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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 116785
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I was trying to help a person out that had no place to go

Customer Question

I was trying to help a person out that had no place to go after separating from her husband. She has 2 kids ages 20 months and 1 age 13 in December. After I had let them move into my residence free of charge to get them all a place to stay while the mother tried getting assistance for housing and food. After a few months of this arrangement The oldest child tells me how she wants to see her dad and that the mother pretty much took them when the dad was away at work and now she will not allow the father to have any contact with them. The girl being almost 13 seems honest and not one to make up storys had asked if I could help with locating her dad. Fast forward a bit, I found the dad on social media and grandmother, made contact with them so he knew where they was at. I have been allowing the girl to call her dad and communicate on the phone with him anytime she wants to. The parents have no legal separation papers nor any agreement as to child custody or visitation. I am seeing her mother drag the kids around from guy to guy looking for someone to take her and the kids in which really concerns me. I have spoke with the dad whom wants to be able to see his kids and dosent know where to start. He did not know where they was at and dosent have a lot of extra money to hire a attorney. he currently is living with his mother in law who is helping raise the other 3 kids they had together, whom the mother has had no contact with since she took the 2 kids she has with her now. the mother does not know that I have made contact with the dad and their is no legal reason, ( protective orders) that would prevent him from having access to his children. Do to the dads work schedual and not knowing what to do I said I would ask and see what his options are and how to gain his rights to visitation or custody of his kids. I know the oldest girl is wanting to go live with her dad and grandmother who both said they have the room and some stability. The mom has no job, no transportation, no money to take care of them and is moving the kids around from place to place. it concerns me a lot especially with the oldest being the age she is and her maturity level. I can see she is determined to make a better life for herself than what the mother has so far. the living arrangements at the time was only for temporary until the mom could get assistance, ive been feeding everyone and even getting clothes for them, paying the bills. I feel the kids need to be back with their dad or at least have visitation with him and mother isn't making any steps in getting herself help. I can not let her reside at my place long term but am trying to help the father in getting rights back for his kids before mother moves around again where the kids wouldn't have a way to let their dad know where they are at. my question is what would be the best first step to have the dad do in order to gain his rights when the mother refuses to have any contact with him. neither side can afford a attorney and I cant put the mom out with the kids in tow. any help would be greatly appreciated Im just trying to help out the oldest girl and her dad to get back together
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
The problem is that without any court orders, both parents have equal rights to the child. The mother is not violating any laws right now regarding having the children and keeping them from the father.
If the father wants custody or visitation, the father is going to have to file a petition for custody and visitation in the court. Based on the mother's condition, he likely has a strong case for actually getting custody from her, as long as he has someone to watch the children while he works. However, only the court can do this, CPS cannot help and the police will not get involved, as you likely found out.
So, you need to get the father to go to court and file the petition for custody/visitation and let him know where he can find the mother to have her served. That is how he can begin to get the children back or at least get visitation.