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My ex husband's lawyer used a forged document to help my ex get full custody of my kids. It was an acknowledgement document.

Buford, GA |

It was an acknowledgment documents saying I was waiving my right to be notified and served with papers for custody and divorce. I had signed one last year but that was for the joint custody we agreed on. They went to court behind my back and he got full custody of my children without me knowing about it. I got a copy of the paper from the clerk of court showing my signature on april 25 of 2012. I had to have been in Georgia to have signed it and i wasn't and didn't sign that paper. I want to sue him for this because I now have to hire a lawyer to fight for custody of my children. He has caused me tremendous heartache and depression because of losing my children. I believe if he hadn't submitted this document they would have had to contact me before going through with court.

Oh I forgot to mention that the lawyer is a notary and notarized the document himself. He had one that i had signed back in December of last year but this one says April 25 2012 and I have proof i was in Florida that day and the days before and after. At the very least this lawyer should be disbarred. Update: He got soul custody not full custody. I have absolutely no rights now.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

You are making a serious accusation that could (if true and proven) involve criminal activity. Get yourself an experienced attorney to determine how to address this. This is not a do it yourself project, and your accusation could result in disbarment of a lawyer, jail for a notary, plus a new trial, depending on the details. What you don't do is "sue him for this." I suspect an attorney will look into an extraordinary motion for a new trial, and may recommend a bar complaint as well. Make sure you share all the details and facts. What may work against you however can be your failure to keep up with the case and file appropriate pleadings, so there's no way anyone here can predict the outcome.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment. I don't understand exactly what you mean about some of it. Why can I not sue him? And what do you mean about not keeping up with the case? When I called the clerk of court at the beginning of this year I was told that nothing had been filed. My ex and I talk weekly and he and I were supposed to be working things out nicely. He told me he was going to wait to file the papers because i am on his insurance and needed it to try and fix my back issues. I never knew it had been filed. His lawyer had my address because he had sent me a revised version of the agreement that we had come to. I did not agree with it so I did not sign it. My ex had not told me that he filed the papers nor did he tell me that there was a court date. If i did not know the papers were filed how could i have kept up with it? As far as I knew he was waiting to file the papers. Isn't it a requirement that I be served with papers or at least notified of the court date? I never recieved any papers saying that there was a court date or that the papers had been filed. How can I get the chance to fight this? I do not have the money for a lawyer.

Asker

Posted

It just doesn't seem right that the courts would allow him to get full custody of my children without ever notifying me. How is that possible? Isn't there some law against that? I was told that it was his responsibility to serve me with the papers before it could go to court. If I had known I could have at least went and asked for a postponement. The case is in Hall county GA and I live in FL. But my ex had been here at my house only a few weeks ago. And his lawyer had my address, not to mention several other people he could have asked. And I even gave him my address twice. But he is claiming he didn't have an address for me. And I believe he went into court and told the judge that I had not seen my children since I left him two years ago. I spoke to an attorney on Friday about all this and she said this lawyer is known for doing this type of stuff. I am a student and my fiance has cancer. I have no means to pay a lawyer to take him to court and try to get my rights back.

Asker

Posted

I had almost the same thing happen to me with a signature I hadn't given. A lot of lawyers give you a free 30 minutes or 1 hour consultation on the phone. Don't waste the time with what you think is wrong or right when you get that 30 minutes. Concentrate on the facts and ask what you can do. I think you should concentrate on contacting the state bar for the forged signature and that is free to do anyway. If you are able to show that way that you never put that signature on the paper, you have a much stronger case with your kids. How much HAVE you seen them the last two years and if not much, WHY? What was the reason for you to move so far away from them?

