Legal Custody

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Im a Believer, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    I just got thru with an 11 month battle in court.

    My ex was seeking custody of my youngest (easy child#6). Money reasons. He has never sought custody of any other of the kids due to them being alot of work - in fact he hasn't been involved with any of them really until I sought modification.

    His claim was that my older children have substance issues and he needed to get her away from my home because I do not "control" the situation.

    He also claimed my husband (her step father) was being inappropriate.

    Now that the motions have been put to stop and we finally had our day in court - the judge got sick of hearing the conflicting stories.

    He asked for my easy child#6 (age 16) year old to be brought in and he questioned her in chambers and asked what she wanted.

    She put to rest all the ridiculous accusations against my husband - she did express her concern about her older sibblings and their drug issues.

    She has always wanted joint custody but I did not see that working since her father and I do not communicate and it is not a postive relationship but that is what the judge ordered and after a lecture from him to me - he wanted to know why I haven't "controled" my older children.

    I sat there like a deer looking in the headlights.

    Three of my children (the ones that are the difficult child's) were abused by their father - none of them have a relationship with him and haven't for several years. He was not involved in their issues and I dealt with them all on my own.

    The Judge didn't care about that I the decision that was made was that my ex and I have joint physical custody of my 16 year old but the state has legal custody of her.

    My 18 year old (legal age in my state is 19) is in my custody.

    He has not seen his dad in about 3 years.

    The Judge has ordered my 18 year old - monthly drug tests & drug counseling - if he tests postitive the state will not allow me to have my daughter. Because the state has legal custody - he can have this control.

    This has sent me into a tail spin of relapse in my codependency along with some issues with an older child and he is homeless.

    I do not allow my older children to live with me.

    It is only the 2 minor children.

    Just as it has been the past 10 years - I am alone dealing with the drug issues of an 18 year old and nobody has any answers - I am the one held accountable for the actions of a person who in most states is an adult.

    You may say - throw the 18 year old out.

    Again - in my state he is a minor and I can be charged with child neglect.

    I have been thru this before with my older children and the adult age being 19.

    Any advice or words of wisdom?
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have no answers for you but I am sending caring thoughts your way. Those of us who have dealt with juvenile drug and alcohol abuse understand the frustration. It's mindboggling. Hugs.DDD
  3. helpme

    helpme New Member

    OMG- I wanna , well I won't tell you what I want to do to that judge and geez
    almighty, to the laws of your state.

    I guess you can't force emancipation of the 18yo?
    How many more months before 19?
    What happens if 19 yo leaves on his on behalf?
    What if 19yo left and did not cooperate?
    For the sake of the 19 yo, did he get to make a statement to the court?

    And I missed why the state has custody of the 16 yo?

    Oh and what a nasty ex you have! I'll bop him upside the head too!
    I really wish all these laws would change!
  4. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    I am the one who wrote the post after this too - I just found a bag of Marijuanna this am in my son's room.

    I really want to do what's best for all involved. Yes - I'm co-dependent! LOL

    Not sure if sending my son in the system is the best ~

    I know it's said alot - my son is a good kid - we have a good relationship - He is medicating with pot - he has been going to drug counseling as per court order - not sure what he plans to do when he gets his 2nd drug test Monday ~

    If I am not seeing something - Please tell me ~
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    O what a tough situation! It sounds like the court has put you between a rock and a hard place.

    And now your 18 year old MUST get clean or you will lose your daughter. You said:

    I was told if the 18 YO did not cooperate - It was my responsibility to turn him into the Juvenile Attorney.

    And now you have found marijuana in his room.

    I think you have already answered your own questions....

    Sending ((((hugs)))) and strength. Stay strong!
  6. helpme

    helpme New Member

    Yup, I'm following along here (i think *grin*)

    But on this one I don't understand..
    And I missed why the state has custody of the 16 yo?
    My opinion - the Judge feels that will motivate me to take control of the situation.

    In my state the state doesn't "take" unless there is a major problem, it: domestic violence, criminal record, parents using drugs themselves, etc. difficult child was almost
    a ward of the state when placed on house arrest because

    1.I wouldn't surrender custody to father
    2.he could not return to the home due to the charges/minors in home per the court.

    If I wouldn't have had agreed to let difficult child be placed with paternal gparents for house arrest, the state would have taken over. Looking back for this unusual situation,
    I wish I would have let the state take custody.

    Because as difficult child got into more trouble, it because a three way- mom has legal custody (couldn't relinquish it because of the girls), dad has physical custody (due to his posting of the child's bond requirements), and the state took criminal custody until he was
    an adult at 17 in some issues and 18 in others. It was a nightmare, and in the end I was left out of difficult child's criminal proceedings. I notified the court of my indigence, told each lawyer I wasn't paying and walked away because I needed to care for the girls.

