Contempt of court

If you are facing jail time as a result of the contempt hearing you an ask for counsel to be appointed. However, it was not a great idea for you to grant the stepmother visitation and you are going to compound that bad decision by going to court without an attorney. It sounds to me like you revoked your consent to the order before it was entered and an attorney may be able to get that overturned. You need to find the money for an attorney and hire one.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
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919.787.6361 main fax

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Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
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I started a topic about this earlier but didn’t go into a lot of details.

I had sole custody of my son until he was 11. I voluntarily took my son to live with his dad for 1 year. We modified the previous order and it gave us both joint custody. The order stated that my son was to only be there for 1 year and then was to come back and live with us (and his 2 younger siblings).

Since my ex and I were getting along. My current husband and I moved to SC from CA to be closer so my ex could see his son more often than when we lived in CA. The order stated I was to be able to visit with my son while he was in NC at any time for any duration and that he was to be returned to me in June 2005.

June 2005 came and my ex refused to let me keep my son. I was tired of fighting with my ex cause prior to that we had always fought…(ex remarried HIS ex and its been a nightmare ever since.)

We saw my son as often as I was allowed to but we couldn’t afford an attorney and I thought with my son then being 12 that he would get to choose and I didn’t want to put him through that.

This past April…my ex was diagnosed with cancer…they cut off all contact with my son…said he didn’t want to talk with me…see me etc. My son actually hung up on me whenever he answered the phone…and said he didn’t have to see me or speak with me if he didn’t want to.

My ex died in July. The stepmom would not let me have my son…I asked the local NC sherif dept for help…they said my order was from 2004 and from CA and there wasn’t anything they could do…for me to take her to court.

I filed an emergency order requesting the judge to enforce my order (even had the original…not a copy) and the judge dismissed my case (said to get a lawyer and come back) that she couldn’t enforce it as she did not know how CA ever had jurisdiction…stepmom’s attny was actually the same attny that was used in 2000 when CA took jurisdiction…and didn’t say a word on how CA had jurisdiction.

Stepmom served me with papers while in the courtroom that day when I was trying to get my son…sueing for full custody and for me to pay child support with no visitation…stating that I had had ‘limited’ contact with him while he was living there (limited cause they limited it)

Her attorney stated she would be willing to settle and so that is what I did. I had to sign an agreement stating that she could have visitation with him every other weekend and my son could come live with me here in SC. Until I signed the paper…I was not allowed to speak with my son or see him…her attny assured me that I would have no problems picking my son up. that we were all in agreement and doing what was best for my son.

I went and picked him up and it was horrible. She was saying he was 14 and could do whatever he wanted to do that she has no control over him. He cussed me for all I was worth. She said in front of him and me that I wanted his dad to die and was glad his dad died. My son was talking about things from my marriage to his dad (we divorced when he was 2) Just horrible stuff. I had to call her attny while I was there asking for his help. She told the attny too that he was 14 and she had no control over him…that he has no respect for me and that what did I expect by making him live with me.

After I finally got him in the car-cause I was not leaving without my son-I went back to the attny office and left him a note asking him to please call me that we needed to make changes to the papers prior to a judge signing them as what I had agreed to would only work if we all worked together…and mentioned everything I have already typed here.

The attny never called me and I have never received any court order or even a copy of anything with her signature on it. My son did apologize to me for his behavior once we got half way home and due to what he’s been through I tried not to take it personally. He seemed to settle in ok at school as he got here a few days prior to school starting.

Even though I didn’t receive a copy of any order…I let my son go visit his stepmom on the weekend that was mentioned…he came back and wouldn’t speak to me then got in a fight at school and got suspended for 10 days. (actually expelled but we appealed it) He got arrested for the fight and I sent stmom a letter certified stating that until we got past the hearing and his punishment (community service or whatever they give him) that she could come see him down here in SC but that I was not going to allow him to leave the state. That we took this behavior very seriously and that the only chance he has of it coming off of his record is to go through arbitration and he has to stay out of trouble to do that. She is telling him its no big deal and we are making a mountain out of a mole hill. That he can even get a ‘pass’ so he can go on his visits with her from his community service. Part of his punishment too was he lost his cell phone indefinitely…she says since she gave it to him I have no right to take it away…

Since she states she can’t control him and he can do anything he wants…I don’t think its a good idea for him to go there. The police here have told me that I’m responsible for him if he breaks the law no matter who he is visiting,etc.

Stpmom has served me with papers to take me to court for violating this court order that I don’t have a copy of. The forms she served me with talk about child support though-she lined through the ‘obligor’ and ‘obligee’ part and wrote plaintiff/defendent. She has told my son that she is going to continue taking me to court and he will come back and live with her next year.

How do I make this stop? How can she continue to to interfere with my life and parenting? She has even told my son that I am going to go to jail or be fined at the court hearing. I can’t afford an attorney…

Please advise…