Temporary custody/restraining order

Dear smartiepants:

Greetings. My suggestion is that you explain to your daughter that her safety is more important than which school she attends and demand that she live with you. File an action for domestic violence and bring the taped messaages in for the judge to hear. Unstable people, who are prone to violence, have been known to do irrational things which cause permanent harm. My suggestion is to be proactive - protect your child now, while you still can. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

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 but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

Hello, I need some help, and not sure how to proceed. My estranged husband & I have been separated for 2 years. No formal arrangement has been made w/ our 2 children. He keeps the older daughter during the week b/c she does not want to change schools, and I keep the younger. We alternate weekends. He is an alcoholic, and has a lot of rage. He is sometimes “okay”, but you never know what to expect w/ him. At times, he is frightening. He has a lot of anger towards me b/c he thinks I have broken up our family b/c I could not live w/ him anymore. Last night my older daughter (11 years old) called me at 8:30 & said she had not had any dinner and that dad is “passed out” on the floor. She was upset. I said I would have her grandpa come & pick her up for dinner and spend the night. She begged me not to do so, b/c “last time” this happened she got in big trouble w/ her dad the next day for calling for help. I had her grandpa pick her up, he fed her, & she slept over. I instructed my daughter to leave her dad a note so he would not be alarmed if he woke up. He took her to school this morning (I would have gone to get her myself, however I am afraid to go to his home b/c of past outbursts of violence & rage directed towards me). My daughter told her grandpa that her dad was sleeping on the couch, and rolled off & hit the floor & never woke up, and that scared her. It also scared her b/c she couldn’t wake him up either. Her dad woke up during the night and called me repeatedly, leaving abusive voice mail messages.

I am at my wits end with this situation. It is not healthy for my children, especially my older daughter, and I desperately want her out of the situation. I am afraid of this man, and know that anything I do will send him reeling, b/c he is not a rational person. However I am tired of walking on eggshells & taking the course of least resistance b/c of fear. It is not healthy for any of us. Can I file for temporary emergency custody and a restraining order? If so, how do I do so? Can he pick up the children from school? Can he be restrained against them as well? What can I do to protect myself? Will my daughter need to tell a judge what happened last night (and other times as well) for me to be able to get a custody order? What happens if the order is granted? What do I do from there?