My child is in another state. She is trying to take her away from me. She has also filed false abuse charges. The courts are making me pay for investigators, psychologist etc. I am drained off money. Mother asked for me to sign off for everything to go away, she has me in a corner. Looking for advise, what is my next step? what are my rights?
Child Abuse Lawyer
I don't practice in New Jersey and it may be that you need to get the advice you are looking for from an attorney in the state where your child lives. It partly depends on what your parenting agreement or most recent court orders say about where the child legitimately lives.
"Charges ... for not influencing her to be part of my life" sounds like you are saying the mother violated the judgment. That would be a contempt action rather than "charges," which usually means a criminal complaint.
"Charges ... for mental and emotional abuse" would need to be brought up with the child protective services (CPS) agency or police where the abuse is alleged to be occurring.
If you truly no longer have money, most states have provisions for indigent (i.e., low income) people to have the costs of litigation paid for by the state. Check that out with the clerk's office or website for the court where the action is pending.
In Massachusetts, where I practice, "sign[ing] off for everything" will not get you off the hook for child support or for any of the fees which have already been incurred and for which the court told you you are responsible. It also might not get you off the hook for any "abuse charges" the mother has filed on you. If the CPS agency has already supported, substantiated or founded the allegations against you, you would want to appeal to try to convince a hearing officer that those allegations are false. There is usually a very short deadline (most often 30 days) after the finding to file for the appeal.
Your next step is to discuss your case in detail with an experienced family law or CPS defense attorney in the location where the case(s) is(are) pending. Your rights vary depending on the venue where the case is, the status of any court or CPS cases and the facts surrounding your child's best interests.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I cannot tell from your question whether the litigation is in New Jersey or another state and whether there is a current custody/vistation order in place. If she relocated with the child it had to be done with your written consent or by an order from a court in New Jersey. It would be impossible to advise you as to the next step without knowing what the abuse charges are, where they were filed, are they still pending, why are you paying for investigators, etc. If you provide more information, I might be able to provide a more detailed response.
Also, "signing off", whatever that means, will not relieve of your obligation to support the child.
I would be happy to follow up with you. Please email me directly or call my office if you would like to schedule an appointment either in person or by telephone. www.burnhamlawgroup.com Disclaimer: You cannot rely on the advice of an attorney given over the internet. The exact facts of your situation, including facts which you have not mentioned in your question, may completely change the result for your situation. Please be aware that the above comments are neither protected by attorney-client privilege, nor may be the basis for a malpractice lawsuit should the suggestion be followed with undesirable results.
1 lawyer agrees
Personal Injury Lawyer
It sounds like you have already filed a complaint for this. Unfortunately is costs money to prove your allegations. I don't understand why she doesn't have to pay half of expert costs.
Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.