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Is there anything I can do?

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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 1
State or Province: Missouri

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:18 am    Post subject: Is there anything I can do? Reply with quote

I am trying to get some information about my rights and what steps I need to follow to regain PHYSICAL custody of my daughter. While it would appear that I have full legal custody of her, she has been living with her father for approx. 4 years. The environment she is in has definitely become unsafe, as there are drugs in the house on pretty much a daily basis, she is not receiving adequate nutrition, and they are living in a 1 room "house." He has freely told me that he can't afford anything bigger,even though he makes close to $15 an hour. After being in a relationship with him for over 2 years, I am well aware of the reasons he never has any money.

She was supposed to only be with him for a short amount of time while I got settled in my new residence, however it ended turning into a longer period as I became pregnant and in time gave birth to a son, who is legally disabled. At the time of this message, I am attending college, have had a large apartment for almost 2 years (and am assured that upon the return of my daughter I will be moved to one of the 3 bedroom units as opposed to the 2 bedroom I am currently occupying), and I have been drug free for the entire 4 years we have been separated, and am more than willing to prove that in any way necessary.

Well, that explains the physical situation somewhat, now the legal situation. He and I were never married, and he is not listed on her birth certificate, though paternity is not in question. There are no documents in existence giving him custody. As I understand it, I do still have full legal custody of her. However, I am sure there are some issues raised by the fact that she has been in his physical custody for so long. One attorney I have spoken with told me that I should just go and get her, then file child protective motions and the like, while another told me to definitely NOT just go get her, but to file for her removal based on the fact that her environment is unsafe. The latter quoted me the "base acceptable" fee as $3000 for his services. This is definitely an amount I would have no way of raising. I have been told by several attorneys that this is going to end up being a very drawn out and expensive venture, and I simply don't have thousands to pay for a lawyer. It was also suggested that I call Child Protective Services since I feel she is in a very dangerous environment, but that even if I do, it is not a given they will give her to me even if they find drugs in the home. I know for a fact that his family will spare no expense to keep her, and I don't have the means to fight in court. As a legal resident of Missouri, while she is a legal resident of Texas, I am told that I am not eligible for any legal assistance either.

To date, I have been unable to contact anyone in legal aid to see if I have any options there. I am not even sure I will require an attorney, at first, since what I am being told is very different depending on who I talk to. Can you offer any suggestions? I would greatly appreciate any help you may be able to give!

Thank you very much!
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 5
State or Province: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:45 pm    Post subject: hopefully this can help Reply with quote

There is a phoe number you can call and it is the childsupport hotline. You can tell them your situation and they can give you advice of what you should do. It is free and they helped me with my son. 1866-292-4636.Now I am havign problems with my daughter.
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