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Author Topic: New & Need Help with Custody Issues in Georgia  (Read 3332 times)

hotforjimmy

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New & Need Help with Custody Issues in Georgia
« on: Feb 07, 2004, 05:57:35 PM »
Hi to all! I am new here, with just about the same story I been reading at several websites. My husband has custody of his daughter. It took us almost a year to accomplish this. Some basic facts on our case is this.

1. Mom uses drugs. Failed a state drug test, and openly admitted in court she used and didn't understand the problem because she didn't do it in front of the child.
2. Mom let "boyfriend" physically abuse child. The documentation was with DCFS and the child's school. (Pictures)
3. Mom medically neglected child. No treatment for ear infections, staph infections, yeast infections, and impetigo. The three latter ones all due to poor hygeine.
4. Mom allowed child to get 2cnd degree sunburned twice, once on a visitation while we had temp. custody before final hearing. The second time required treatment at Atlanta's best burn clinic at Grady Hospital.

Those listed above are just the biggies, there is enough to fill sooo many pages and too much to type.
So Judge on our case in Cherokee county said that not one of those things was enough to change custody, but all combined it was. Funny if my husband had done just one of those things his a@* would be in jail. Okay we should be happy custody changed, and we were ecstatic!! We did all the right things. I document everything and it worked for us. We had a decent attorney and a Gaurdian Ad Litem. Of course we have 3 other children and the finacial burden of the case sent us to bankruptcy court! Judge ordered mom to pay child support way under state guidelines, a whole $35.00 a week, which mom doesn't pay. At this time she is 47 weeks in arrears! That's a whole other story.
Well we have had SD for almost 3 years now and BM has had minimal contact and has made no attempt for visitation. Well everything changed about a month ago. We were going along just fine when out of the blue my husband was served with contempt papers. She actually was claiming we were holding her daughter, mind you we had begged and her daughter had begged her to come. So the papers said the court date was in 3 days. We panicked, borrowed another $1200.00 to secure another attorney, our other one no longer practices, and here we go again.
We meet with the attorney and he says don't worry we are okay. We tell him no we are not the Judge doesn't like men. He says we are going to ask for a continuance because FEDERAL Law says you need at least 5 days to prepare. So we get there, did I say she was representing herself? Well the Judge says no to the continuance because mom stands up and says this is an emergency. My A#@! So the Judge says she doesn't see any reason for visitation to happen and forces us to let her go with her.
She is late for her pick up, goes straight to the boyfriend's apt. that abused my SD, and then has the nerve to tell her that the man didn't do anything to her! Mom told the Judge that my SD would have her own bed and room, well she slept with mom because her roomate's daughter, who doesn't have custody of her child uses the extra bedroom. Mom had no clothes for SD so on Sunday returning home she was still wearing the underwear she had on on Friday. My SD is 10 and I guess mom still hasn't got a clue about hygeine!!
Well we were supposed to go back to court again right before the next visitation to settle this thing. Well we convinced her to sign off on a temp. order saying she couldn't take the child to the boyfriends and several other stipulations, and then we would get a mediator in about 6 weeks and then go back for the final. We thought everything was fine and then she called on Thursday night to say she wouldn't be here to pick up her daughter, her dad would. Well we made the mistake of not agreeing with her and it pissed her off. So the following morning our attorney called and said that we would be going for he final on March 11th, she was mad, and after seeing how the Judge treated my husband told him that the Judge could reverse custody!!
We are totally panicked now and don't know what to do! I don't see how the Judge can just reverse the custody without the NCP having to show that there is a reason for the change.
A little history on the daughter.
She was failing school, in special eduaction, on ritilan, and sick all the time.
Now she is off ritilan, out of special education, id HONOR ROLL, and hasn't been to the doctor for anything since I can remember. Doesn't any of this matter?
Mom still isn't stable, still with the abuser and we are the ones worried! What is wrong with this picture?????
If my husband was a woman he wouldn't even have to think twice about the decisions that he makes. So our attorney has told us to give in to anything and everything that Mom asks for whether we think it's good for the child or not.
If anyone has any suggestions that would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Kim


msme

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RE: New & Need Help with Custody Issues in Georgia
« Reply #1 on: Feb 07, 2004, 06:22:21 PM »
First off, if your attorney isn't a Board Certified, Family Law & Custody Specialist, You need to get one. They are the best to deal with a biased judge.
Also, Subpoena everyone who can testify about your child's improved well being & progress. Also get those who are quailfied to testify about her life with her mother. The courts usually won't accept letters or affidavits but you can march a string of witnesses into the court room. Make sure you have school & medical records & separate them into before & after Dad.
If your child doesn't go to therapy, consider taking her & ask the therapist to testify & make recommendations to the court.

Good luck & God bless

hotforjimmy

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RE: New & Need Help with Custody Issues in Georgia
« Reply #2 on: Feb 07, 2004, 06:46:34 PM »
Thanks for the info. When I was looking for the new attorney I looked in the Family Law section but I have no idea if he is certified, I will check. At this time we can't afford another attorney so we are stuck with this one for now. Actually the Judge in the court we attend limits witnesses you can string as you say in the courtroom. She wants everything short simple and sweet, makes it real easy for BM. What we are asking for at this time is supervised visits with BM because it has been so long, I already know the Judge won't go for it. So I did a little research and found that once she rules we can take it to the supreme court. I have been reading alot on the Georgia Supreme Court site on thier rulings and they overturn alot. Also I just found the Judicial committe where I can formely file a complaint agaisnt the Judge. I am scared to though because if we end up in front of her again and they have investigated her our outcome could really be bad.

