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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27660
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Temporary hearing custody revealed mother took

Customer Question

Temporary hearing for child custody revealed mother took child out of state with the child and has denied visitation with the father since that time. She did not give proper notice that she was intending of relocating and did so after the standing court order not to remove the child. The judge did not act on this but said he needed more information and appointed a Guardian ad Litem. Will this help my chances at the final hearing that she violated the court order? Can the GAL make necessary changes to the temporary order to give me custody?We were not married however ligitimation has been established. She has only let me see my daughter 18 hours in the last 2 months. I have been heavily involved in our daughters life since the day she was born.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Her proposed parenting plan was ludicrous in that it only allowed me 28 days out of the year with my daughter and only in her new state. Her holiday visitation schedule called for me to get her for Xmas for 3 days 30 DEC - 1 JAN.I am financially stable, own the house our 14 month was raised in this far and have been an active parent providing primary care on days my ex fiancée worked and vice versa.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Her alienation of the child from my family and I is appalling considering we have been so involved and her family hasn't been. The best interest for the child would be to continue living in this environment rather than her new state which doesn't provide the same support.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened. The court has discretion to punish the mother for moving out of state without permission and violating the order, but that doesn't necessarily mean she'll lose custody. It could mean that she has to pay for you to go visit them at their new home, or that you get to keep your child for a bit longer than usual before reverting to a set parenting plan. You can certainly make the request, but at the end of the day, the final custody decision is going to depend on what is in the best interests of the child, which requires considering multiple factors. The fact that she tried to deprive you of custody by moving away is only one of them. How old is your daughter? Is she in school?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Actually, I see that you posted her age as I was typing my questions. Sorry about that.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She is 14 months old, and my parents were primary care givers Monday-Friday 7am-5pm while we worked. The schools are much better here in GA than in ID as well as potential job market for the mother.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
28 days a year for a small child who is not yet in school, only at the mother's home, is probably not reasonable. You can ask the judge to order that the child be allowed to go back and forth between homes. The mother could be ordered to fly with the child to Georgia for your visitation, or the two of you could share flying duties until your child is old enough to fly alone. Alternatively, a grandparent could go with if that works better with your work schedules. The judge wants to know about your respective living situations. The fact that you have other family nearby to provide a support system (and daycare from someone who isn't a stranger) helps you. So does the quality of the schools and your living situation. The judge can't consider whether the move was best for the MOTHER. The move has to have been best for the child.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
The GAL doesn't change the order personally, but they talk to everyone involved to find the best outcome for the child and make a recommendation to the judge. The judge tends to put a lot of weight on the GAL's recommendation.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Will the GAL look into her troubled past and childhood that could explain this emotional collapse? Her mother died when she was 6 and her father kicked her out of the house at 14. She has bounced around houses growing up from friends to aunts and uncles. She is in the military and therefore isn't A beleaguered stay at home mom.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Yes, they will. They're allowed to consider all relevant factors, and a parent's emotional fitness to raise a child is part of that. If she has ongoing issues that are still affecting her now, that's relevant. Being in the military and moving frequently could also be relevant, since you're able to provide a stable home. You can't necessarily be expected to travel all over the world to visit your child because the mother gets move around.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Agreed however she calms her family support system is in her new state which are just her siblings all of which have checkered past with the law. Her earning potential in the new state is severely limited therefore impacting the child and now having to put the child in daycare rather than with family.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She has made it a real pain just to even get FaceTime or pictures sent of my daughter. I have asked for full custody however I realize the fact she needs us both in her life and showed that with a 3/4 schedule or week on week off. Hers allowed for the bare minimum of a weekend a month only at her house. She also now states she can only make minimum wage after having tax returns of $80k the last 5 years.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She has also denied me visitation for Father's Day.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Will this controlling nature stand out to the GAL and Judge? I realize I am fighting an uphill battle as I am the father howeve I am not a one weekend a month kind of parent. I have always been involved from changing, feeding and etc. now she is blocking me from anything.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
That's all going to count against her. And you being willing to work with her to share the child counts in your favor. As a matter of public policy, a child benefits from having a relationship with BOTH parents when possible. Courts are not allowed to prefer a mother over a father because of her gender. You have equal rights.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
If the GAL sees that the current situation is not in the best interest of the child can she make a motion to change the temporary order?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
You can tell the GAL about the pasts of all the siblings who live near the mother where she is now and ask that it be considered if she's claiming she needed to move because of her support system.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Yes my attorneys will provide her with all of the police records and the fact that she is living in an overcrowded apartment when my daughter and I have a 2800sq ft house and she has the very best available to her.The mother I think has had an emotional collapse and I have it documented in writing that she states she is experiencing post-partum and deep rooted childhood issues.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What I worry is her establishing a precedence with my daughter in the new state even though she has done so violating the standing order.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
That's so sad. I hope the GAL understand what's happening and restores your custody, at least until the mother can get help.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I heard though that it is very hard to prove mental instability without a clinical psychologist, can the GAL ask for one to be appointed? I am more than willing to take a psychological eval for for for parenting however I do not think the mother would be willing
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
The GAL can ask that she be required to submit for psychological testing or be denied custody/visitation until she does it.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Will this time that her mother has with her be used against me for establishing the status quo which I hear usually judges do not want to change?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
You can argue that it shouldn't, since she violate a court order in doing it. Judges typically don't like to set a precedent of rewarding people for contempt of court. They don't want other people to read about your case and think they can do the same thing.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
In the event that I do not get custody for whatever bias towards me being male. If I decide to then move to ID and reside within 25 miles of the mother should I then be able to at least get 50/50 custody?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The mothers case is severely hurt by the endless emails and hallmark cards stating how great of a father I am, how much I love my daughter, how I put my daughter first all of which I have been entered as evidence.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
The judge would have to do a whole new analysis based on what is in the child's best interests. There's really no way to answer that without knowing what he's going to say in this case and why. If he winds up giving the mother custody only because she lives too far away to do 50/50, then you might have a chance, but you'd actually be better off filing a motion first, explaining your plans to the judge and asking for an order before you spend the time and money to move.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
That's good. Show all of that to the GAL, too.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I just hate for a judge to be swayed by the mother because she is female, however not your typical housewife in that she is military and very strong minded and can hold her own but now she plays the beleaguered mom
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My parents who are retired would move as well in order to get 50/50 custody. Yes I would def file the motion first to ensure I wouldn't get that before I moved
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Legally, they are not allowed to be swayed because she's female. You hear a lot about how courts favor the mother, but that's usually because the mother winds up being the primary caregiver and courts ARE allowed to consider who the primary caregiver is. But it doesn't help you to walk in thinking you're going to lose just because you're the father. I hope moving doesn't become necessary. Good luck.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
But since she is not school age isn't month on month off a feasible solution?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
It is if you can afford to travel back and forth each month.