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"status quo??"

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  • "status quo??"

    I will try and give a quick rundown of events. I had "defacto" custody of my children from mid 2008 until April 2009, whereby their father took the children under the premise of having them for the weekend. At this time I was not around and I had left the children in my parents care. My ex did not return the children, filed and was granted an exparte motion for sole custody until case conference. I went away for a month seeking addictions treatment.

    Well, case conference will be held soon and my lawyer will then be filing a motion to have the children returned to my interim care until trial as this will definitely be a case going to trial (sadly).

    As this is a CAS matter relating to my care of the children (let it be noted that at no time were the children in danger) and the CAS has made a determination that the children will be safe in my care, what are my chances?

    Just who the heck has the status quo? Me, the Mom who has been their primary caregiver for their entire lives and who has cared for them since separation? Or the father, who will have had the children (by the time the motion is heard) for 2 months???????

    The exparte motion was granted only on his written affidavit only. I have issues with the father only as it relates to control (of me) and his parenting style (which I realize I will have to "get over"). He is a capable father.

    Oh, one thing to note, this involves three children. Two in grade school (he moved them, changed their schools and then got the damn motion!) and one who is only 18 months of age. Prior to this the baby was still being breastfeed and had been in my sole care from the time of birth!

    Surely, considering these circumstances I would have the "status quo"????

    I have gone onto the CAN II site and have been searching various orders of the courts in such circumstances but never have I found such a short frame of custodial care yet where it was changed.

    I am just curious as to what others will think of my chances. I realize no one is a lawyer or judge here and things are very unpredictable but until I get to court on this my mind is reeling!!

  • #2
    Unfortunately the status quo is now children being in dad's care. The judge must have found some very compelling reasons that he/she changed the previous status quo i.e. you as de facto custodial parent. It is very unlikely that the judge will move the children back to you again just like that. In my opinion, rather than wasting your time and money on interim motions ask for OCL appointment. (And if you lost the interim custody motion it would definitely make the current arrangement rock solid and even more difficult to change in future.) As for the age of the children it does not matter. I can't remember exactly the details but there was a case where the judge ordered the custody to father of a <6 months old baby girl who was being being breastfed by the mother as well.

    Are you still on the addiction treatment? Why were the CAS called? What did he say in his affidavit that convinced the judge to grant him temporary custody?


    • #3
      I am thinking that the addiction treatment (i hope it was successful) is going to come and bite you in the butt. That was probably the main reason that the judge gave him custody.Yes you got help but howmany times is treatment successful the first time? The judge would probably want to wait and see if you slide back into whatever your addiction was. May I be so bold to ask if it was drugs and/or alcohol?


      • #4
        I can't imagine that the children will be returned to you anytime soon, though I'm not a lawyer or a judge, unless dad gives up.

        From the sound of it dad did the right thing and stepped up to the plate when you weren't available. Dad probably should have been given the opportunity to look after the kids while you were unavailable - maybe if he had been there would have been no emergency motion.

        Kudos for getting the help you needed but I suspect if you had drug or drinking problems, dad could be reasonable in in request for you to have to submit to testing before being allowed visitation - I know I would if the situtation was reveresed. You could also have supervised visitation until a period of time has passed and its deemed suitable for the children to be left unsupervised with you.

        Hopefully the addiction wasn't drugs or alcohol as that wouldn't be good for a breastfeed child.

        Good Luck


        • #5
          My addiction is alcohol. I have not had anything to drink for several months. He filed for sole custody first, while I was away, took the kids THEN filed an exparte motion. If he was so concerned of the children in my care or my families why did he not file an exparte motion first? No, he waits until they are in his care and then he does it. Also, if he was so concerned for their welfare why did he not file anything for 5 months????? Bizarre.

          By the grace of God I am sober today and have not had anything throughout this nightmare! It states on the judgement that I am to have "reasonable access" and I have yet to see my children because now he tells me he doesn't trust me? He left the children in my care KNOWINGLY when I was drinking on several occasions.

          It is a bizarre case. I know. I have issues with his drinking as well but of course he does not admit an addiction so where does that get me? There are also safety issues with the children being in his care which I cannot get into here.

          It was in the best interests to leave the children in my parent's care while I was in treatment. Of course, that is my opinion. The deciding factor for me was having to remove the children from their home and their schools that I chose not to tell their father of my impending departure. Not having a court order in place prior to my departure is also a long complicated story but every effort was made by me to get one - never denied, but never having the ability to have something in place.

          You know, the world works in mysterious ways. Did not really want to tell the entire story on here and I most certainly have not - however, much more revealed here than I cared to put. I was simply wondering about "status quo". I have hope the children will be returned to my care perhaps not after a motion is made but most certainly after a trial. Without hope how does one go through this process???


          • #6
            nothing is without hope, however faint the hope may be. I can understand why you did not give up the kids to him while you went for treatment due to the school issues. I am thinking that maybe you should have informed him though of your stay at the treatment place before you left. I am thinking that the kids will be left with him as he "seems" (not saying he is) to be the more stable parent. Get your visitation and work towards building a good life for yourself and prove to the courts that you have straightened out your life.

            Good job on being strong and not having a drink while dealing with this.


            • #7
              Your ex husband is establishing status quo. The longer he establishes it, than a court is less likely to change it as long as the children appear to be doing fine. Your ex husband could provide children's report cards to show they are doing fine in school.

              From the time paperwork is submitted to court, it could take a couple of months before your first case conference. A trial is probably years away.

              I would work on getting some visitation, if your ex husband doesn't want to trust you than maybe you should suggest supervised (without prejudice) until your first appearance in court.

              I would also get some documentation from CAS that they don't have any issues with the children being in your care alone.



              • #8
                Check this archive thread with respect to Status Quo.




                • #9
                  I just want to congratulate you Mom2three for staying stong.


                  • #10
                    Well, I finally got my day in court! After case conference the motion was filed, which of course his lawyer requested a delay and was granted. We then went to the motion for "interim, interim" access, requesting a day in court to hear the full motion prior to the school year starting. We agreed to supervised access, by my parents, in the interim. A request was made for the involvement of the OCL and it was our hope that the OCL would be involved while I had access this summer so that an outside source could observe the children in my care. Unfortunately they have yet to make any contact with either side.

                    Anyhow, as I said before, we got our day in court. I feel SO blessed to have the lawyer I do. He (and his entire office staff, for that matter) believed in me, which was one of the things that has kept me going the last 4 months. He truly fights for the underdog! My lawyer made an amazing case! After the motion was heard the judge stated that his docket was full and as such it would take him about a week before the endorsement. So imagine my surprise to get a call from my lawyers office the next day! Totally unexpected! Verdict????
                    Joint custody with the children's primary residence
                    with the Mother!!!!
                    To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I have been hopeful through all of this, but I really was prepared for the worse. And who would have guessed, I have become a better person for it - I have certainly developed a new level of patience! Don't ever give up! Fight for what you believe in - my lawyer's office was "apprehensive" to meet with me, only having my ex's affidavits to go on at that point. Once meeting me they knew the situation wasn't what it seemed and they have been my rock! Gee, never thought I would like a lawyer! I know it is a rarity that an exparte motion is "overturned", but many times they are granted based on lies as the judge only has one side of the "story". This was one of those times and by sheer perseverance and patience on my lawyer's part, my kiddies are coming home!

                    Justice does prevail!


                    • #11
                      Congrats! What a wonderful surprise! I hope you are able to continue to be the strong mother your kids need and stay away from bad habit. Good Luck to all of you!


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