My ex is the custodial parent. Our kids are now 12. She was dating a married man a previously, & in May, it lead to a confrontation at her home with his wife, in which she had our kids hide in her room. She is now dating another married man, whom has a history of domestic violence. She met him online 4 years ago, and moved him into her apartment the same day our kids met him.
I have noticed a change in my son. He went from being an honor student, to now failing 4/7 classes & getting suspended from school. He has been asking his mother for the past 2 years to come live with me. She has said he is not of age to make that choice. At this point, considering all that is going on, how should I approach petitioning custody of my children? An ex parte? Or ask for a court appointed child rep?
You said "custodial parent." Is there a court order in place or is this just an agreement between the two of you?
That is not an either or situation. If you believe that your children are in imminent danger file an ex parte motion for custody, (the more evidence you have of her new boyfriends history of domestic violence the better). That is a separate issue from a court appointed minor's counsel.
That will get the ball rolling for a future hearing on custody and visitation. Because there is a new guy living in the house, there is a substantial change of circumstance and you can argue for a change in the current orders, (if there are any).
If possible retain a family law attorney to help you. If that is not possible look for help from a legal aid organization. Make sure your children are safe.
I don't think an e parte is the best option. Just ask for you to have primarily physical custody. If mom disputes the problens, there will have to be a 730 eval.
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File a Request for Orders, noticed motion not an ex parte. If not resolved thru mediation it is likely a 730 evaluation will be ordered.
The answers on this discussion board are general in nature and NOT intended as legal advice. Responding to questions does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Always see a lawyer about your individual situation.
There is no harm in filing an ex parte. The worst the court will do is say no, or set you for an expedited hearing. Best case scenario, they will change custody. The specific age of your children is not necessarily the primary factor. The law states that children of sufficient age and maturity, their wishes shall be taken into consideration. His wishes, while not the only consideration, will most likely be heard and considered by the court. If your children are witnessing violence in their home, you need to act and act now to protect your kids. You need to hire an attorney in your county that is qualified with family law and also familiar with domestic violence issues.
Please be aware that any comments that I have made are preliminary and tentative and not based upon a thorough analysis of your case. I would need additional information and to review the exact documentation to be sure of the above advice. The answer above does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not require me to answer any future questions.
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