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  • Aug 24, 2008, 08:27 PM
    Laws of child abandonment in California?
    I am a mother of a 11 year old girl. I raised her by myself for nearly ten years. Her father and I never married. I left her father when she was about a year old because he was physically abusive to me(even hospitalizing me ) and because I caught him giving our baby girl a bath with him and he had an erection. When she was about 4 years old she started showing signs of psychiatric disorders,. ie lashing out, hurting animals. I got her counceling and kept her in it. Her father always downplayed that she had an illness. When she was 7, I gave birth to my baby boy. She originally was kind and loving towards him, but eventually became angry and jealous, even hurting him at times. She was eventually diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder. She was palced on medication and was under the care of a physician. Her father contested her being on medication, and eventually the court held off her use of medication because even though I had residential custody, we shared joint LEGAL custody. When she reached about 9 and a half, her father manipulated her by being a "Hollywood Dad". He remarried, his wife was financially secure and they owned a home. She lied to the child protective services about me being physically abusive towards her, so her father could file for an emergency hearing for custody. They gave hime custody until protective services completed their investigation. The only hands on that I had with her was when she would lash out, or hurt her brother, I would have to physically restrain her from hurting herself or anyonelse. This was the recommendation of her therapist. During the hearing , she told the court she really wanted to live with her dad, and they eventually changed the residential custody. I refinanced my home twice to fight for her to come home, and eventually put myself in financial jeopardy. I married a man out of state about a year later and have been married to him for about 1 and a half years. He since has adopted my son whose father abandoned hom completely. A few days ago, my daughter called me crying. She said she doesn't want to live with dad anymore." Dad works 6 days a week and is gone for more than 12 hours a day. There is no food in the house and I can't go outside or talk to anyone. Daddy comes home eveyday and gets drunk and yells at me, Please mommy help me." I contacted police and had them do a welfare check on her , and they were very unpleased. They contacted dad and had him come home from work. He was arrested for child abandonment and had a $20k bond put on him. This is the second time he has been arrested for this charge for our daughter. He has had numerous charges for simple battery as he has an anger management problem. She was placed into protective custody of the state, because I live out of state. He has since bonded out and his parents picked up my daughter from state's custody. I now have to go to that state for an emergency hearing, and I do not have any money for an attorney. However, the state apparently is going to provide her with her own attorney. She has decreased dramatically academically since with her father. I have kept in touch with her teachers and kept all documentation of her ill behaviors in class, lack of participation, and disrupting of her class. Her father has divorced his wife and now my daughter and her father live together in a one bedroom apartment. He doesn't provide her any counceling, doesn't provide her medical or dental care. I provided all those without his assistance for her first ten years. I have never had ANY criminal history or documented type of violence. I miss her dearly and want her to come home. What chances do I have of bringing her home with me and my family after the hearing?
  • Aug 25, 2008, 07:05 AM
    Does he have a lawyer? Generally, if one party has a lawyer and the other dosen't the one with a lawyer will win. It is good that the state has provided her with a lawyer (they do that when the child has been victomized). I would think you have a fairly good shot at regaining custody but I really can't give you a percentage of a shot. It would help greatly if you had a lawyer especially because even though you don't have a criminal history CPS has done an investigation on you. While from what I have read they cleared you it can still be brought up so in order to help your case if it is brought up you should be willing to submit to weekly or monthly visits from them just to prove your case.
  • Aug 25, 2008, 07:23 AM

    Originally Posted by spacopper
    What chances do I have of bringing her home with me and my family after the hearing?

    I very, very much doubt that a decision will be reached at that hearing - most often the Judge reviews (and gathers, if necessary) information and then makes a decision.

    I think because you've already lost custody and there are ATtorneys involved that you will be lost without legal representation. Your daughter's Attorney will represent her interests, not yours.
  • Aug 25, 2008, 08:54 AM
    I agree with both your answers. On the face of it, the father's record and the family services investigations should help you get back custody. But if he he has a lawyer and you don't, that could tip the scales back in his favor.

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