Last minute filings last ditch consent order draft failure


#1

Trial is Tuesday for custody…I think? I have posted previously about a lot of what has been going on but things have gotten away from me and I am not sure what I am even arguing right now. So quick summary: children’s father and I separate with him at the time agreeing that I should take the children with me when I moved to MD. I move and my inlaws file for emergency custody of my children in an ex parte order claiming that they have had a substantial relationship with the children, have taken the kids to get medical care, so on and so forth with a lot of omissions and half truths at best (they had 1 night with the kids without a parent in the house prior to the ex parte order, my mother in law did drive the older of the girls to get her medical care but it was with me because I did not like driving in the city. ) Anyway went to the court date and we agreed to a consent order that was signed between the Plaintiffs and my husband and I. The original consent order was handwritten by my plaintiff mother inlaw and the last point was that the consent order dissolved the ex parte order and take precedence over it however once the order had been signed i was given an amended complaint for the ex parte order that had been turned into court that morning. But I thought that the consent agreement took care of that as well. So when the plaintiffs lawyer turned in the “clean” order on the day after the agreement was signed left out the whole dissolving the ex parte part altogether. So 10 months later I get a paper saying that I have a court date for permanent custody( My inlaws vs my husband and myself) but no actual list of what or why I am going back to court. So there was discovery and a new consent order drafted that was beyond ridiculous (give the plaintiffs rights to get medical care for the kids, rights to enroll them in school, have the children on a two week rotating schedule between their father and I except for three of my days a month that the plaintiffs (father’s parents whom he lives with) would get for their own visitation, make every exchange at a halfway point knowing that I am in NC at least once a month but then claim that I never see my family, the father should get Christmas eve and Christmas day every year to take the kids to see my grandparents " as is tradition" ) that was pushed so i wouldn’t have to do discovery. I didn’t accept that offer. The day i see the consent agreement that i rejected my husband decided to yell at me while getting in my face while I was picking up the girls at his parents house backing me up against a recliner trying to intimidate me into agreeing with him about him trying to rewrite history to say he never agreed with me leaving. Once i left he filed a crossclaim ( not sure legally what that really means) against me wanting full/joint custody but basing everything on his parents wishes and making claims on information and belief that he knows are false. The same day he files that 3 min later his parents file a motion for grandparents visitation with all 3 cases supposedly being heard together in the 3 hour trial on Tuesday. My husband didn’t even mail me a copy of his crossclaim until 6 days after he filed it (normal mail even though he signed and had notarized that it would be sent certified mail on jan 31.) So what at this point am I arguing against? Do I file my own motions to modify custody and support to lay out my defense? Do I file answers for the two newest claims? Do I just lay out what I want and why while showing that being with me is in the best interest of the girls and “answer” everything at the trial letting the judge rule without me actually entering my own motions but defending myself from their claims?


#2

Side note the cross claim is just bizarre honestly with him claiming things like our youngest refuses to stand up or walk (he sees the kids maybe 2-3 hours on his work days with everything else being with a babysitter neither he nor his parents will give me contact details for, his parents whom he lives with taking care of the children, or something that makes me feel like I swallowed a lead ball which is leaving the children alone with his brother who was committed against his will for 30 days and diagnosed with a mental illness that as far as i know neither my husband nor his parents know what is, if he’s had counseling, and that during that 30 days he was prescribed medication hes refused to take.) , however his mother has texted me the same day he made that claim about the youngest holding my father in laws hand and walking up their driveway.


#3

It sounds like your hearing date is to determine a custody/visitation of the children.

You should have filed your own counterclaim for child custody against the ex parte custody claim which would set out your allegations as to what your version of events is and briefly why you should have custody of the children (assuming this is what you are fighting for).

Yes, you should file answers to any new counterclaims/cross claims for a case in which you are a party. This would admit or deny each of the allegations in the claims.

You will also need to be prepared to testify at trial about why the children being with you vs. another party is in the children’s best interests and also be prepared to refute any negative allegations/testimony being made about you and your ability to parent the children.