Indigo Mom

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RE: Holy crudballs!
« Reply #3 on: Feb 07, 2004, 07:21:05 PM »
Sounds like your lawyer didn't pass the bar, but simply opened a box of crackerjacks and out popped a "lawyer" card.  The idiot.  Have your husband ask this guy where he left his balls...cause he needs to go pick 'em back up and use those in this custody case.  Give in to the mother?  LMAO!!!  What a dolt.  Fire this cheesehead....if you keep this guy, you'll end up losing the child.

You need a new lawyer (one with balls), you need to request another GAL, if the other one you had isn't on the case anymore, you need to request random weekly drug testing, you need to request supervised parenting time until she can prove she's clean.  You need to get in the order that the child isn't to be exposed to the boyfriend who abused her.

You NEED to come across that you're willing to cooperate with the mother in raising this child, even though you probably want to choke her to death.  Cooperation is key.  Must sound like you're willing to coparent with this schmuck.  She'll hang herself eventually.

Is this child in therapy?  If not, get her into a child therapist.  This will be a 3rd party who can speak on the behalf of the child in court.  Also, he/she can help this girl cope with all the crap that's going on in her life.

I'm sorry this child has to live a life of hell...

Kent

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Anybody wondering why I'm worried?
« Reply #4 on: Feb 09, 2004, 05:53:16 AM »
I go to the same courthouse, and have the same judge (there is only 1 female judge in Cherokee County).


hotforjimmy

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RE: Anybody wondering why I'm worried?
« Reply #5 on: Feb 09, 2004, 06:20:46 AM »
I know you are worried! I haven't read your posts as to your case maybe you could update me and we can exchange info seeing as we are in the same area. Has the judge treated you as poorly as she has us?

I cry_ in_the_dark

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RE: New & Need Help with Custody Issues in Georgia
« Reply #6 on: Feb 09, 2004, 01:04:16 PM »
From somebody who knows, you very well can have that child yanked out of your arms.

IMHO, get yourself a different lawyer....NOW!

Davy

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Investigate Recusal
« Reply #7 on: Feb 10, 2004, 10:04:09 AM »
I have zero knowledge of Georgia processes.  You may want to investigate the possibility of forcing the judge to step down for being BIAS and PREJUDICE TOWARDS YOUR CHILDREN AND YOU.  In my experience, an attorney that is part of the good ole boy 'business as usual system' in your jurisdiction will NOT entertain such a motion ... a rule of law type attorney that does not regularly practice in a particular jurisdiction WILL if it is justified in the least ... they seem to love it and are relatively cheap.  This type of attorney may be hard to locate but the action was very effective in stopping the legal money trees between the typical family courts / attorneys.

My attorney formerly clerked for the state supreme court and could/would do what he said ...have the judge in front of the supremes the next day if he did not step down (order themselves off the case).
They really are wimps !!!

At this time in life, I was gainfully employed but basically living on the street, eating one meal a week and spending every free moment in the law library.  My opposition was wealthy with tons of long term political influence with the court system / community.... NO MORE ...  

msme

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RE: Investigate Recusal
« Reply #8 on: Feb 10, 2004, 10:17:01 AM »
I should have mentioned earlier that you should look for a lawyer from a neighboring county.It will cost you a bit more when you actually go into court & he/she has to travel but the rest should be the same.

When you deal with a local lawyer in a biased court, you are going to lose. That lawyer has to see that judge regularly & doesn't want to pi$$ him off.

Also, the first consultation should be free. When we changed lawyers,our new one told the other one that if he tried to get any money out of us, he would sue him for malpractice.

Davy

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RE: Investigate Recusal
« Reply #9 on: Feb 10, 2004, 12:39:07 PM »
It may not cost more to have an attorney that needs to travel to a 'good ole boy' jurisdiction and if an attorney tells you that you probably don't want to retain that attorney anyway.  

I found an IL attorney over the phone from TX (home state) that monitored (approx. a year without retainer) the IL and TX proceedings. From the very beginning he seemed MOST INTERESTED IN THE CHILDREN and the jurisdiction the case was in was known to be particularly corrupt.  He traveled the 100 miles roundtrip to pick up the entire case files from the home boy attorney one afternoon and returned the following morning for the hearing.  He called me in TX from the IL whorehouse that morning during the hearing and we decided to proceed with the recusal that we had already discussed.  The next day, the judge (Granpa's boy) had refused to remove himself and the attorney called the judge and told him he was going to send him a 2nd motion worded exactly the same and if he still refused to recuse himself then he would have his ass in front of the supremes that day.  Again, the motion was for bias and prejudice against the children (name) and myself.  My family's only connection to that jurisdiction was that the BM grew up (?) there and her parents lived there.  

The overall effect...it SAVED MY CHILDREN (?) and a ton of money.  

On the other hand, I could not find a TX attorney to stand against a powerful TX judge and often had a 2nd attorney familiar with the case waiting in the wings.  I had no problem dismissing an attorney on the spot if he stood there playing with himself so the court could get it's jollies.  At times I went pro se.

My view is that the court is often more of an enemy than your opponent.
As compared to the well-being and lives of my children, I considered the court/attorneys as a side show like a circus or a zoo depending whether I thought the participants were a bunch of clowns or animals on any given day.
   
I tried desperately to retain representation that was as focused on the children as I was and not focused on money.  

 

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