Change in custody

It sounds as though your chances are pretty good. You should get an attorney in NC and file for custody modification, if NC is where the custody was originally ordered. Since he is 16 it may be that he has some influence on the courts decision on this. Gather as much information as you can and keep notes of dates she moved and other events. Go to radio shack and buy a recorder for your phone. Tell them you need to record conversations without the other person knowing. Record conversations with your stepson and her about her reasons for not working, reasons for moving, anything she decides to throw into the conversations. In NC, only one person in the conversation has to know that it is being recorded.
Having bought a home closer to your stepson strictly for visits with him will look VERY good in court.

stepmother pretty much covered all the bases there. Another suggestion is to go buy one of the small mini tape recorders with a microphone at wal mart. These are great for those disputes out in the drive way.

Dear D G,

I commend the two of you for trying to provide a stable environment for your stepson. Give the circumstances I believe you would have grounds to file for a change in custody. The outcome would depend heavily on how your stepson is doing. If he is doing well despite this situation the court may be more reluctant to change custody. However, it appears she if failing to provide your stepson with the most basic necessities.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

I appreciate all your responses. The latest update is we have just discovered that the mother was filed with simple assault charges in 2005. Her live-in boyfriend filed against her, and he is the one that evicted her. She moved out for 10 months and now we discovered two weeks ago that she moved back in with the guy who filed the assault charges and the eviction on her. Does this help our case even more? Our concern is my stepson excels in school, but we believe it is because it is the only structure he has. Also, she has told him he should not have to work until he graduates, she refuses to assist with helping to do the things parents do to introduce him to adulthood, ie., support getting his learners (well she can’t help with that because she doesn’t carry proper insurance on her car). Also, we learned from another ex-boyfriend that she has been extorting money from him to meet her bills for the past several years and he called to tell us he can no longer afford to assist her and he is concerned because she has him convinced if he does not provide her with living expenses, my stepson will not have a roof over his head (understand, this man is NOT my stepson’s father, he is just a really nice man, who is concerned for my stepson’s welfare also). We also realize that just because my stepson is 16 does not mean when he graduates we can expect to put him in the world on his own and expect him to survive. We know we must be able to start teaching him about adulthood now. Not another year and 1/2 from now. We are at wits ends, please explain how a court could possibly see the situation my stepson is in as, “in the best interest of the child”; when it is well known that she uses him to manipulate “NICE” people to feel sorry for her and help provide shelter and money to support him; rather than going out there and working to support themselves. She is a parasite…long history of it. How should we proceed. It is nightmarish wondering when the next call will come telling us she is moving again. She actually told an acquaintence last week that if he did not provide her with $1000 for her to pay rent this weekend, that the ex-boyfriend will beat her up. (As previously discussed, she already has had physical altercations (and assault charges) filed against her from HIM. I truly cannot understand a legal system that would allow a child to be raised by a parent, under these conditions, regardless of how old they are. It cannot be healthy and certainly does not prepare him to be a valuable asset to society with appropriate social skills and morals towards the rest of mankind. Any advice regarding how we should proceed and our possible changes of winning would be appreciated. Respectfully, D G

I think this new information will strengthen your case for custody. If she has been charged with assalt on the person she is living with the courts will not look kindly on that type of atmosphere. The ex-boyfriend, I would put him on the witness list as a character witness. Does your stepson wish to live with you and his father? That’s a big question. He may have some input on the decision. Your attorney can request her finacial records. I really think with hearing all this you two have a good chance of getting custody. Give any an all information to your attorney and file for custody change. If he wants to live with you then it may not even go to court unless the ex wants to fight it. If she wants to fight it then get an attorney in NC and file for motion to modify custody. Get her ex boyfriend and anyone else who you can find to testify as to the environment she is providing for your stepson.
Good Luck

I am the stepmother of 16 year old male and his mother has custody. In the past 10 months, mother has received 3 eviction notices, moved 4 times in ten months. One of the moves she intended to move to MA so she withdrew my stepson from school for 16 days, went to MA and visited family for 3 weeks only to return to NC and re-enroll him back in school in NC. She received her latest eviction notice stating she had to vacate the premise on Dec 26. My husband and I have learned that his ex did not pay Dec rent because she wanted my stepson to have a high school ring and therefore used rent money (sent to her by a friend), to purchase the ring. She refuses to work (has not worked in 20 years), says she will not work for minimum wage and it appears that her military retirement (part of the divorce settlement) is being garnished for nonpayment of her first attorney; therefore, her only income is child support. Her credit is so negative she cannot get approved for a lease, utilities or any other credit in her name. She made arrangements with a previous live-in boyfriend (he evicted her last February), to move into his home until she can find another place to live. in the past she has relied on family and friends to provide additional income to meet her monthly obligations and food and clothing for my stepson. My husband cannot have a phone visitation with his son unless she is in the room listening and commenting (interfering) with their conversations. She has made many attempts to alienate my stepson from his father; and we recently learned that sh is providing my stepson and his friends with cigarettes on a routine basis. Two different counselors have identified her as sociopathic. What are the chances in NC that the above is cause to change custody and have my stepson relocate with his father and me? We both have careers (27+ years each), steady income, two homes. Our primary home is in MD and our secondary home was purchased in NC so we could have a place close to our stepson while visiting him so as not to have to drive 24 hours in a 72 hour period for visitation.