have any other advisement for me?...
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 months ago.
How quickly do you think she will have to do the fingernail test? Response 1: This would depend on variety of factors: how quickly the Motion is filed with the Court, how quickly the Court would hear and make decision on the Motion, how quickly the drug testing lab would conduct the test based on their case load.Even though the Rule 11 agreement is not court ordered, the police will still assist me? Response 2: Yes, the may assist if they want to or may tell you to go back to Court. Do you think I should take this case to court if the mediation doesn't pan out fairly for me? Response 3: Yes. If you do not agree to the mediated settlement, there is no law that forces you to accept it. You can take your case to the front of the Judge.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I don't feel as though I am being properly represented or advised by my attorney, would you agree?I don't feel as though this case is going very well for me, would you agree?What can I do to try and get this case going fairly for me again, other than the fingernail test?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 months ago.
I don't feel as though I am being properly represented or advised by my attorney, would you agree? Response 1: I really cannot come to that conclusion based on your post here. I am not privy to all the discussions that you have had with your Attorney or the documents filed with the Court. However, if you do not feel that your Attorney has been zealously advocating for your interest, you need to sit down with your Attorney to address your concerns and if your Attorney disagree with your assessment of the case, you may retain the services of another Attorney.I don't feel as though this case is going very well for me, would you agree? Response 2: No, I do not agree. So, far what you have is still "Rule 11 agreement" and potential Final Order giving you 50/50 custody with you being the primary-designating parent. It could have been worst. What can I do to try and get this case going fairly for me again, other than the fingernail test? Response 3: You need to tell your Attorney of what your concerns are and how you see the case going and work with your Attorney to plot your strategy. However, if you think that you and your Attorney are not on the same page, then you have every right to replace the Attorney and work with someone who sees the case the same way that you do.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Considering all of the evidence I have, and if I am able to expose her tampering with the hair test, do you think I should have to pay any child support at all in the outcome of the final order? Please keep in mind I make $24/hr and my ex makes $12/hr
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 months ago.
If the Court grants you 100% custody, you would not be charged with child support. Otherwise, you would be. Kindly give a positive rating to my response so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for doing this. Thank you for your cooperation.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
If I am able to expose her tampering with the test, do you think she still has any chance at getting 50% custody? I would find it hard to believe the court would do anything in her favor at all... But we are in the state of Texas where women are nearly invincible in these cases...
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Additionally, can she be charged with anything for tampering with her hair test if she is exposed by the fingernail test?

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