A family member’s ex-husband is a Deputy Sheriff, working as a Bailiff in the county’s family court. She pays $600-$700/month for one child, and consequently cannot afford to hire an attorney. She tried for a reduction in child support several years ago, but the judge was not able to hear the case because of aquaintance with the ex-husband. The judge said that there was no visiting judge available that day to hear the case, and that she would be contacted when one was available. That never happened, and all of the custody and child support hearings have been conducted in the county courtroom in which the ex-husband works. The last court order issued (4 years ago) was very messy, with the ex-husband getting the maternal grandparents involved in the custody arrangement. Things settled down, and for the past couple of years, the ex-husband and stepmother have been fairly reasonable with custody. In the past 2 months, however, they have not allowed her to see her child (except for a few hours), and their reasoning is irrational in my view. They had wanted to raise money for the child to go to Europe next year with a teacher, without consulting the mother. Her child is 12 years old and has a severe genetic disease requiring regular treatment. The mother, teacher, and maternal family members have objected to this trip, and that is the reasoning for withholding visitation with the child. Needless to say, my family member has lived in fear for many years, due to threats of jailing her for tresspassing and similar types of things. They will not return phone calls, and the family is all in fear because of this man and his position. This case is quite complicated, and I am even nervous writing this email. I am wondering if anything can be done about this? I suspect not, given that the odds are so stacked against her without being able to hire a very good attorney. Thank you so much in advance for reading my email.
If a court order is in place regarding visitation and it is not being followed the father is in contempt of court and a motion should be filed. If the father is found to be in contempt your friend could be awarded attorney’s fees for having to bring the matter to court. I strongly advice that she hire an attorney and purse the motion, or these people will continue to run her over.