My son has a situation that is rapidly getting out of hand because of professional negligence. The p.d. is not investigating to start with. The local cps told him the case would be closed within 30 days and its been almost 60 and he can't get any answers from them. (last time he talked to them they said they hadn't even looked at it yet!) His lawyer told him "give me x amount of money and I'll make this go away" and its been 6 wks and the only thing thats gone away is the lawyer. He rarely calls back and when he does he has no new information. And a local police officer told us the other day that it was ok if a mother slapped her 3 yr. old across the face hard enough to make him fall down (this happened in public with witnesses).. Its just been incompetence upon incompetence it seems like and we don't have tons of money to throw at this. We borrowed to pay this laywer. We are overwhelmed and in need of some answers. Can you help us?
Can you tell me what state your son and the mother and child are located in? (and if they are in different counties, please let me know where).
Are your son and the mother still a couple?
Is /was your son's desire to get custody?
they are both located in the same town in TX. They never were married. They did live together for a while but have been apart for about a year. He did not pursue custody and does pay his child support regularly and see his child regularly. He may pursue custody after this because it appears the mother is goin to keep coming at him over and over. She is a woman scorned and out for revenge. Its bad enough he has also talked about relenquishin his rights. It appears she will not be satisfied until he is in prison.
He needs to get into the family court and apply for custody of his child against her in this matter and his paperwork should ask for liberal visitation rights in the alternative of the court not granting custody. If his lawyer has taken his money and not suggested starting a case like this and has not done anything for him then he should request a refund of the legal fees or demand that the lawyer get to work on his case and file the appropriate forms for your son to get custody rights (or at the very least court ordered visitation -- because if it is court ordered it is harder for the mom to play games with him because she can be hit with a contempt of court charge(s)). My first suggestion here is that he try to get the lawyer back in the loop -- contact the lawyer by certified letter and tell him that he would either like a refund of most of the money paid to the lawyer or he wants to immediately proceed with a petition for custody with the family court in the county where the mother resides with his son. If the lawyer does not respond again, then your son should contact the Texas state bar (the agency that licenses lawyers) and file a complaint for ineffective representation and ask the board for their assistance in getting some of the legal fees refunded to him based upon the fact that the lawyer did nothing for him under these circumstances. Here is an internet link to the Texas bar for assistance with attorney complaints: http://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Complaints_Against_Your_Lawyer
While that is happening, your son can go to the county family court and ask for the forms for custody / visitation at the clerk's office. If he needs assistance to complete the terms he should contact the nearest county law library and ask to get an appointment the reference attorney available at all of the county law libraries. You can find the law library either on line or by telephoning information for the number. Once he gets in front of the judge he can bring up all of these matters and ask that you court should contact child protective services to investigate these matters and/or he can also ask the judge to appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) -- who will investigate both parents -- parenting skills, living arrangements, talk with his son's counselors and teachers and doctors and then the GAL will make a custody recommendation to the Judge (also visitation recommendations with a schedule if he is going to get visitation and not custody initially until the court investigates this thoroughly). So, your son has a lot of legwork if he wants to handle this himself, but I do have one final suggestion -- he should not relinquish his rights -- because the judge may let him do that but then he will still have to pay child support -- and that is not a good situation (he will have none of the benefits and joy of being a part of his child's life, but all of the aggravation of having her hound him for the child support payments anyway).
I hope this helps. Good Luck.
He has visitation rights at this time. He agreed to give them up temp. to the police dept. in lieu of a bogus investigation that we were sure would be over with in just a week or two. But until cps completes the case, he can't see his child. And like I stated, cps after almost 2 months is tellin him that they haven't even looked at the case. How long can cps legally keep him hanging like that? And the incident where the mother slapped the child is a completely different incident to which the local p.d. won't even investigate. They said it was legal for a mother to slap her toddler child on the face. I appreciate the help so far but how is he to file for custody if they continue to open cases against him and won't investigate the mother?
He should seek custody now even though there is an "open" cps case and that will force cps to get working on it and finish this up and perhaps at least get him some visitation in these matters. The judge will not hang around and wait for CPS like the rest of the world -- he will give some leniency but it will get moving. Your son should ask for the guardian ad litem (GAL) in this case also -- because he will get another opinion on top of what cps is doing that shows that anything that he is doing is correct and moving towards a healthy relationship with his child. I wish I had a magic wand to roll everything up for you here but it simply does not exist.
just to let you know...cps finally dropped their case. The rest is still up before a grand jury but I don't see that goin anywhere since cps dropped their end of it. Hopefully this will be over very soon. It has been almost 3 months since my son has seen his child as well as the rest of the family. We did try to contact the mother for some visits but she did not even respond to our calls/texts. But do you mind if I ask before I accept your answer and end this....we think he should not only report his lawyer (he did not even know it had gone before the grand jury....) but hire a good lawyer and sue the mother for false claims, child endangerment, custody, malicious intent..anything he can get her on at this point. What do you think?
Actually -- I was surprised that you had not accepted sooner and I would appreciate it if you would do so. You can report his lawyer -- however, suing the mother may backfire and make him look like a bully (especially if she has no money to pay anything). If suing might get him visitation a little sooner than I suppose it is a good strategy point -- but the mothers always get a lot of sympathy in these situations.
15 years exp all aspects of general law
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