Good day, I need some direction please. I'll try to make it brief so please feel free to ask questions. Background: We live in Florida. I have a 2 year old girl with an ex-girlfriend of 13 years. We currently have a custody battle. The mother has a long history of violence and substance abuse. LAst year she was arrested of Domestic Violence against me while I was holding the baby. We had many arguments about her dealers coming to the house to sell drugs and doing them in front of the child, needless to mention, her circle of friends is less than desirable, and a great concern to me. I contacted Children protective Services to ask for guidance and they ended up opening a case. We have been separated ever since. Present: Matters have taken a deep dive recently and I am looking for advice. This particular concern began last week, when I called my daughter to wish her a good night (as a religiously do every night). A drunk man took the phone from her and started threatening me, telling me to go there so he would "cut me in 20 places", etc.. Concerned, not necessarily for me at that time, but for an angry drunk person next to my daughter. A few hours later I received a text from my ex, stating that the Police were looking for me. Initially I thought it was just another "game", but after 5-10 minutes or so, i decided to contact the sheriff and tell them about the text I received. A sheriff came to my house and explained that they reported looking through my ex's windows. I explained what happened earlier and that I had been home the entire time. I even showed him that the car engine was cool, therefore I hadn't used it in a while. He explained that they seemed drunk and that the department had a long history with him...and the sheriff went on his way. The following afternoon (Sunday) i went to see my daughter. When the door opened I saw a man in underwear move to another room. I decided it would be best to just play with my daughter outside. 5 minutes later, Law Enforcement showed up and asked me to leave. That evening, I got a Facebook invite from the man. (This is the first time I learned his name and have never met him before). Of course, I did not accept. He then sent me a picture on him and my ex in bed. Still refused to react. He then sent 2 messages stating that "he couldn't wait to see me again", etc... Still refused to react. Since then, many strange and scary things have occurred, including several restricted calls, seeing him drive near my job, and just last night, someone stealing my bike from my porch.I have reported every incident to the Sheriff's department. My understanding is that they have tried to find him to warn him, but have not been able to reach him. He wont return their calls either. They informed me that this man has a long history of Domestic Abuse (last being less than 6 months ago), resisting arrest, battery, DUI and other intoxication charges. Obviously, I am now extremely afraid not only for myself, but for my daughter being around this "whaco". So, finally, here are my questions: 1) What can I do to protect myself and my belongings? 2)What can I do to protect my daughter from being around him? 3)Since we are in a custody battle, someone suggested making a motion asking for a Guardian ad Litem or a court appointed person that may be able to investigate and intervene in situations like this. 4)Any other suggestions are HIGHLY welcome!!
I first got divorced in 2001, we agreed to joint custody of our two sons. In 2008 courts gave me sole custody of my youngest son who was 8 at the time and oldest son was 15. The reason was due to the "father's need to control petitioner and children:, the oldest son, being affected by his father's dysfunction, started high school at his fathers house since he has already been in trouble and started to adapt his dad's ways. My ex remarried, my oldest son dropped out of High School, now smokes pot and is married trying to raise a baby working at pizza parlor. My ex's step son had a paraphernalia charge, accp/pur alcohol minor charge, and theft charge, all while living with ex. My ex had my 16 yr old hand me a copy of petition on 6/27 and he walked out and went to his dad's crying his eyes out, he was torn. I have sole custody of my 16 year old. My son will be starting his junior year at high school and I dont feel it is in his best interest to change. He was on football team as well. my ex has known he has been skipping football practice and now he is practicing at his fathers' house 2 hours away. my ex promoted our son to sneak around and lie to his mother. nothing has been decided as of today. My ex never ever contacted me before or after this to discuss anything. my ex and his wife will do anything to undermine my authority. The judge even wrote in the sole custody papers that "father engages in his visitations out of control for mother and children" Will the judge take the history into account or just go by what child wants. he is 16 of course he wants to live where this is clearly no supervision. He says I yell at him too much because his tv is too loud and i want him to pick up after himself. The father has a history of game playing and if we go by the court documents this is my half of the summer but my son hasn't been returned home nor has my ex encouraged my son to come home. My ex has a history of manipulation and not doing what is best for the children. My son has a GPA of 3.68, was involved heavy in football, has lots of friends, etc. He thinks the "grass is greener" my oldest son got into fist fights with his dad and now cant even pay his bills due to having a dead end job and doing weed so cant pass drug test! What can I do to get him back home! Sheriff dept just told me to get attorney. Im just sick and heart broken and torn as to what to do. My ex is always warned but never reprimanded. He is in violation of current agreement by not sending my son home. My son said that dad will have an emergency order by the end of the week. I have heard nothing.
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.