    I didn't know it then, and if STBX walked away, the legal system could have actually helped difficult child. But instead STBX acted as if I was "unavailable" and proceeded to make legal choices for difficult child. Also, even though my state has the age of consent at 17, parents
    are still responsible until 18, emancipation, or marriage. So we got kids running loose and parents paying for it. More dumb laws like your state.

    I am wondering why the state didn't take custody of both of the kids? Why one and not the other? Why talk to one and not the other? I think I'd be back in court, nicely, to ask for confirmation of the judge's rulings and the opportunity to explain the situation.

    Also, like for my difficult child, STBX got very lucky and actually prolonged divorce because a kid here can not be seen by multiple judges as a juvenille. So, the family court judge saw my son, and he missed out on the entire juvenile system. I wonder what the judge would say if you had to come back into his courtroom because you turned your son it??

  7. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    I really didn't understand the whole ruling either ~ I am guessing since my older minor at home was to be/now is 18 - he didn't make him a ward of the state - this "situation" is in effect for one year.

    There is no drug abuse - child abuse - criminal record but I felt like a criminal.

    The 1st day was my ex presenting his case against me - all the baggage of my adult children was brought up and where they are now. When I would comment in any way about the uninvolvement of my ex for the past 10 years and the abuse in the marrage - it was met with a OBJECTION and the judge would not let me elaborate on why my children are suffering or why I haven't had more control of their behavior.

    The Judge point blank asked me why I haven't put a stop to this behavor. Whenever I tried to answer the guy just shook his head at me in disgust.

    What was I suppose to do?

    Everytime these boys headed that way they were 17 - 18 and nobody would help me - too close to being an adult. Tried to get them counseling - they wouldn't go - they would run out the door.

    The next day was suppose to be our day to defend all the **** but the Judge ended the 1st day saying he wanted my youngest daughter brought in the next morning and she was questioned in chambers and the records are sealed.

    My family is extremely disfunctional - kids play parents - kids play against each other - always picking sides - my daughter is always crying to her dad about the behavior of her older brothers but she doesn't inform me until things are out of control.

    What is weird about the whole situation - is when my 18 year old went for his first drug test and drug evaluation - I sent the reports as "proof" to my attorney and he e-mailed me back to just communicate with my ex with the results. If this is court ordered - why would the Judge not want reports?

    It was never stated if he's positive such and such will happen - it was simply said he needs to be drug tested and in counseling.

    On a side note - I was seeking $12,000. back child support - I was awarded $1500. to be paid within 30 days of the ruling.

    He quit paying me when he filed for custody.

    The whole thing was a crock.

    I owe my attorney $10,000 - I've already paid him over $2000. The last thing I want is to go to court again - The whole system is a joke as far as I'm concerned.

    My children have alot of pain and have medicated with pot and alcohol - My oldest has been in jail twice for domestic abuse - wonder where he learned that from?

    It would have been nice if the Judge could have arranged for some free counseling or rehab for my kids instead of making life harder on me.

    My ex has not contacted my 18 year old although in court he cried how much he loves his son and how it is killing him see him follow in his brothers footsteps.

    I am wondering now what the heck ~ I am wondering if his ruling is even legal ~
  8. helpme

    helpme New Member

    Did you see a copy of the order?
  9. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    No ~ I haven't - Do you think my lawyer would lie to me?
  10. helpme

    helpme New Member

    Um, I don't ever trust anyone when it comes to court orders.
    Also, around here the lawyers write the orders so sometimes
    the other lawyer never sees the information. I've also seen
    found orders not "entered" because lawyers "forgot", misplaced,
    and so forth.

    Took family court administration the entire day to figure out who
    held custody of difficult child (it was a 3way) and which took presidence.
    Things got worse when they um, I forget the word, but it meant
    to "join" cases of juvenille/divorce/order of protection. The "joining"
    meant the cases stayed with one judge (which did help with criminal
    issues because for a brief period 16-17 I would of had to agree to
    any plea deals, but of course STBX was stalling until child reached 17.

    Then there was the order to break them apart, because difficult child became
    17, and more things were unjoined when he turned 18.

    And, things got really messy when there was the OP hearing against
    son trial dates and middle filed for OP against me. Since we needed
    everyone's lawyers and multiples for difficult child, things somehow got posted
    that difficult child was filing the order against me and not middle one. That
    was a big mess, difficult child's record needed to be updated because witnesses
    in my case were also state's witnesses against him on violations of
    the OP. But they had it "looking" as if difficult child had an order against him,
    and that he was filing one back to me --which ex's attorneys did to
    make him look good during the felony plea deal.

