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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36753
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Good Morning. Our unwed da8ughter is currently in a custody

Resolved Question:

Good Morning.

Our unwed da8ughter is currently in a custody case for her daughter. The Ex Boyfriend is the father. He has no interest in raising his daugter as we have seen when he was here for 3 weeks. He is unclean, a pot head, and refuses to take any responsibility whatsoever.

Our daughter moved up to Oroville, WA (Okangan county)to be with him so that he can be with his daughter who is 27 months old. He comes from a very close knit family who do not like outsiders and hate our daughter because she "Is not one of them".

This family covered up the accident he had while high on Marijuana and driving with their daughter while she was only a few months old. The baby was in a car seat without the base and he drove into a tree with her in the truck, flipping the vehicle and totaling the truck. Thankfully the car seat we had bought our daughter saved the baby who wound up on the floor. The accident was never reported however the father and the baby were taken to the hospital without a word to our daughter (mother). They refused to give her a ride to be with her own baby. She had no car at that point.

They have kidnapped the baby, lied to her concerning the child's whereabouts and refused to allow our daughter anywhere near the child until a friend went and got the baby from the drug house owned by the father's friend's father. Because the father of the baby filed first, the court granted custody to him.

He filed the custody papers on the grounds of neglect, but without his mother to guide him, he couldn't even answer why they were at court to begin with. Our daughter had to answer the judge's question as to why they were there.

The father has no interest in raising the child, but the mother does. The father has been seen by our daughter when she went to pick her daughter up for visitations, sleeping while his friend was passed out on the couch asleep. The child was running around the apartment unsupervised and unfed. She is basically rising herself. There was no access to food or drink and the father was up all night playing video games which causes him to sleep all day. He did the same thing while he was here, refusing to pay attention to his own daughter.

The father is 22. He has claimed to have a job at Gold Digger Apples at over $12.00 per hour. Yet he has not provided the child with diapers, wipes, pull ups, tried to potty train her, spent any time with her and consistently left her with his mother who lives in an unkempt and dilapidated mobile home with her drug addicted husband. Neither environment is suitable for the child, yet they are determined to keep her away from her mother at all costs. The mother is also defrauding the DSHS by claiming her parent's house as the main residence for her younger children.

Our daughter is 21. She has 2 jobs, a babysitter, and a place to stay. The child is well cared for and our daughter has affidavits and evidence proving that she is the sole provider for the child when she has her. The child is well cared for, has playmates and a loving mother who is trying to be sure her daughter will want for nothing. The child and our daughter are on my husband's Health Insurance provided by his employment through Allied Health Care. The father of the child has no insurance on her, choosing instead to have State provided insurance.

Up until yesterday, the father said he wanted to go to mediation. When our daughter repeatedly asked when he was willing to go, he kept coming up with excuses, effectively running out the clock. When asked if he wanted to spend time with his daughter, he repeatedly found reasons not to. When asked as recently as yesterday when he wanted to start the mediation process, he said he changed his mind and he was going to court. This sandbagged our daughter, leaving her completely unprepared with no paperwork done as she thought they were going to settle this through mediation.

Today was the hearing, and the judge granted a 2 week continuance so that she could file her paperwork properly. She cannot afford a lawyer and is thinking about asking for a court appointed lawyer.

If allowed to move, she could further her education and have access to free daycasre and housing. No bills allowing her to focus more on spending her money on her daughter and better job opportunities.

What advice can you give me to pass on to her. She is not the neglectful parent here. She does not deserve to lose custody of her daughter or be forced to stay in a very depressed location just because the father refuses to take responsibility for his own daughter. His mother has all of the supplies for the child at her house. The father has nothing, even though he makes enough to provide for her. The child was seen dirty, unsupervised and unfed under his care. Even his mother said to us "He makes a good big brother". Nothing was said about his making a good father.

Terri Kiley
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Terri,

Thank you for your question. I am genuinely sorry to hear that your daughter is in this situation. Before I respond I have to clarify that while I can provide you with 'legal information', I cannot provide you with legal advice as I am not your attorney and that would be against site rules. Would you like me to continue or are you seeking solely legal advice at this time?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Any advice pertaining to this case is welcome. I understand that you cannot represent her. Are you qualified to answer these concerns in Okanogan County, WA? I am just trying to clarify that this is where her custody case is being heard and I need to forward advice pertaining to their laws. I hope you understand.


 


Thank you.


 


Terri

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Terri,

I can answer these questions, but I cannot provide you with any advice pertaining to this case. I apologize but I have to be clear that not only am I not her attorney, I cannot provide legal advice. Please let me know if that is acceptable.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Will your answers help her? If I recall, you cannot represent her due to your differences in location. Am I correct? I want to help her, that is why I contacted Just Answer.


 

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up.

I believe that my answers can help. To best answer I will make a few assumptions here but if I am incorrect, please stop me and I will modify my response.

The courts tend to look to what they see as being 'in the best interest' of the child. That is based to a very large degree on the 'fitness' of the parents who are involved in raising the child. Elements of fitness or unfitness are evaluated based on conditions or factors such as whether the parties have a history of abuse or neglect, if anyone had a history of domestic violence, drug use, or alcohol abuse, whether anyone has a history of mental illness, criminality, moral turpitude, or if their premises are uninhabitable or unsafe for children. In your facts you brought a lot of questionable concerns and it would likely be in your daughter's best interest to focus on those factors of unfitness when she goes to court. She could, for example, claim and show neglect based on how the child is treated, that the child is not with the parent or that the child unkempt. If she has evidence she can bring up evidence of drug use and his past accident, which would also go toward neglect. The more unfit he appears, the more likely it is for her to state that it would be in the best interest of the child to be with her, and the courts agree by granting her custody. In essence she would need to objectively provide facts that would make the other parent appear dangerous or unfit, and if she is able to do so, her ability to obtain custody increases. Her letters of fitness would help her case as well.

Hope that helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The only evidence she has are cell phone pics, a recording on her cell phone of his stating that everything was at his mother's for the child (which she obtained without his permission or knowledge) and her own eye witness accounts.



She can get a Deputy out there to verify that the child was taken and hidden from her and that she reported the child as kidnapped by the father and kept at a known drug house.


 


Would it be helpful for her to take pictures of the apartment, it's supplies as well as the mother's current living arrangements as well as the grandparents' house where the mother fraudulently claims her own children are living even though they are not?


 


Would it be a good idea for her to go through a court appointed attorney?


 

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up.

Even those cell phone pics are potentially useful. By itself I honestly cannot tell you if that would be enough but every little bit of evidence can go toward showing the facts that would help your daughter. A court appointed attorney would be there to represent the child (I am assuming you are discussing a G.A.L. [Guardian Ad Litem]) who would really be there for the child's behalf more than your daughter's but if your daughter herself has no unfitness claims, that likely would be useful. Just be aware that the G.A.L. is out to do what is best of the child, not your daughter, and he may for whatever reason consider the other parent more fit--that is always a risk with court appointed counsel.

In terms of having the deputy testify, that would be extremely useful, as would the images and pictures of the current living arrangements where the child resides.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36753
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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