Temp custody

This is for a friend of mine.
He was married 6 months ago. they have a 2 yo daughter. Wife is now in California in rehab. Before she left she was a party animal and he had the baby at home. When he took her to CA, she texted her mom and said she was going to kill him. Now she is on FB posting pix of her partying in CA. He wants to get temp custody of his daughter to insure that when she does return to NC, she wont come get the baby because she is so unstable. He can’t afford $5K for a lawyer. Can he go to legal aid or file himself? He tried to obtain a 50b because she threatened to kill him but the court clerk told him not to waste his time, just get a lawyer. Are there any resources that can help him? Can he file himself without an attorney?

I am not an attorney

I would tell your friend that he can go to the courthouse to the self-help center (not sure which county you’re in, but I know a lot of courthouses have these, including Meck.) and file for custody. If he is afraid that the mother will be returning very soon and will try to take the child, then he can file for emergency custody (have to have imminent fear of harm). If emergency custody is not appropriate, he can still file for custody, and let him know to include as much as he can in his complaint, showing history. I attached some proof to my complaint as well.

I would also advise your friend to take screen prints of the FB posts etc, because they can always be removed at any time…and then he would lose his evidence. Having the FB posts etc that are dated after she left rehab would also show the courts that the rehab did not work for her.

Oh, and I think the clerks always try to advise that everyone has a lawyer…I don’t think they like dealing with pro-se people in general. But it’s not necessary to have an attorney in every case.

don’t forget, I’m not an attorney, just my personal experience

Needtoleave is right. You absolutely should document as much evidence as possible about the mother’s partying while she is supposedly out-of-state in rehab. Any posts or pics should be printed out and kept as evidence.

You may have a claim for emergency custody. You may file an action for emergency custody if the children are at an immediate risk of harm. Whether you will win or not will depend on the judge. Some will not see the exigency until the mother is returned to the state. Others might sign it anyway. You certainly have a claim for filing temporary and permanent custody on the grounds you have stated. Any illegal drug use would be a negative for a parent seeking custody. This drug use is apparently very recent and on-going, while the mother is also being shown as not taking treatment seriously.

Child custody is determined using all factors which have an impact on the welfare of the children. Heavy drug use would certainly have an impact on the children’s well being as it can affect the mother’s ability to care for the children. I suggest you file an action for custody, both temporary and permanent and get a hearing set as soon as possible.

While you do not need an attorney to file these claims, I always recommend getting an attorney in cases of child custody. You may do it on your own however. Also, be aware that Legal Aid does not assist with child custody cases. You may want to call your local office though and see if they have an upcoming pro se clinic on child custody. They often put such clinics on, so you will want to leave your information to be included on their mailing list for the next one they do.