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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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I have 82% custody of 10 and 13 year old in California.

Customer Question

I have 82% custody of 10 and 13 year old in California. I am Disabled fighting incurable sarcoma, Fibromyalgia, Sjorgruns, and Lupus to name a few. My husband filed for divorce 5 years ago after CPS was called on him from our kids therapist. He is a life long alcoholic and verbal, mental and emotionional abuser, classic narcissistic. He has not gone forward in the divorce since all the debt was in my name and he is living in our family home. I have not worked in 3 years.
My mom and step-dad baught a house for us in Texas. The money we will spend on rent will pay for the mortgage and the house will be left to the kids in their will.
I hired a lawyer, for $4500.00 to assist me in the move out, custody and divorce. This was money from my kids college fund and every penny I had.
My husband has not done any of the court appointed therapy, threatens and intimidates Our kids, picks and chooses when he wants them, the list goes on and on of his bad behavior. Including not paying for the kids medical expenses and canceling my health insurance right before I was to have surgery and radiation.
My lawyer insisted that we based the move out on my Medical issues. MDAnderson is in Huston and they are the leading hospital for my sarcoma and I do not have anyone (or family) in CA. I told my lawyer I didnt want to go in that direction because I knew my husband would attempt to show me as incapable of caring for my kids. Although my husband never showed care or concern for my parenting until I requested a move away. My lawyer also insisted that we did not bring to light the constant non compliance of my husband
At the first hearing my husbands Atturney requested all my medical records. I explained to my atturney that I did not feel comfortable with my husband having full access he told me that "there are sacrifices when you want something." I sent my medical records to my atturney and he with out editing or even reading them sent them to a wrong e-mail address. This not only gave my entire medical record to who knows who but also set back the court date a month.
My husbands Atturney did just what I feared and in a full day deposition grilled me on every medication and proceadure I have had since I was 16. My atturney just sat there, never objecting to anything. When I asked when we were having a deposition on my husband, my atturney insisted that it was not necessary. I begged my atturney for a 730 evaluation, and for Children's Court. Both request were ignored.
We went to court for the move out two weeks ago. My husband admitted that I let him see the kids when ever he wants and has no fear that I would with hold them from him. The judge said that he was impressed with the positive bonding I have with the kids and asked my atturney if we wanted a 730 evaluation. My atturney declined. The judge then said I could move to Texas, and he would give My husband full custody if I did move, so he could work on his relationship with them. Again... he has never attended ONE court appointed therapy session with them!
The abuse is worse and my kids hate their dad for standing in the way of an amazing opportunity of better schools, over 40 cousins their age, their own room in a house and a brighter future.
What do I do now?????
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

Good evening. I am a California licensed attorney. That's a lot to have going on. How long ago did you have your most recent court hearing?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Oct. 26, 2016 was our latest court date
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

Did you both participate in mediation prior to the most recent court hearing?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
we went to mediation. I went I. First, then the mediatior took me to the waiting room and then he went in and then he left.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

Were the kids interviewed by the mediator as well?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No they were not interviewed, was that an option ?
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

Yes, and that would have been a proper course of action in most circumstances. In which California county is your matter proceeding?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
We are at Stanley Mosk.
At the last modification the mediator suggested children's council but we settled out of court. I asked my current Atturney for children's court for this time but he talked me out of it
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Los Angeles county
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

The problem is that child custody orders are modifiable in the best interests of the children, but only where there has been a material change in circumstances. I'm looking to the fact that your kids were not interviewed. At 13 years old, your older child is definitely approaching the age where they can articulate and justify a preference for the living arrangement--no so much for the typical 10 year old, but their thoughts of having to live with dad full-time if mom moves should be taken into consideration. You may want to consider working with a more aggressive attorney, and the nuances of every case are different so this information should not be relied upon as complete or advice without having it reviewed by an attorney in person, but one strategy could be to argue that there has been a material change in circumstances in that the kids want to move out of state with mom--since they weren't involved in the last mediation, it would give the court an excuse to take their preferences into consideration and render a different order. It's going to be an uphill battle no matter what you do because if the court believes that you lost and are simply fabricating ways to have the same matter re-heard. You will also have to explain why the evidence was not put forward at the last hearing and explain why the circumstances are so urgent as to have a new order entered so soon after the last. I'm definitely disappointed that your last attorney wasn't more aggressive, but you have to look forward now and just work with the hand that you've been dealt.

​Let me know if further clarification is needed, and please feel free to leave a rating once you are finished (it does not cost anything extra to do so and it is the only way I may be credited for my answers.) Thank you!