Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).