Asker

Posted

So what happened was this. When I left my ex husband I had no where to go with my kids. He would not leave the house and would not let me take the kids with me. He would have physically kept me from taken them. And I was really messed up mentally and emotionally. I needed to get away and spend some time getting myself fixed and get my head straight again. The only place I could go was to TN where my aunt lives. That was literally the only place I had to go to. She did not have room there for my kids and honestly I did not want the kids there. It wasn't the best place for children. So I did what was best for my kids at the time and left them with their father in the home they had known most of their lives and in the same school with the same friends. After I left I would come back to GA every few weeks or so to visit with my kids. I would come to their house and stay there with them for anywhere from a couple days to a week or two. During my visits my ex and I would "be" together and would talk about trying to work things out. He would ask me not to go back to TN each time I left, but I had to. I still needed to figure out myself and what I wanted and needed. After a few months of me coming down and seeing my kids I met a guy. We started dating and even during the time he and I were dating I still would go down to GA and visit with my kids, but I stopped sleeping with my ex once I met this other guy. I would sleep in my daughters bed with her when I went down and visited. Then the new guy and i moved in together. After that I started getting my kids and taking them to TN with me. I let them meet the new guy several times before they stayed with me at his house. And when they did stay he and I would not sleep in the same bed together. This went on for about a year. I would get my kids as much as i could afford to. And sometimes I would still go down and spend the weekend with my kids at his house and would stay in my daughters room with her. They came up and spent a month with me in the summer last year too. The first Christmas I had with them after I left was with me in TN. The second Christmas I spent in GA at their house. And my son had a ruptured appendix right after Christmas and I went back down and spent three days in the hospital with him. So as you can see I was getting my kids quite a bit, weather it was with me at my house or at his house, I still made sure I saw my kids as much as I could, work permitting. Then at the begining of this year my new guy and I moved to FL to stay with family while he was getting treatment for Melanoma Cancer. He was diagnosed with it in January of this year. We found out that there was a place in Tampa, FL that was the best for skin cancer and they would treat him without insurance and he could get the best treatment available and not worry about money. During the time I was in FL I was unable to get my kids. It was too far of a drive and I couldn't afford to fly or anything like that. For most of the time we were in FL neither of us worked. He had several surgeries to get rid of the cancer and was unable to work. I had a really hard time finding work in that area and had to take care of my fiance most of the time too. Once he got the OK to go back to work and that he was free of cancer we moved back to GA. Which is where I am now. I have been here since August 2nd and got my daughter the very night I got here. I hadn't even unpacked. Oh I did see them during June of this year because their father brought them down to Orlando for vacation and I stayed with them at the hotel for a week visiting with my kids. Anyways, I have been getting the kids as much as the ex will let me since I got here. They have spent at least 3 days with me each week and I had them all this week from Tuesday till Friday. I have filed a complain against the lawyer who forged the document and my ex is wanting me to have my rights back. But he wants it to stay how we originally agreed with joint custody and him having physicall custody but I don't want it that way now. Now that I am here, he is telling me he'

Asker

Posted

It seems really complicated... I don't know, I just have the feeling that every time you can try to work out the parenting time with your ex, it's always the best thing for the kids... How old are your kids? What are they saying?

Asker

Posted

they are 12 and 10. They don't say much because we don't ask them. We don't want them to feel like they have to choose between us, that's not fair to the kids. But I really believe my daughter would want to be with me and would be better off with me too. She loves her dad too and she wouldn't want to hurt either of us's feelings so she doesn't say anything. And I am not going to ask her unless I have to.

Asker

Posted

If I could give an advice it would be this... Try to work together and keep the peace with your ex as much as you can. That's what the kids benefits from most. I would not separate the kids. They need each other too. Good luck to you.

Posted

Hire a lawyer first to determine what the best stategy for you in court. At the same time, you might be able to complain to the state bar about his apparent unethical and possibly illegal (forgery) behavior.

Asker

Posted

Like I stated before I have no money for a lawyer. Does anyone know of an organization that would help me? Or maybe a lawyer that would take payments each month to help me. I have absolutely no way of coming up with a retainer. I can't believe that there isn't anyone out there that would be willing to help me get my kids back and not be only concerned with money. I know it takes work and money but i am a victim here and there's got to be someone who is willing to help. If i go into court by myself I am going to lose everything. I am willing to work for a lawyer for free if it would help.

Ikemesit Amajak Eyo

Ikemesit Amajak Eyo

Posted

TO THE ASKER: Attorneys that require payment are not "only concerned with money". Many family law attorneys are extremely compassionate people. But compassion does not pay our rent/mortgage or put food on our tables. We require payment for our work for the exact same reason that every other employed person does - it's a necessity. That being said, you can find a list of companies that offer legal assistance to indigent people by searching for "LegalAid-GA".

Asker

Posted

I understand that. I really do. Everyone has to make money to live. I get that. But there are lawyers out there that will take a case without compensation because they believe that the person they are representing deserves defense. And I have heard of pro-bono lawyers out there. I just can't seem to find one who is willing to help me. The legal aid places only help with filing papers and stuff like that. I have called them before. They don't offer legal advice and they don't go to court with you. As a lawyer you know if I go into court on my own I will lose. I don't mean to sound selfish or insensitive but i know how much money lawyers make. There has to be someone out there that is willing to accept payments or nothing at all depending on the circumstances. Knowing what happened to me was very wrong and illegal, it seems that someone would care enough to help me and let me at least pay them a little each month. I'm even willing to go to work for someone as a trade for services. It's not that I don't want to pay for help. It's that I truly cannot right now. And If I do not do something within 30 days I will lose my kids forever. All I am asking for is some understanding and compassion and for someone to be willing to help me get my kids back regardless of weather they get paid $10,000 or $100. Like I said I'm not trying to be insensitive to the fact that people work for money. And if I had the money I wouldn't have any problems paying for it because my kids are worth more to me than any amount of money. I just don't have any money to give. I have great computer skills and I am a student with Devry. I have plenty of talent and skill to offer someone in return for their help.

Posted

You will most definitely need to retain an experienced divorce attorney. There are several things that can be done, depending upon the date of the Final Decree. Do not wait any longer. Please call my office for a phone consultation at no charge (770-986-9364). I can tell you what needs to be done, and the approximate cost.

I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.