Anna Ayscue

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

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#4

So court was moved to June. I am still trying to get evidence together and form my answers to the complaints and motions that were filed at last minute. Do I put my evidence with the answers as i talk about them? Can I file a counter claim against my co defendant and his parents? Could i file discovery on them? Do i need to make a motion to modify custody and child support to be clear about what I want and why? Can I add absolute divorce in with my motion or does that need to be a totally separate filing? Also I am confused about grandparents rights and visitation. So the basis for a lot of the things they claim is a half truth at best for instance : they have a substantial relationship with the minor children (previous to having filed the emergency order they had 1 overnight without a parent present in their home since their son and I moved out with all the children between June and July of 2016 since we had left they’d only seen the children less than 8 times and that might be a generous estimate) and the Plaintiff grandmother claiming she took the kids for medical care and immunizations (she drove me to the appointments). We agreed to a consent order and the emergency order was dissolved. So earlier this month they filed for grandparent visitation 3 minutes after the father made a counterclaim/crossclaim for custody. In the Plaintiffs motion they cite that their son and I have an ongoing custody battle and the court should grant them visitation. The only custody battle before the 3 minutes previous to the father filing was the grandparents vs. Their son and I. Furthermore their son lives with them so anytime he has them the plaintiffs have them too. Also the Plaintiffs and the father have all neglected to mention even once that one of their other sons lives in the home with them and he and I had problems when I lived with the plaintiffs. He would act out with his mom and I. Insults, yelling, threats of suicide etc. were fairly often. Almost exactly a year later (when I was living with the children’s father in our own apartment about 1.5 hours away) something went wrong and the plaintiffs had the son committed against his will and he stayed in the hospital/institution for 30 days (he blamed his mom for it all and the institution fought to keep him there longer but couldn’t) he refused to take meds he was prescribed there and refused to let his parents know his diagnosis. Part of their case is that I might have a mental illness or at least they think i do and that prevents me from being a good parent. I don’t like the children being around the plaintiffs son because to be honest he still makes me nervous. Whenever he is brought up the plaintiffs and my codefendant throw a fit about how much better he is even though he still has bad days. Knowing my concerns they still leave the children in his care by himself though I have asked them not to. How can I bring this up in court and/or am i being unreasonable in my concerns? Also thank you so much for taking the time to read and answer my questions i know I tend to be long winded but this is literally all the help I have been able to get.


#5

Yes, when you testify you will want to admit into evidence any documentation you have that would support your testimony at the time you bring it up.

Yes, you can file a counterclaim if you haven’t filed one already.

Yes, you can submit discovery requests on all parties.

You should file a counter motion to modify custody if you already have a permanent order in place. Otherwise, you would file a counterclaim.

Absolute divorce will need to be a separate filing.

Grandparents can receive court ordered visitation any time there is no longer an intact family (i.e. Mom and Dad are no longer living together as a family unit with the children). It is very reasonable and within your right to express concern about other adults living in the home of someone that is attempting to gain custody (i.e. the grandparents here). You will want to bring this up in your testimony (and point to this being a danger or being harmful to the children) and also ask for information and documentation related to the other son’s mental health and wellbeing in your discovery requests.


Anna Ayscue

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

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#6

I’m having some trouble answering the motion and cross claim at the base level. Is it only a admit or deny thing? Do I explain why I deny what I do? What if it is partially true but not all of it? On some of the things that are admitted can I add extra information like specific dates? Also there are some points in the crossclaim that I don’t even know how to answer such as:
the defendant father alleges that the defendant mother has acted in ways that have neglected the welfare of the minor children and that her fitness has been called into question.
Its denied of course, but do I need to state why it is? Because aside from his parents and recently himself have alleged in the motions and claims no one has said that of me. There hasn’t been any legal troubles up here in MD, no CPS visits, etc. I find myself wanting to ask continually when where and by whom. Some stuff is couched as “information and belief” when he knows flat out he lied or pretends to have no knowledge. Like alleging that our youngest refuses to stand and walk and that means I am neglecting the children. While I have messages from the plaintiff mil saying that the youngest child walked down the driveway and back with the plaintiff fil on the same day the defendant is filing the papers and the plaintiffs and defendant live together.


#7

You only need to admit or deny each of the allegations. You can add a brief explanation as to why you are denying an allegation but this is not required. If a paragraph is only partially true, then you can state which parts you are admitted and which parts you are denying.

An answer is not designed for you to give away your whole case in one document but rather to put the court and opposing parties on notice as to which issues are contested and which aren’t.


Anna Ayscue

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

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.