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I lost custody of 2 of my kids about 4yrs ago, they are

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currently with my mom and...
I lost custody of 2 of my kids about 4yrs ago, they are currently with my mom and both their dad and I visit regularly. We lost them due to our drug addiction. Last year in September, our new son was born. Dss opened a case against us because of our history, and because I was prescribed Methadone by a doctor during my pregnancy since I was 12 weeks along. Our baby was in foster care up until May 8th, when they returned him home to us. I’m wondering how I should go about trying to regain custody of my other two children now. They are 4 and 5yrs old, and I want to get them home as soon as possible, do you have any idea or examples of how long a case like this might take? We have both been clean for a little over a year now, and have clean drug screens to prove it. We have completed parenting classes, outpatient treatment, and attend 12 step meetings almost daily. We are extremely active in our recovery, and the only thing still missing in our family is our other two children. The 5yr old is autistic, so I worry that maybe will cause problems for us in the court because he is so used to being with my mom and having a certain routine. Any advice would be greatly appreciated on this matter, thankyou.
Submitted: 27 days ago.Category: Family Law
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5/25/2018
Family Lawyer: Sean K, Family Law Attorney replied 27 days ago
Sean K
Sean K, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 776
Experience: Family Law Attorney in Private Law Firm
Verified

Hi, I’m Sean and I will be assisting you as an expert today. I’m an attorney with more than 20 years of experience. It is my goal to provide a solid overview of your situation. Whether the analysis is good or bad as to your matter, I want to make sure you understand any points you need and that you have options to better address the questions you have. If I am able, I will also provide you with some resources. Please note that the system, independent from me, may offer a phone call. You are not obligated to engage in a phone call, but I am happy to speak if you desire. This is completely up to you.

Can you tell me in which state you are located?

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Customer reply replied 27 days ago
Hi Sean, I appreciate that, and I understand. I’m located in Greenwood, SC, and my mom who currently has custody of my other two children lives in Myrtle Beach, SC. My case with dss has always been in greenwood though.
Family Lawyer: Sean K, Family Law Attorney replied 27 days ago

When you lost custody of the children was the order issued giving your Mother out of Greenwood or was the order out of Horry County?

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Customer reply replied 27 days ago
The order was given in the court of Greenwood, but she was and still is living in Horry County.
Family Lawyer: Sean K, Family Law Attorney replied 27 days ago

If the Order was issued out of Greenwood, then you would return to the Court in Greenwood and she would have to appear there.

The good news for you is that the law supports fit parents having custody of their children. If you have custody, after DSS involvement of your new child, then that goes a very long way in establishing that you are fit parents. As well, the law supports siblings being together.

The first step, and you may have already done this, is to ask for the children back. It is likely that your Mom would say "No," but that is not really important. You want to ask first and see if she will agree. If not, you want to let the Court know that you attempted to resolve it outside of Court.

It would not be unreasonable for her to ask for some guaranteed visitation time with the children, so do consider that if she suggests it.

Now, if she says that she will not return the children, the good news for you is that child custody orders in SC are always reviewable by the Family Court if there is a substantial change of circumstances. In your case the substantial changes are, from what you said, and there may be more -

1 - You have a new child.

2 - DSS has cleared you for you to have custody of the new child.

3 - There is no longer any drug issues.

4 - You have clean drug screens.

5 - You have completed all DSS has asked.

As result of your 5 year old's needs, it would be a great idea to research providers in the Greenwood area to have that information.

Your next step would be to file an action for custody of your children with the Greenwood Family Court asking that the children be returned as a result of the changes set out above - as well as any other changes. This lawsuit would need to be served on your Mother, but it would be possible to have a hearing to address custody within 30 or so days from when it was filed.

Now, in cases such as this, you can represent yourself in Court, but I always suggest speaking to a family law attorney in Greenwood.

Please let me know if you have any further questions or if there are more questions based on what I have provided.

Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. There is no specific course of action is proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege formed within this conversation.

If you have any follow up questions it would be my pleasure to answer them. As experts we only get credit for the time and effort we spend on our answers if you rate us positively - 5 stars is definitely appreciated but not required! There is no cost associated with you rating me and you can still ask follow up questions after rating me and I will respond.

One final point, there may be a delay between your question and my answer; this is because I'm either not at my computer or helping someone else but rest assured, if you ask, I will provide an answer. Thank you again.

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