• 832 reactions
    • 7 replies

    Top Reply

    It sounds like what you're really looking for isn't to get your Dad in trouble, but to get the court to allow you and your sister to live with your Mom. I'm going to make the assumptions that you're in your teens and live in the U.S. (based on your choice of wording, your grasp of the factors that come into play but that you're still young enough for these issues to factor in) - which is significant because of the way the courts approach custody. The key things that I picked up during my time running a non-profit and advising clients on issues like this (as well being a product of custody & visitation battles myself), are that: 1) The #1 factor is always "the best interest of the child"; 2) Custody is never permanent (primarily because the best interest of the child can change); 3) If the child is old enough for the judge to put any stock in their opinion, then most reasonable judges will take into consideration what the kids both say and want; and 4) When either or both households seem even remotely unfit, judges almost always bring in the right people to help assess the situation (a psychologist and/or a child services social worker), and will often assign a 3rd party such as a “Guardian Ad Litem” to advocate on your behalf as well. Which means that - barring any unknown factors which could affect your Mom's getting custody - this is definitely a winnable case. And on the off-chance that you wind up with the wrong judge or lawyer and things don't go the way they should, remember that custody is never permanent and you're free to go back to court any time. The best way to get the ball rolling would probably be to get "Independent Representation" or "Independent Counsel", provided on a 'pro-bono' basis (free of charge). If you don't feel like you can have one of your parents arrange this through the court, then it may be worthwhile asking someone at your school to help (i.e. a guidance counselor, principal, teacher). If neither of those options are available then it may require a little bit of legwork, but there are quite a number of organizations that help pair you up with a pro-bono lawyer, including Legal Aid and the Family Law section/division of your state's Bar Association.

  • Load More