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mmdesq, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 518
Experience:  Attorney with 13 years experience.
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Have a son 8yrs old. Divorsed and have shared physical and

Customer Question

Have a son 8yrs old. Divorsed and have shared physical and legal custody of the child. Ex was a alcoholic, was physically and verbally abusive. Son hates to go to his house. He stays with us alternate weeks. HAS been telling me that his dad is verbally abusive, calling him names. He admitted to the school,counsellor that he hits him. I have protective order and full custody until final hearing. CPS doing their investigation. Any advise? HE is claiming that I hurt the child.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  mmdesq replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning,

I will try to best answer your question. I am sorry to hear that you're going through such a difficult situation.

So far from what you described it sounds like you are taking all of the correct steps. Involving CPS can be a hit or miss depending on whether you are assigned a good case worker. I would not rely upon CPS alone as they can be unpredictable, unreliable, and sometimes incompetent.

I would recommend taking pictures of your son when he leave your house and prior to going for any future visits with father. That way you can document that no bruise existed at the time he left your home and went to the fathers. If he is returned with a bruise I recommend taking him to the hospital immediately to be examined. This is one of the few ways you can try to establish in which household the abuse is occurring. Make sure no private parts are expensosed in any photographs taken.

I would also recommend requesting the court appoint a guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem is an attorney appointed to represent your son. The guardian ad litem does not work for mother or father and only represents the best interest of the child. The Guardian ad litem can be very helpful because they can meet with your child on multiple occasions to build a rapport. They can also do home inspections, speak with any of the parties, teachers, doctors, counselors, relatives, or any other person who may have relevant information. The Guardian ad litem also has the special ability of being able to report what your child tells him or her without it being considered hearsay. This helps gives your child a voice in the court proceedings. It also is extremely helpful to the judge in trying to weed through these he said she said situations. The cost for the guardian ad litem is generally split between the parties, sometimes the court will appoint the guardian ad litem and place the cost on the state.

I would also recommend firing your present attorney and acquiring a new attorney if you do not have full confidence in her abilities or service. I know that may be an additional immediate expense of switching attorneys but I assure you in the long run it will be cheaper and you will be more satisfied. I take over many cases from dissatisfied clients and it often ends up being more expensive having to fix what was not done correct at the outset. Sometimes the damage done cannot be fixed.

I hope that this information is helpful and I wish you the best of luck

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. That does help. Any ideas on how to get a good attorney in Indianapolis. I tried looking up on line , wasn't helpful. Also does the court appointed guardian ad litem have to be a lawyer or a psychologist will help? We do have a parent coordinator who is a child psychologist. Would it help to have my son be evaluated by him? Thank you
Expert:  mmdesq replied 1 year ago.

Yes I think it will be a huge help to have your son evaluated by child psychologist. Child psychologist can then issue report and testify regarding child's preference. This is again another back door way of getting in hearsay testimony.

To find an attorney I would recommend contacting your County Bar Association and asking for the head of the family law section name. If your county doesn't have a Bar Association there will be a state organization that will also have a statewide family section. I recommend ensuring that you hire an attorney that specializes in divorce and that is their primary area of practice. I would also suggest ensuring they have at least 15 years of experience.

Expert:  mmdesq replied 1 year ago.

Would you kindly rate my response. Thanks

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