Custody and Ex Parte

I currently have sole custody of my children while I have a restraining order (50B/Ex Parte) in place. In this order it is indicated that my children have supervised visits with their father one time a week. I have a few questions about this…

  1. There are some weeks that the supervisor will be out of town and the order does not address what to do when we are unable to fulfill our duty as it pertains to custody. I know if I do not comply I will be held in contempt but what happens when she needs to travel for her kids sports and or have a vacation?

  2. The order is in place until Nov 2019. Upon the end of the order how is custody determined. We had nothing in place before this order. He was and/or is using drugs and was emotionally and verbally abusive to me and the children (Hence the order). His relationship with the kids has been minimal because of only seeing them for these short supervised visits and they are frankly very scared of him. How can custody be increased slowly or pending the results of drug tests.

We have no formal separation in place because I have not had enough money to obtain a lawyer. I do have a house that was mine prior to marriage that we used as a rental. I am going to sell in an effort to get money. His name was put on the deed but he recently signed a quit claim deed. Will he have any “right” to these funds?

(1) If there is a specific supervisor named in the order and she is out of town, then the visit will not be able to happen unless the court order specifies something different. If there is no specific supervisor named, then you will need to secure another supervisor. Document your efforts just in case you are unsuccessful and the father accuses you of withholding the children.

(2) You will need to file a custody lawsuit against the father now. Custody terms resulting from a child custody lawsuit will trump the custody terms in a domestic violence protective order (DVPO). When the DVPO expires, so will the custody terms, and you will be left without any court order or protections for your children. By getting the custody lawsuit process started now, there is a good chance you will have a court order in place well before the expiration of the DVPO. There is court ordered mediation for all custody lawsuits but you will be exempt from this requirement due to the DVPO against him with you as the plaintiff.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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