How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11764
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I live in Austin, TX and my 7 year old daughter lives with

Customer Question

I live in Austin, TX and my 7 year old daughter lives with her mother in Ukiah, CA. My daughter's's mother allowed my daughter to come stay with me over the summer (My daughter has been here in TX with me since July 3rd, 2016). My daughter's mother is living with a man who beats her and I do not want to send my daughter back to Ukiah. Because there is only a Child Support order in place (The child support order originated in New Mexico and was transferred to Calif), I recently filed a Summons, Petition to Establish Parental Relationship and Request for Order requesting sole custody with the Mendocino Courts on 8/18/16. My court Hearing is Oct 6, 2016. Can I keep my daughter with me until the Judge decides who gets custody or do I need to send my daughter back to her mother in California?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

Good morning. Were you ever married to the mother? Just to be clear, she has allowed you to have the child during the summer but this is informal? Also, how do you know the mother is being abused by this man?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
informal visitation. My daughter spent last summer with me in TX and this past Christmas vacation here in TX. The mother's mother sent me pictures of my daughter's mother's black eye and a large bruise of a fight they had on July 27, 2016. Plus my daughter's mother and her current boyfriend have a history of domestic violence ( 2011 arrest and 2013 arrest. And both were arrested on June 25, 2016 ( mother for public intoxication and her boyfriend for violation of a restraining order).
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information. The issue/concern is that you do not have any form of legal custody to the child. Yes, I know she is yours and she has stayed with you but since you were never married to the mother and there is no custody order in place, it is possible if you kept her the mother can call the police and have you arrested for kidnapping. Everything you have done is proper but if you are going to withhold the child from the mother, there needs to be a legal basis for it. If the mother is being abused, the police need to be called. This man needs to be reported, arrested and charged. If your daughter was being abused, it could support you withholding her but since this issue involves the mother and boyfriend, it may be hard to convince a Judge and police that you had a legal right and basis to withhold her and not send her back.

Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!