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Procedure for contesting child custody modification, wife is seeking child custody

Marysville, WA |

My wife has gotten an attorney and is trying to take my 4mo daughter away from me. She asked me for a divorce. She has taken my prior history that I shared with her in confidence about having had a DWI, drug addiction problem(now clean and sober) and has brought it all back to use it against me in keeping me from seeing my daughter. She served me with papers stating i have to have supervision when I see my daughter every other weekend for 4 hours. She is accusing me of being a bad father which is not true. I have not done anything to deserve this. My wife comes from a wealthy family and can afford a lawyer. I can't. I am in an apprentice program and am in school at the moment and on unemployment. If I do poorly in school I risk mine and my daughters future livelyhood(her healthcare coverage, child support etc...) I will make a decent wage when I get out of the apprentice program but still have 3 years to go. I need help. I don't want to lose my daughter but I have no money. Even when I was able to see my daughter my wife left her with nothing in the house for when she was here. Now my wife has a restraining order against me for my past bad behavior. I am not that same person and she knows it! What are my rights here in Washingon. I am told that i have tribal rights since I am part Native American. I was just served with divorce/custody papers(over 100 pages long) today. I have a court date Oct 13th and have been told by my instructors that now would not be a good time to take time off from school. So now I risk losing my potential livelyhood and my daughter. I have access to many character witnesses that can speak on my behalf. That I am not the person she says I am. I don't know what else to do. Don't I have rights? Can she really slander me like this? Please help me. I am desperate. Thank you for listening.

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Attorney answers 1


It appears you are being lined for CAPTA techniques being used against you to remove your child from your life.

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act send federal funds for state child protection. Drug use by a parent triggers a child neglect proceeding. However, you are not entering a neglect proceeding: the divorce is going to feature an allegation of neglect and the court will be asked to apply CAPTA techniques to regulate your access to the child: use of a lawyer for the child, a court appointed psychologist and so on.

Such a quick return date on the divorce papers seems to indicate that the mom is filing an emergent application with the court to give the impression that there is an actual emergency where the child's health is in imminent danger.

While I cannot represent you through an internet portal, I would advise you to get an attorney who is versed in expert witness management and trial presentation. CAPTA causes the court to weigh too heavily in favor of its own appointed personnel and you will have to have a lawyer who can out maneuver this collection of professionals.

CAPTA is a federal statute that preempts state law in child protection. Be very careful because the stakes in your case are huge. DO not go it alone!

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