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Can I ask for joint custody at our final divorce hearing even though he was awarded temporary custody at the first hearing?

Chatsworth, GA |

was married for 9 yrs,our son is 7.ex was mentally &verbally abusive to me in front of our son.became physical,kicked me out w/ nothing took my car away. I am disabled, was in bad car wreck 4 years ago but draw disability.moved into 1room apt that I felt was unsafe for my son to be at but was all I could afford at the time. SO I HAD to let my son stay with him. He filed for divorce and we went to the temporary hearing in Dec.I agreed to supervised visitation at my mom's house every other weekend.Now circumstances have changed,I rented a 3bd 2th clean nice home for us and I want to get joint custody but my ex refuses to talk to me,tells everybody I just left our son and making me look awful when it was ALL him.He has a job,$ and lawyer.He wants it to stay the same but my son even wants me?

I don't have $ for a lawyer and he refused to go to mediation. We both have raised our son but I was the one who always took care of him. My ex is a total control freak and IMPOSSIBLE so I don't know whats gonna happen. I have no criminal history, can pass a drug test, suitable loving home but he still thinks HE is gonna get full custody. What CAN I DO???? And he is keeping the house, car everything!

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

The Court is not bound by the temporary Order. The Judge will look at all the relevant evidence and make a determination regarding custody that is grounded in what he or she finds to be in your child's best interest. If you want joint physical and legal custody (the former involves where the child resides / parenting time and the latter involves decision making for the child), then you will have to demonstrate to the Court that joint custody is in your child's best interest. If you cannot afford to retain counsel, you might try calling your local Bar Association. I do not see a Chatsworth or Murray County Bar Association on the web, but if you call the Consumer Assistance Program at the Georgia Bar Association, they may be able to direct you. Their number is (404) 527-8759.

This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as nor does it constitute legal advice. This answer does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Do not rely on this answer in prosecuting or defending against any criminal or civil legal action. Speak to an attorney in your area about how to protect yourself and your interests.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your input on my situation. I do not have any money to hire an attorney or I would have already. I am just lost because I feel it is so unfair in the court system that it has to be this way. Could you give me any advice on how to prove that I am the fit parent in this case and ways to prove this to the judge? What are your suggestions on this and what else can I do if I don't have counsel?? I have tried to get legal aid and other pro bono work in our county but they will not help unless it is a domestic violence dispute or criminal case. PLEASE give me some examples of how I can prove this on my OWN. Thank you, any advice is GREATLY appreciated. I have to get my baby back, I cannot live like this anymore!!!

Rachel Aliza Elovitz

Rachel Aliza Elovitz

Posted

I strongly encourage you to call the Consumer Assistance Program. You really need to sit down and spend some time with an attorney who can ask you pertinent questions - like what kind of parenting roles you have historically assumed with your child, why the Court ordered supervised visits, whether the visitation supervisor has issued written reports, what the reports show, etc. The attorney can also discuss potential third party witnesses with you, documentary evidence that may be helpful in proving the facts you want the Court to consider in determining what is in the child's best interest, etc. Good luck to you.

Posted

I am going to be very blunt. If you actually want to seek custody, you need a lawyer. You needed one at the beginning of the case. Waiting until now was an enormous mistake. It matters.

Whether you seel counsel via a local bar pro bono project, Georgia Legal Services or private counsel, spend TODAY getting counsel. Do NOT wait.

This is the one time in your life, if fundsare short,that you max credit cards, call every friend and family member you have to pitch in, and even sell things to raise money. You need to know that.

You have lost invaluable time. Good luck.

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Posted

I KNOW THAT I NEED A LAWYER, BUT I DO NOT HAVE ANY WAY OF GETTING ONE. I AM DISABLED AND DRAW SMALL CHECK THAT IS PAYING MY RENT AND TAKING CARE OF ME BUT I LOST EVERYTHING WHEN MY EX KICKED ME OUT. I HAVE NO VALUABLES, NO FRIENDS, AND NO FAMILY WITH MONEY. SO u are pretty much sayin that since I dont have money to do that I don't even have a chance of getting my son back or WHAT??

Posted

The short answer to your question is that anything that happens at the temporary hearing (including custody) can be changed the final hearing. However based upon the facts that you state in your question, I strongly advise you get an attorney to represent you in your case. The established pattern of supervised visitation will undoubtedly be an issue in your final hearing. However, if circumstances had changed, a court has the authority to incorporate a new custody arrangement in the final order. However, you absolutely need to get a lawyer to represent you. Custody issues are too important to try to handle on your own.

Nothing contained herein shall be considered or construed as creating an attorney client relationship between the party asking the question and the attorney. All legal problems are different. The answer given is only a general response based upon the facts provided and should not be considered specific advice for your case. Always contact a lawyer for advice about your particular circumstances and issues.

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