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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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My granddaughters ex husband lied in court during the divorce

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My granddaughters ex husband lied in court during the divorce hearing and said he didn't know where my granddaughter was, when he took her to the hospital before the hearing, and thus he got sole custody of my great granddaughter. What can be done about this?
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Who had the gran-daughter at the time of the hearing? Why did he get sole custody, simply stating that is not enough--could you provide me a bit more of the back-story here?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My granddaughter married her husband Feb 14, 2012 . In July he told her he would get a divorce. He the told her to forget it and they would try and work it out, and she should throw the papers away. I should tell you she got pregnant by him and when he found out he left from Wi to W V . He then found out he would have to pay child support so he conned my Granddaughter, Jordana, into coming to WV and then getting married. When the papers for the divorce date were sent out he had them sent to his mothers , so Jordana wouldn't know about them. In court he lied and said he didn't know where Jordana was, when he had taken her to the hospital, and also said he had lived the previous year in WV when in actuality he had lived with me and my husband for 3 months and even had his Ss checks transferred to our address.
Thank you for your follow-up, Judy. I appreciate the additional detail as taht really helps me understand as to what is going on.

Ahh, I see, so he was able to get a 'default divorce' by claiming she wasn't around. And based on that he was able to seek a custodial split in his favor when he filed. Did you obtain a copy of the papers he sent addressed to her, or you have nothing on record?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I don't have a copy and don't believe that my granddaughter does either.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I do have a copy of the divorce papers though.

Is it possible for you to obtain those documents? I can try to answer without t but then my response to you may not be exactly on point, so I am concerned that the information may not be quite as useful as needed. Please advise!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The only thing that I know is that they were sent to his mothers address and Jordana never recieved them. The only thing he wants his daughter for is extra money for food stamps, welfare, and not to have to pay child support. His mother has the child a lot as he doesn't want the responsibility. The divorce papers also stated that Jordana should be paying child support, but she cannot as she has no job. I was negligent in informing you that he sent for her after the baby was 6 mo. Old so she went there and his ex wife beat Jordana for no reason, he took the child and said if she reported the incident he would kill her, the baby and her family. We went and picked her and the baby up but he had her totally brainwashed when he came back up and got her. I should also mention the he has multiple personality disorder and is bipolar and doen not take his meds. I am very afraid for my great granddaughter.

This is a most serious situation all around, and your additional information is very troubling. Ideally, what would you like to accomplish?

And, more importantly, you mentioned that she was 'brainwashed'--if you make any decisions, will you have to fight her, or is she going to make the decisions on her own?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
She will do anything do get her daughter back and so will my daughter and I. I had talked with an attorney here and she couldn't represent us as she is not licensed in WV. We also financed a van for the kids before when he lived in WI with us and promised to pay us and has not even tried. We found out he took a title loan out on the van. He didn't pay that either. We were now told by him that he sold the van and changed the vin numbers, but we will take care of that when in Wv when we go there the week os Sept 10

Thank you for your follow-up.

This is going to be a multi-step approach and something that you are free to double-check with your own attorney.

1. Th most pressing issue is to contest notice and lack of documentation provided to the grand-daughter. In cases of filing for divorce or for custody, the party has to file and serve at the last known address, which is what the petitioner must show to the judge. If your daughter can show that within those 6 months between when he filed for divorce and ended up obtaining it they were in some sort of contact (such as emails, chat, text, etc...), she can use that as grounds to show that he knew where she was and failed to properly notify, which grants her the right to reopen the divorce settlement agreement. It would not grant her the right to invalidate the divorce itself, but she could use that to set aside the conditions under which the divorce was granted, including the child custody element.

2. Then child custody would need to be addressed. Courts look to what they see as decisions based on the 'best interest' of the child. Your granddaughter would need to attack his fitness and show her own. Examples of factors that play a part may be a history of abuse or neglect, domestic violence, drug use, alcohol abuse, mental illness, criminality, moral turpitude, and the characteristics of housing for the child. The fact she was abused by him but never reported is arguably tough to bring up, but the other factors you listed as well as his outright lying would go to neglect and moral turpitude. That is the best way to attack the order and then have her request the right to relocate and be with family which would be likewise in the best interest of the child.

3. The other issues you brought up pertaining to theft or deception is a non issue here for now, she has to focus on setting aside the order and convincing the judge that he lied to the judge outright. Judges tend to hate that, and do tend to use that against the other party.

Good luck.

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