Custody battle :(
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  1. #1
    Moderator YankeeMom's Avatar
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    Unhappy Custody battle :(

    My sister moved to WI and left her 11yo behind with a friend (took her 8yo, 4yo, & 2yo). When I found out he was left with a "friend" rather than family, I asked my sister if he could stay with us. She was going to let the 11yo choose. Fine, whatever.

    We were supposed to pick him up for Thanksgiving to be with family. The "friend" didn't want him to go. Probably because she knew he would want to stay with us once he got there. I never took him back. It was nasty dirty. Garbage piled outside the house, the windows had garbage bags on them instead of glass. The front door was so filthy I didn't want to touch it to knock!

    My sister had started custody papers to give this friend custody of my nephew. Well, after she tried to refuse to let him be with family my sister called the court to "stop" the order from going through. But like everything else my sister does, she half-assed it. She was supposed to fax something to the court in order to stop it and didn't.

    The school called me yesterday because the friend had called them to say she was coming to pick up my nephew (in the middle of the day) because she had gotten a signed custody agreement. The school recommended I come pick him up before she got there (speaks volumes doesn't it?). They already had it in writing and verbally from my sister that he was to stay with me. I picked him up and as I'm leaving the friend was pulling into the school.

    After many phone calls I went up to family court myself to file a new petition. While I was there it came out that this friend had called the police to get them to make my nephew go home with them. Only it backfired....her freaking husband is a level 3 sex offender and he admitted it to the officer. I had no clue, I just thought he should be with family, in a clean home with his own bed! Come to find out my sister KNEW THIS!!!!

    My nephew has already been sexually abused once, when he was two. By one of my sister's many men. Right then the court lady said he is staying with you for the night and you come in first thing in the morning for a hearing.

    We were there, the friend was an hour late. To make a long story a little shorter, we were awarded temporary custody (thank GOD) and the friend is contesting our custody petition. She still thinks she should have custody of my nephew. Even though she is married to a sex offender, my sister wants him with me, she is on social services (my sister says she wants him because she gets more $ with him being there), etc. So she gets a "free" lawyer because she qualifies financially and we have to hire one.

    I have never gone through this. I know our chances are really good that we will get to keep him, but it's just the stress of having to deal with the maybes

    Anyone been through a nonparental custody situation before?

  2. #2
    Registered User Missy's Avatar
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    holy moly! nope, i haven't been through anything like this ever. I hope the judge lets in the fact that her husband is a registered sex offender and grants you custody.
    ~~ Missy ~~

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    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    No I haven't YM but that is a horrible situation and I am so glad you are trying to get custody of him. I wish you much luck and you and your family will be in my prayers.
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    Registered User Syn D's Avatar
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    I haven't been through one, but keep your head up and keep fighting.. The way it sounds, your nephew really needs someone like you in his corner....

    Yes, she just wants him for the money and no, if the law works right in your area, he shouldn't be allowed in the house with that husband, in some cases not even their own kids are allowed to live with him..

  5. #5
    Master Dollar Stretcher aka DixieBob Dixie's Avatar
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    I think it's a no brainer that you'll get custody.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dixie View Post
    I think it's a no brainer that you'll get custody.
    You'd think. But the court systems decisions and what "should" happen are, unfortunately, not always the same.

    Best of luck YM, you know we are all rooting for you!
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    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    I know there must be someone here who's been through this - not me though. There is no way that the court would let any child be anywhere near a convicted sex offender. Talk about a nightmare.

    So glad that you are his aunt - what a blessing for this child. May be a nightmare for you right now, but know that you will charge through this. Prayers, aloha, hugs and strength coming your way.
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    Never been there just want to wish you good luck.

    You never know what the courts will do, and I would say surely to God they wouldn't give the friend custody with the sex offender there. BUT they did one time already didn't they?
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  9. #9
    Registered User Mom2-3's Avatar
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    WOW! No advice, sorry. Hugs and prayers to your family.

  10. #10
    Registered User HappyMama's Avatar
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    I worked with CASA , in New York years ago, ( Court ordered special advocates) who work on behalf of the rights of children in custody battles. Even though you will need to hire an attorney pronto, make sure he ( your nephew) gets awarded a CASA worker, your lawyer and the courts can have the judge order one to the case.

    Regardless of your rights, your sisters rights, the friends supposed in her own mind rights, the lawyers thoughts , he will have someone that will evaluate, make recommendations and look out for the best interest of your nephew. He is really going to need that, and will be in his best interests and yours as well! Since you are a stable, responsible, loving person and family , it is imperative that an impartial person from the outside will be able to see and advocate this.

    Start getting your facts all written in a notebook dedicated to just this, letters of references, proof of your sisters instability, the written version of everything the friend has told you so far, the condition of her house, your nephews past etc. Start lining up friends from church, life, school, that will be willing to testify to your stability , you might never need this and hope it doesn't go that far but well you never know.

    Get references for a good , reliable, kind family lawyer and make an appointment right away so you can be given an analysis, cost estimate and chance in their mind. Don't be afraid to seek more then one opinion and go with the lawyer that best meets your needs. Plan on making counseling appointments for your nephew he will need it, with the abandonment and sexual issues from the past. Good luck and blessing to you !
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  11. #11
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~No experience here but I hope and pray you get custody!~

  12. #12
    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    Good luck! I'm so sorry you and your poor nephew have to deal with this.

    We went through custody fight over my little brother awhile back. One of his friend's mom tried to get custody. Only in this case, my brother actually wanted to live with the other family. In our case, the lawyer appointed to the other family made his case but really he didn't have much to go on so you could tell there wasn't much "oomph" in his effort if you kwim. She doesn't have a case. She's not family, her husband is a sex offender, her house is filthy. At this point, cfs is probably going to get involved and if it does she'll be required to have a condensed version of a home study in order to get custody. (We did.) I would not worry about it at all. She doesn't stand a chance.

    However, the fact that she want's custody so bad really would concern me. I don't know why, I would just kind of suspect that something happened in the home that she does not want getting out. If it did and she wanted to keep it under wraps, getting him out of your home and preventing him from talking would be the best way to keep a secret. This is something that I haven't dealt with, but I think you should be cautious and encourage him to talk, maybe get him a counselor as well after all the dust settles. (Purely guessing, you know.)

    Good luck, please let us know how it goes!

  13. #13
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    nothing to add, but do what all these folks are saying.

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    Registered User Sassyclass's Avatar
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    Prayers being sent your way. Be prepared for a long process, these cases usually don't just happen overnight. Everyone involved will be looked at under a microscope. You will have to jump through hoops and some of them may seem unfair or totally rediculous. Do whatever your lawyer says. I'd find the best Family Law lawyer I could. Cooperate with Child Services. Let the others be the bad guys. Go for full custody and until this is over, if your nephew is in your house be sure any visitation is in a facility of Child Services. In other words the visitor/visitors will be monitored. Don't say anything negative about anyone involved to your nephew. Yeah, I've had some experiece. Honestly I don't see any judge allowing the "friend" to even be involved with your nephew.

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    Registered User LynnLC's Avatar
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    Prayers for you YM.

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