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I am going through a bad break up. We have 2 children one is…

I am going through...

I am going through a bad break up. We have 2 children one is 3 the other is 1. We haven't gone to court at all. She abuses her power and seems to not want me in my children's lives. She had me arrested for domestic violence under false allegations and the case was thrown out. But I have several videos of her screaming at me, assaulting me, pushing my.oldest daughter away from me so she could slap my phone out of my hand

Lawyer's Assistant: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?

The incidents happened in pleasant prairie WI. But she lives in Winthrop Harbor IL now and I am moving back to winthrop.harbor IL in a couple months. I was arrested by Pleasant prairie police and taken to Kenosha county jail. I know I have know parental rights as of now because we were not married. But my children where born in IL and we did sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity papers. From what I understand that does give me custodial rights. But she says otherwise and when she does allow me to be with my children she will show up at my apartment and either threaten to take them from me or will take them from me just because she can. She has even admitted to me she doesn't let me be with my children because she thinks I deserve to suffer. I should also note that I was a stay at home father for a year and a half and now I'm lucky to see them once every other weekend. I would really like to get 50/50 shared custody because I am very close with my daughter's.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No. I don't know where to start. I talked to a police officer today and showed him some of the videos and he said that she can be charged with domestic battery, destruction of property, and disorderly conduct.

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

Yes

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Answered in 12 minutes by:
3/14/2018
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this is happening.

The Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity gives you a right to go to court and get a custody order, but it doesn't confer any specific custody rights on its own. She is unfortunately right that she has custody until you get a court order. To file in Illinois, the children must have lived there for at least six months.

Everything you've said supports a judge giving you at least 50/50 custody, if not more. The judge's job is to determine what is in the best interests of the children, and he is looking at multiple factors, which are laid out in 750 ILCS 5/602.5:

(1) the wishes of the child, taking into account the child's maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to decision-making;

(2) the child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;

(3) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;

(4) the ability of the parents to cooperate to make decisions, or the level of conflict between the parties that may affect their ability to share decision-making;

(5) the level of each parent's participation in past significant decision-making with respect to the child;

(6) any prior agreement or course of conduct between the parents relating to decision-making with respect to the child;

(7) the wishes of the parents;
(8) the child's needs;
(9) the distance between the parents' residences, the cost and difficulty of transporting the child, each parent's and the child's daily schedules, and the ability of the parents to cooperate in the arrangement;

(10) whether a restriction on decision-making is appropriate under Section 603.10;

(11) the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child;

(12) the physical violence or threat of physical violence by the child's parent directed against the child;

(13) the occurrence of abuse against the child or other member of the child's household;

(14) whether one of the parents is a sex offender, and if so, the exact nature of the offense and what, if any, treatment in which the parent has successfully participated; and

(15) any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant.

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You can request a mental health evaluation of the mother, based on her behavior. If the judge grants it, factor 3 counts in your favor. So do factors 4, 5, 11, and 13. You'll be able to introduce evidence of all the things she's done since you broke up to show that she is not mentally or emotionally in a place to raise the children or cooperate with you right now. You can ask that she be required to attend counseling before being allowed to see the kids. And if she is convicted of crimes against you, that will only help you case.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Is there anyway I could get an emergency petition for custody. I do not feel comfortably with my children living there.

On top of all that, you can actually sue her for malicious prosecution for telling the police that you committed domestic violence against you when she's the one doing it. That would be a separate case, in the small claims court rather than family court, but if she caused you to incur any legal fees, you can ask for reimbursement of those, plus punitive damages.

How long has she lived in Illinois?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you for the information. I am very short on cash at the moment and her parents have a lot of money. I have made some mistakes that might ruin my chances. When she tells me I can keep the children over night almost everytime she tells me just a few hours before that she doesn't think she feels comfortable with them being with me and then I end up having to fight to have them come here and some of the things that I say are not very nice and if she were to bring him up in court I think I would be in some kind of trouble I don't threaten to kill or anything like that I talk to Winthrop Harbor Police Department but I do call her names and say that keeping the children from their father is the worst thing a mother could do and she is a very poor mother for doing that. The police said that they could do a walk-through because my daughter was sick on Friday night and my ex showed up at 11:40 p.m. made me wake up both my daughters so she could take them home and then on Saturday night she was gone all night about 50 miles from home instead of the children being with me. That's really unfortunate that I am required to pay all these bills yet I have no parental or custodial rights without a court order that really upsets me
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
The Wonder Bar Police Department recommended that I got a order protection on her for myself and my children to get the children out of the house the problem is where she attacked me was in Wisconsin where she resides now is in Illinois the children had not lived in Illinois for 6 months they have only lived in Illinois since January 17th so what exactly am I supposed to do Court wise
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Winthrop Harbor IL police**

I know, and I'm sorry. You can get rights, they're just not automatic because you're not married.

