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Custody advice please

drainedandataloss's picture

I need some legal advice or just plain old good advice please. Here's the story in short...
My husband and I went through a year and a half custody battle with BM over my SD (11). BM decided she wanted full custody (it was joint, we had her one week, she had her the next week). After the year and a half and the final trial, the judge never made a decision. Six months after the final trial BM and DH got into it again over custody, so DH caved and in and they came to an agreement (DH new SD didn't want to change schools and he didn't want to be mad at him) So the new agreement signed and finalized last June was that we would have DH the whole summer (with a week of vacation with BM) and SD would stay with BM (with the exception of every other weekend) during the school year. We live in another county about 45 minutes away from BM. Also, BM resides with her parents (SD's grandparent's)- I only add this because it comes into play now. Summer vacation was great. I was able to enroll SD in a summer camp at the same location as my BD's(almost 3) daycare. Summer was great, with the exception of the one week SD was to stay with BM - they got into a big fight, SD called DH up crying. Shortly after this SD's birthday was right before school started, BM never got her anything for her birthday - not even a cake! So SD was really upset (with good reason). One week after school started BM and SD got into it again (I posted the story - it was a pretty bad fight). We picked up SD and kept her the remainder of that week. About three weeks later they got into it again. SD calls up crying again. Then they were okay (SD told me she didn't talk to BM anymore - stays in the basement, eats by herself, does her homework by herself, etc.) for about a month, then right before Thanksgiving they got into agian but it wasn't too bad because we picked her up for the entire week of Thanksgiving. Things were pretty quiet in December, and now to today. We had SD for the latter half of Christmas break, dropped her off at BM's on Monday afternoon. It's now Thursday and BM and SD got into it again... Then BM left (She goes out drinking every Thursday even though she's on felony probation and isn't allowed to be out drinking). SD talked with her grandfather (as I mentioned before it's the grandparent's house that they reside in), anyway, SD went to her grandfather and told him she wanted to live with us. Here's the catch though, she still doesn't want to change schools. Her grandfather called DH and told him that SD said she wanted to live with us and if we could pick her up every day after school and drop her off every morning before school. I have been the biggest advocate for my children, and with that being said, I don't think this "fix" is good for my SD or my BM. I do believe that she need to live with us - I've thought this all along and fought hard for it. However, I think that she needs to switch to our school distric. If we drove her everyday, she would have to get up and hour and a half earlier than she should have to and my BM would also have to get up earlier. Also we wouldn't get home until 6:30pm, they wouldn't eat dinner until 7pm and then when is homework going to be done? My normal routine with my BM is get home at 6pm make dinner, we eat about 6:30 then she plays for a half hour, then it's bath time, blow dry hair, take medicines (I guess I should have included the fact that my BM has asthma and takes regulatory medicines to control it - even a half hour less sleep a night is not good for her in my mind) after medicines it's brush teeth and in bed by 8pm. Now if you're adding to it that we won't be eating until 7pm at the earliest, everything else will have to be rushed with my BM and bed time would probably end up (not purposely) later. Then I wouldn't have time to help SD with her homework until after 8pm. And yes, she does need help - her first semester in school she barely slid by all D's and very low C's. I just don't think this is a good idea. I think she needs a fresh start and should just do it all at once. With all that said (and this was the short version) - how do I make this happen??

Who or where do I go to in order to get her out of that house and living with us. We don't have money for another lawyer - the POS one we had in the first place was more than we could afford. Can I talk with the Judge?? Who, where?? Please if anyone knows or has some advice, please do let me know.


ddakan's picture

Ok, sd11 is young enough to bounce back from changing schools. She must make a sacrifice if she wants a better life. The deal I would present is this: sd11 gets to live with you, but she has to change schools. She can't have it her cake and eat it too. You have dd3 to think about plus yourself. If she agrees to your terms, proceed. You have to be wary if she is not willing to sacrifice something for her own peace. If she wants to stay at her school, she must stay with her mom...period.

You get sd11 to sign an affidavit of status and you present it to the court with a request for modification of orders affecting the suit. You can find these forms in a current book at barnes and noble for the state you live in.

I have filed all these papers myself, and because I am an excellent typist, there is no difference between the lawyer's and my papers. Be sure you know exactly what you are asking for and use the format from the other papers you have. You file them at the county clerks office and you ask for a hearing. See the books, they tell you everything you need to know.

Lawyers are best, but if you are desperate and smart, you can do this. Research on the internet. you can get the way things operate and can do it properly in your state.

Tx mommy of 3's picture

She's old enough to understand she has to change schools. 45 min away? That would be an hour and a half twice a day just to take her to school?! Ridiculous. She can decide. If she lives with her mom she stays in her school. If she lives with dad, she changes schools. If she still chooses to live at home, well, there you have it & things might not be as bad as she makes them out to be...? If she chooses to live with dad...well te only thing I'd be concerned about is a judge saying that this order is still new (less than a year) and may not change it? But I have no experience on this so I could be wrong.

WickednNasty's picture

I beleive here you can not petition the Court for a change in Custody for 2 years once you've signed an agreed order. I know you said she wants to live with you and dictate what school she'll go to. That doesn't fly IMHO. If you research your court there should be some places to get legal aid.