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Thank you for taking my question. I will try to nutshell it. It has to do with a potential child custody battle between my best friend and his wife. The wife recently had divorce papers served to my friend and has taken the children from the home to live with her and the grandparents.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Yes. They live in Connecticut.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

He has or at least has spoken of the need for a lawyer.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Good morning,
I thought I would share some written info as well as await your phone call.
My friend was a high school teacher for nearly 20 years, until this past fall. Both of us have been teachers, in fact - we met in El Paso, Texas, around 1997 when he started attending my church there while also attending a state university in Texas for his master's in education. I moved to Pittsburgh in 1998, leaving my family and brother behind. Fast forward a few years, and my friend moved also to eastern United States, specifically to northern Virginia, where he took a high school teaching position in a prestigious county.
Over time, my brother also moved east, as did I - eventually all 3 of us were living in northern Virginia and have had a very strong brotherly bond over the years. One of the things that has bonded us even further, has been the fact that we all have struggled with a very common area for many men - moral purity. My friend and my brother have struggled more in the area of the Internet - my area is more an internal struggle than Internet. But the point is, my friend is very transparent, sometimes to a fault, about his struggle - and he has carried that "honesty" into his marriage of 9 years.
One of the things that has been a source of contention, has been the fact that he shared openly with his wife, who is about 13 years his junior, about the struggles that my brother and I have faced. He did it with pure intentions, but I believe it was a little misguided. His wife has not processed that information well at all over the years; and also her knowing that her husband has had issues with the Internet, she has apparently put two and two together in her mind and decided that my brother and I are sources of the problem in her marriage. Consequently, she has expected him to ostracize himself from us "if he really loves me". What she apparently does not understand, is that the accountability between our friend and us about these issues, has been a very healthy pursuit of a pure life by being honest, even before he ever met her. She has built up a huge case of distrust toward my friend,
The plot thickens. Her trust issues with him have further extended into his role as a teacher and as a father to their 3 children. Let me just preface the next part by saying, I believe my friend. I believe his background of dysfunctional parents who did not always mentor him properly about social cues, coupled with his experience of living overseas in a very affectionate, non-questioning environment in Malawi, Africa, all set a backdrop for some of the ensuing situations that arose during his time as a teacher on the east coast. My friend had a way of showing concern for students, which in 20/20 hindset was not perhaps the wisest way to do so - he would sometimes put a hand on a shoulder or even use it to raise a downcast chin. Nothing happened, but unfortunately, as you can imagine, such actions were not received well by his students, especially in northern Virginia. Due to complaints from some students, he was placed on probation. Again, he is quite meek and gentle-natured, so I do not doubt that he intended no harm to his students. His good intentions sadly came back to bite him, however. Eventually he and the wife and young son moved to her hometown in Connecticut around her parents - who happen to be quite conservative and even a bit legalistic.
Answered in 13 hours by:
12/3/2017
Family Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 7 months ago
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 22,353
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Hello: This is Phillipsesq. Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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Family Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 7 months ago

Kindly note that I do not participate in the phone call program.

I have carefully reviewed your post. However, I did not see a specific question. What is your specific question?

Thank you for your cooperation,

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Good afternoon, I apologize that my story did not contain the actual question. Let me also add that my friend, in spite of his questionable behaviors in the two schools regarding putting a hand on a student , have never ended up with him ever being placed on a list of predators. And I’m also glad to say, he decided to abandon the teaching field and I think it is to his credit to avoid any further conflict or question about his motives. However, his wife has used that history against him in their marriage, and this is where my question comes in. She is claiming that he has handled their children, Specifically their son who is only about five years old, inappropriately. And she apparently put his son to bed one evening and let him sleep in his underwear, simply for the fact that it was hot. He also did what any reasonable father would do, by helping his son with his bathing habits and learning how to use the shower. Furthermore, the wife specifically had asked her husband for help in these areas which she is now condemning.
With my friends problem with the Internet, the issue with the two schools, and her claims about the way he handled his son, his wife has not made a case against him not only terms of their marriage, but also their three children. She packed up a lot of belongings a few weeks ago and moved out with the children, Although she did not specify exactly where she was moving. My friend suspect she may be living with her parents. She also summoned the help of her father and their church leadership ( not surprisingly, her father is in a leadership role in their church) and protected her fabricated case to them, to which they responded by contacting child protective services. They have not put my friend on restricted visits at about $90 a visit. But the wife will not sit down rationally with him to work things out, even though he would like to do that. The only way she will be with him is if they together the church leadership to discuss my friends lack of spirituality. They talk only about where he has gone wrong. Got one other detail. Wife is also accusing him of having an affair based upon records she claims to have found of him staying at a hotel on more than one occasion while he was driving for Uber and Lyft after leaving teaching. I do not believe a word of it because my friend is always transparent with me and my brother. Even when it hurts him to share it. He also had a phone and/or iPad stolen which could have compromised his info for someone to impersonate his identity at a hotel.
Anyway - background info. My main concern for you is the following:
• does the wife have the right to just up and take the kids like she did and to forbid my friend from seeing his kids?
• does my friend have grounds for a lawsuit against his wife or her church, for assassination of character since they are implying he could be a predator when in fact he is not? I have watched his boy - he has always been sweet toward us (me and my brother) as well as toward his dad - never expressed any fear - the wife implies that he doesn’t miss him - but take a kid from his dad and he’s bound to show whatever emotion the mother wants - she has a way of manipulating the situation to make my friend look constantly like the culprit - again - I feel she and her dad and church leaders are defaming/assassinating my friend’s character through all this CPS nonsense and constant berating him at their meetings. It’s all in their court and they don’t leave him a leg to stand on.I would appreciate your reply as well as any recommendations you can give me to pass on to my friend. My brother, mother and I can act as character witnesses for my friend. There are others who can as well.
Thank you. *****
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Sorry there are some typos in the previous message. The wife HAS made a case against him. And SHE did not put the boy to bed in his underwear. My FRIEND did. I don’t condemn that behavior, bc it was hot. There is nothing wrong with a dad putting his boy to bed in a way he deems suitable so long as there is nothing suspicious going on. Otherwise we will be suing people left and right in this country.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I need to add that I cannot afford to pay twice on this inquiry.
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