Child custody

I have been seperated since 5/09, after I had my spouse removed from the home for Domestic Violence. Since then, I have tried to ‘work things out’ without the assistance of Counsel, although I have had a consultation.

My husband, without my prior knowledge or consent, moved the children to Carteret County and enrolled them in school there in August. Needless to say, I was furious… but he had the kids very excited about their new school, living at the beach, etc.etc… I felt I was doing the right thing by not upsetting them, and demanding them returned to Johnston County.

My husband has continually used the children to manipulate me. In addition, he has harassed and stalked me for the past 11 months to a significant extent (won’t go into details now)… However, needless to say, in April, I filed criminal harassment and stalking charges and obtained a 50B DV restraining order. Last Sunday, after he has repeatedly continued to harass me, I went to the Magistrate and reported the violations. An arrest warrant was issued, and on Sunday, he was arrested in Cartert County on 50B violation, harassment and cyberstalking. He spent 2 nights in jail… and I believe he was released today.

The issue is this:
Once I had him removed from the home, he quit his job and (per his words) enjoyed “FUNemployment” for 8 months. He is a car salesman, and as such works on 100% commission. He has no expenses, as he lives with his parents in their $1M 2nd row beachhouse. If I use the past 3 years of tax returns, his income is more than 50% higher than mine.

I have several examples of he and his parents trying to alienate the children from me (canceling my visitations, refusing phone calls, planning activities when they were supposed to be with me). We do NOT have a separation agreement, as he has refused to sign the one drafted. The status quo has been that I talk to the children daily and have them Fri-Sun and school vacations.

Since he was arrested, they are refusing to allow me to speak or see the children. They told the children that “mommy put daddy in jail”, amoung the general bad things he’s been saying for the past year. (mommy doesn’t love you, mommy doesn’t want to be your mom, mommy doesn’t want a family, mommy only loves herself…etc… as I learned through my children asking me why those things were true).

What, if any recourse do I have? Can I file for emergency custody since the father was in jail, and faces outstanding criminal charges and has retaliated against me by cutting off all contact with my children?

For the length of the marriage (13 years) I was the dependent spouse… I’ve only worked the last 2 years of the marriage. Since the separation, he has refused to work, find employment, and now that he is employed, he is lying about or intentionally reducing his income in order to gain more child support…

It is impossible to pay the 5k+ retainer that the attorney’s I’ve contacted have required, and my income prevents me from seeing Legal Aid.
Can he be responsible for my incurred attorney’s fees? He’s refused to come to any agreement, because he knows I can’t afford an attorney, and he and his family have a LOT of resources.

I’m so afraid that by trying to mediate and get along and wait it out, I’m going to lose my children forever.

Any guidance you could provide would be appreciated.

A Very Scared Mom

What your ex has done is despicable, but unfortunately it does not rise to the level necessary to get an emergency hearing. You need to file an action for child custody and include a claim for temporary custody. You can then get a temporary hearing pretty quickly.

You can make a claim against your husband for attorney’s fees incurred in your custody action.