    My lawyer didn't catch the mistake even though he worked both cases,
    and the correspondence with him showed difficult child filed by ex against me.
    But again, it was my one lawyer up against 5 for STBX, difficult child, and middle.

    I always go check for myself. I've got a dumb @@@ one now
    who is so busy chasing women and drinking that all sorts of stuff
    is going wrong. I knew it was bad when the IRS notified me that
    I was no longer able to pay him for services. But the lawyer
    is very influential with the judges. I've been told things were
    ordered that weren't and vice versa. I've been told court was
    rescheduled to find out it wasn't, and my lawyer did not appear
    but worked out issues with STBX's lawyer over the phone. I don't
    trust anyone anymore.

    Maybe looking at difficult child's file might open a "loophole" for you.
    You may find a better way to assist your difficult child. Sending you
    good luck vibes.
  11. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    Help Me ~ I think you just did (help me) - LOL

    My husband and I took a walk after dinner last night to talk away from ear shot of the kids and he reminded me of a few things he remembered about "the order" that I had forgotten.

    I do something in writing ~

    The whole ordeal was stressful - two days long - and basically a blur.

    My husband only remembers the Judge saying my 18 YO was to have the initial drug test and if it was positive (and it was) he had to go for a Drug evaluation and then counseling for a year. If he refused the initial test and failed to go to counseling - I was to call the Juv. Attorney or my daughter would be removed from my home.

    My daughter claimed he was doing lots of drugs - He had to have a hair folicle test and only tested postive for THC - I am not down grading that - I know that is the gateway - but some of the testimony (from their dad) was talk of meth - Cocaine - etc.

    My 16 YO is Hyper sensitive to drugs because of the disfunction of her older sibs ~ I don't blame her for her fear - but, I think it was dramatised.

    I am going to try to get a transcript thru the court before I call my attorney - they charge you everytime they think about you.

    Like I said - the whole thing was a joke.

    6 years ago my ex took me to court - He talked to kids into going to live with him. False accusations against my husband and I - my ex and his wife called the state and filed a bogus report with Child Protective Services - all found unsubstanciated. Dragging going to court out for months - my bill was elscalating. Finally my current husband made " a deal " with my ex ~ We would write that 2 kids were with-him and the then 3 other minor children were with us so his child support was based on a calculation basis so we got $350 for one kid.

    All these years I left it - 2 years ago he talked my youngest daughter to go live with him. He filed for custody - When the taxes were presented for child support ~ He was surprised to learn my income has drastically reduced the past 5 years (I am self employeed) and his has gone up.

    So - he filed to get both kids saying I am unfit. The rest is history.

    He quit paying me anything and we were seeking modification on both children.

    He drug this out for a year -doing all sorts of crazy things - contacting our Church saying horrible things about my current husband - He was trying to bully us into making another "deal". We even had a voice message from my husband's cell stating if we didn't settle - he was contacting the Church.

    The Judge didn't care about anything.

    In fact he stated this wasn't about money and I was to move on. We were asking for back child support at the new calculation for the year he had not paid and we could prove he drug it out.

    After reading your testimony I am more convinced - our judicial system needs some tweaking - guess I better zip it so I don't start a debate.

    I licked my wounds and being the codependent that I am figured I am wrong and not seeing reality.

    My husband took it the hardest. He is a wonderful man and has done everything for my kids - especially my adult hurting kids - I pray someday they realize how much they are loved and how wonderful their stepdad is dispite the lack of involvement from their dad.

    That is why it is hard for me to turn my back on my kids - my 18 year old cries about his dad - he is a song writer and wrote a song to his dad. We presented that in court but the Judge "slapped" me for allowing my 18 year old to talk that way about his dad.

    I am attaching the lyrics from my son's song.

    Thanks for listening - I am getting the court order today - my son has really been hurt by not being allowed to come to court and say his mind. I have encouraged him to let go and let it be.

    Have a Good Day ~

    Verse I Mistakes yes I have made. Drown myself everyday. My father wishes he had a better son. Not perfect never said I was, Forgive him for all he's done. Coming closer but he just runs away. Bridge And you, will die alone. I said now you, will die alone. Chorus And times, I've watched you torture them from the inside out. And your children are falling apart. Now does this make an sense to you. Or should I write this all out. Verse II Bad memories with you I have. Why couldn't you just been a dad? What the **** did I ever do to you? I'm sorry I was ever born. My apology, don't ignore. Took the time to write a song for you. Bridge Chorus Solo Chorus Copyrighted 2008