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I am recently divorced with 50/50 legal and physical custody…

I am recently divorced...

I am recently divorced with 50/50 legal and physical custody of my 15 year old daughter. Recently I have been concerned about a couple of things that may put my daughter in danger. First, my daughter has asthma and allergies. My ex husband's house is just filthy. He has a dog and the dog hair is so thick on the hardwood floors you can slide on it. There are big balls of dog hair everywhere and his house is very old (almost 200 years) which makes it very dusty. The carpets are never vacuumed and the house is just grimy. I fear this is exacerbating my daughter's asthmatic and allergic conditions. Second, and more troubling, is the fact that my ex has a live in girlfriend (She is there more than 50% of the time) with her 3 year old son. She has a restraining order out on her ex husband I believe because he was making imminent threats to do her bodily harm. I fear that if he finds out she is living with my ex and my daughter is in the house, my daughter may be injured. I want to know if these are grounds to sue for full custody of my daughter. I am in Massachusetts. Any information you can give is appreciated. -Christen Gobbi

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in MA family court?

No nothing yet. Trying to make sure the grounds are sufficient to request full custody first.

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

My divorce just became final on January 3

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

Nothing I can think of at the moment.

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
3/21/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,328
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Absolutely

Custody, visitation, and child support are always difficult issues to sort out, but thankfully the courts are there to help settle the score on the issue. If you are looking to modify custody, visitation, or child support, you’ll have to go through the court system. It typically starts with filing a petition, which is just a request through the courts to get a change in one of those things. Once you fill out the petition, you should make three copies: one to you, one for the court, and one to the other party. It is critical to understand that the courts are bound to look at what is in the best interests of the child above all else. This means they will look into who and how the child’s health, education, welfare, and safety are best going to be served. Sometimes, this can be inconvenient for one parent, but because the kids cannot protect themselves, the court takes it upon itself to protect them. The bright side is that if you understand this in advance, then you will have an edge when you are dealing with the other side because you’ll be seeing this process through the court’s eyes. In your case, if your daughter is living with someone who is being threatened physically, then custody to you while this restraining order is maintained would likely be appropriate, but it is entirely up to the courts.

You are probably already aware of this, but once you have filed the documents, someone who is over 18 and not a party to the case will serve the document on the other party. They will have a chance to respond to the petition and they will serve you as well. The court will likely set a date where they will either order mediation or they will make a decision at that time. If you can’t agree at mediation or if the court decides it needs more info, then it is likely you would go to a trial where you can put on witnesses, provide your own testimony, and let the judge make a ruling after that. Those are less likely scenarios, but they come up on occasion.

The order is enforceable from the moment it is entered and if a party fails to abide by the order, then they are going to be held in contempt of court.

Be sure that you just get as much documentation as you can, including text messages and emails to help with your case.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Do i need an attorney to assist in filing or so I just go into family court on my own.

Oh no, you don't need an attorney. Most people that do this do not hire an attorney at all so you can go it alone.

Did you have any other questions for me about this today?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
you believe these are sufficient grounds to at least have a case opened and heard?

I do. If you can get court documents regarding the restraining order, that will help. You'd have to go to the civil court where the order was entered and ask for them. There' usually a small fee, but it may be worth it.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The restraining order was requested in Chicago Illinois. She fled Illinois to Boston to escape him. Can i just call the court in Illinois and what division would i try to contact to get the information. Is that information public record?

I see. Yes, you can call the court in the county where it was filed to see if you can download a copy online. Depending on their resources, you may just be able to go to their website and order a copy so you can keep it.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
if I know the town, I can find out the county and go there for the information?

You got it. They may not have the technology for you to download court forms and it's possible that the forms may be sealed, but with a little research, you can find what you need and use it as proof instead of just using it as an oral argument.

Did you have any other questions for me today that I could help you with?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No more questions. Thank you so much. This whole thing has been so difficult and then to find out this information, it is just so troubling. But you have answered every question I had. Thank you again!

The pleasure is all mine! Unless you have additional questions, there’s just a few other things I’d like you to know before we wrap up this conversation:

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  3. For your benefit, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.

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Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,328
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Will Do to all. Thank you!

Thanks so much! You're too kind!

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