Since they haven't been in Illinois six months yet, you could file for an emergency custody order in Wisconsin. That's legally the children's residence right now. Once you move, you'd then have the option of either returning to Wisconsin for the hearings (I'm afraid I don't know how far apart those cities are) or petition the court to transfer the case to Illinois, after 6 months have passed.

And if you believe the children are in immediate danger, you can notify child services in Winthrop Harbor.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Winthrop Harbor Illinois and Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin are literally right next to each other Winthrop Harbor is on the border of Illinois and plus berries on the border of Wisconsin I live exactly 10 minutes from her parents house. I don't know for sure that my children are in danger their butt I've seen Jurassic changes and my oldest daughter who is 3 year old personality. The first day I get her she seems very timid she's afraid to ask for anything to eat she's afraid to ask for anything to drink the minute she gets into my apartment she wants me to put her pajamas on no matter what time it is because she knows when she has her pajamas on she is not leaving she staying with her dad. Every time I drop her off to her mother at Winthrop Harbor Police Station Kira my oldest daughter starts crying and screaming no no no she keeps saying and then she points to her mother in tears and screams "no more Mommy I want to live with Daddy mommy's mean." Now I understand she's 3 a lot of people say that she doesn't know what she's talking about but I know my daughter and my daughter loves everybody and she's not afraid of people and she never was until the last couple of months when my ex moved in with them at her parents
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
The other thing is because I'm off work I'm really lawyer to beat this I don't know if I can do it on my own I know that I have the option to go and fight for custody on my own but I'm not 100% sure that I will win if I do it on my own

That's still cause for concern. It might be worth sending CPS to do a wellness check. And if the towns are right next to each other, then there's no downside to filing in Wisconsin now. You don't have to wait.

You might want to see if there are any father's rights organizations in your area. Since you are on the border, you could find a lawyer who's licensed in both states. It's not required, but it can help. It does help to have a lawyer with an emergency custody order, both because the states don't make free forms available for those and because you go before the judge immediately to argue your case. However, you do have to show that the mother is presenting an immediate health to their mental or physical well-being before you can get immediate custody.

If you don't meet that standard, then you'd be filing a regular Petition to Establish Custody, and you can still request temporary orders. It just could take a couple of weeks to get them, rather than a same-day order.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Would the videos of her screaming at me after she had me arrested. She then threatens my oldest daughter and says they are leaving with her becsuse j won't speak to her like an adult. And then She committed Domestic Batter twice, put a hole in my 2 day old coffee. She also out a whole in my brand new coffee table and broke the grsgedikr opening the apartment which will bow be s $1[0fee I will have to pay becsuse she sure won't

All of that helps you, yes. It goes toward her mental/emotional state (factor 3), her willingness to work with you (factor 11), and her general ability to parent (#15)

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
The destruction of property

The judge will want to see all of that.

And if you decide to sue her separately for damages, you can get the value of the items she destroyed, plus punitive damages for property destruction. That would be part of a separate small claims case.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Ok thank you and even though my rent is up in May I have to file in Wisconsin? For sure?

You have to file in Wisconsin because the children's legal residence is Wisconsin until they've lived in Illinois for at least six months. If you wanted to file in Illinois, you'd have to wait until July, and it doesn't sound like you want to do that.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I wont sue. The cops did know if I was a gangster or what and of course they believe the woman instead. It just really upset me that the police and Kim soncspired tlmd me i was getting the children That night the minute I asked off my property they had me in chffs
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
In front of my chikdren
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Before I get off of here could you tell me if I'm able to download the papers that I need to fill out and bring to the courthouse later on this morning for all this for Wisconsin can you tell me which papers I need and where I could find them if you do know by chance

I'm sorry to hear that.

Wisconsin unfortunately doesn't put custody forms online except where it's done as part of a divorce. You can try visiting a law library in your area, and they'll have books you can look at to get an idea of formatting.

It might also help to contact Wisconsin Fathers for Children and Families to see if they can help at all.

http://www.wisconsinfathers.org/contact-form.htm

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Lucy thank you for all your help I really appreciate it this is a pretty neat website that I can actually talk to a lawyer and get information like this. I will admit I'm a little bit hesitant about going to Wisconsin to do all this because I will have to show those videos where she's hitting me and all that and when I showed Illinois Police Department it they said that she would be arrested for two felonies child abuse and disorderly conduct so basically I'm going to ruin the rest of her life if I do this and I don't know if I can do that but then again she had me arrested for absolutely no reason and almost ruined my life because I was facing up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine minimum luckily for me the judge didn't believe her story one bit and let me off and threw the case out
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I will absolutely right you
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Is there anyway I can contact you again if I need any more help?

You're welcome! Showing the video will greatly increase your chances of getting at least 50% custody. You'd be taking a huge risk in not showing them, and I suspect that if you hire a lawyer, they'll want to use all the evidence you have.

The good news is, if you show them, she'll probably be ordered to take anger management, which helps everyone.

Yes, you can return to this page for related questions, or post a new question with "For Lucy" in the subject if new issues arise.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.
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