Urgent Legal Advice (domestic violence, child custody issue)

This is a discussion on Urgent Legal Advice (domestic violence, child custody issue) within the Domestic Violence & Abuse forum, part of the Divorce, Separation, Annulment category; I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right forum since this is both a domestic violence and child ...

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Old Jun 23rd, 2008, 02:01 PM   #1
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Exclamation Urgent Legal Advice (domestic violence, child custody issue)

I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right forum since this is both a domestic violence and child custody issue... But, I guess someone will let me know if I'm not posting this in the right place.

I suppose I should start by saying that I had been living with a man who is diagnosed as being a homicidal paranoid schizophrenic for 11 years and that we have two children together(10 and 5 years old). I should also mention that I have gone through a series of traumatic events in my life before this and that I have been diagnosed with having anxiety attacks, panic attacks, post traumatic stress disorder, and I am also bipolar.

I was 17 years old when I first met him, I didn't know about his diagnosis and he had never shown me anything other than kindness, until a couple of months later when I moved in with him and his parents. Some papers came through the mail which led to him telling me about his diagnosis. Of course, I was alarmed, but he had never mistreated me at that point and, in my thinking, I never wanted someone to judge me for what I had been diagnosed with(I've always been very big on fairness and too nice for my own good) so I opted to continue to give our relationship a shot...

I guess that's also when he must have felt that it was "ok" for him to start lashing out... He would do things like throwing things at me and kicking at my legs while I was sitting down when he would get angry... He would also often throw the phone at me and tell me to call my mom to tell her to pick me up, but every time I would try to call her or try to walk out the door, he stopped me.

It was also when I was 17 that I became pregnant with our first child. I don't know why, but I never thought he'd go so far as to show abuse to her. I guess I was just in a state of shock and denial for a long time... Like 'is this really happening?' 'that didn't really just happen, did it?'... Yet, when she was 2 years old, she was crying and following behind him, tugging on his shirt for him to pick her up and he got aggravated and picked her up, threw her about 2 to 3 feet behind him, looked over at me and told me to deal with her.

That was the only thing he has done to her besides most recently, just before I left when he started slapping her in the face as a form of discipline.

As for me, his abuse(both mentally and physically) continued to get worse. When I got an out of the house job, he would make me quit, telling me that he wasn't going to watch the kids, forcing me to leave my job right away because I couldn't leave them unattended.

He also refused to let the kids go to school. I have tried my best to home school them, but of course I know this was not an acceptable form of education and they need much more than I could provide them with. But, still I tried my best to give them what education I could provide them with while still continuously trying to convince him that they needed to go to school. He would never agree and would become angry at the mention that we could get into legal trouble by their not being in school and would get in my face to make threats.

Over the years, he has thrown things at me, kicked me, slapped me in the face and in the back of the head(he's slapped me in the back of the head on more than one occasion while I was driving both with the kids in the car and while they weren't) he has attempted to strangle me twice, once so badly that my necklace cut into my throat, he's tried to stab me twice, once behind closed doors with a garden object and another time with a fork in front of the children, and has also punched me repeatedly on one occasionas I had my knees drawn up to my chest.

Though he was not physically abusive to me every day, we did get into heated arguements on a nearly daily basis which would lead to him getting in my face, making threats, even as I lie on the floor having a panic attack and unable to breath.

Since I have left him, I have tried to be as amicable as I can with him by meeting him in a public place with a family member with me to allow him to visit with the kids in an atmosphere where I feel more comfortable. He has traumatized me and I am terrified of him, but I have still tried my best, despite how he's treated me, to be as amicable as I can be. Only, I am becoming increasingly concerned and scare at his increasingly irrational behavior.

He doesn't seem to understand how hard things are right now and how hard it is for me to arrange time for him to see them... You see, my oldest daughter is under going 8 hours of tutoring per day in attempt to prepare her for school, and I am not only trying to prepare our youngest for school as well, but trying to start my life as well. In addtion to that both my mother and sister have very hectic jobs with very hectic schedules, and they have been the ones helping me out and going with me to meet up with him since I feel so uncomfortable being alone with him, even in public. He thinks he should be able to see them any time he wants to and keeps making threats to drive by my sister's house(where I am currently staying) and to take me to court, even though he keeps saying that he doesn't want this to go to court.

On top of this, the school is requiring me to have papers saying that I am the primary custodial parent in order to get them into school(which I haven't told him about yet)...

I have tried to seek free legal help in my area, but no one will help me, they tell me that I have to first be served with papers from him in order to get the help... I'm at a total loss, I don't know where to go from here... I need legal help and I need it NOW... I'm afraid there might be some sort of legal strike against me if he files for custody first and, not having a job, I don't have the proper funds to pay a lawyer for help.

PLEASE, if anyone as any advice or knows where I can find free or low cost legal help for my situation in either the Livingston or Tangipahoa parishes of Louisiana, any help would be VERY much appreciated.

Thank you for your time and for any help you may be able to offer.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 01:02 PM   #2
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Default re: Urgent Legal Advice (domestic violence, child custody issue)

where to start. let's start here: GOOD FOR YOU. GOOD FOR YOU that you had the strength to get out. GOOD FOR YOU that you've had the strength to stay out.
If you go back know this: HE WILL KILL YOU. These men dont' stop at "hitting, slapping, etc."...at ANY time if he's hit your child, you need to go to court. You can research how to represent yourself. It's hard but not too hard. You need protection orders. RIGHT NOW!!! There are so many things that go with this. You will need affidavits from your family/friends/co-workers all saying his abuse is also towards the children. There will be some D.S.S. issues you're going to have to deal with. Just some interviews, etc. There are local shelters, abuse organizations, etc. that you need to contact. They will help you with legal advice. If you have to ask your mom to remortgage her house to get a lawyer you need to do that. There are too many chances that you are risking by not getting one. It doesn't matter how you do it; just do it. I hope you are ok and I'm proud of you (yes without knowing you) that you've had the courage to stand up to him. It's a GREAT idea NOT to meet him alone. EVEN IN PUBLIC. There are TOOOOO many cases that wives have met abusers in public and they are still attacked. GET A PROTECTION ORDER. File the divorce, custody, everything all at once. Call the police and have them go over and explain to him that they are watching and he needs to remain away from you and the kids. Put the kid's schools on lock-down. Tell them they are NOT allowed to be alone at ANY time until this is completely over & then some. They may not go to the restrooom, recess, etc. alone. NOTHING. They can't play outside your home alone, etc. This is CRITICAL. This will also show the judge you are serious and stop at nothing to protect your kids. There is no judge in the world that will not grant this order. if there are dr. records for you or your child's injury then you need to supena those records to prove abuse. this will also require answers to d.s.s. questioning why you stayed, etc. but they are pretty understnading about spousal abuse and pretty quick to help. If it continues w/o help, go to the media. News stations LOVE these stories and usually get more attention than an abused wife/mother. Sad, but true. Media always, always works. Then he knows the whole world is watching him and he'll be too scared to do anything. This will probably infuriate him (as w/ my bf ex) but this is also why you will have the police. Get a cell phone if you don't have one. Even prepaid for emergencies only. It's absolutely neccessary. NEVER GO ANYWHERE ALONE. If you have a friend whom you can stay with until you go to court he doesn't know the address...GO THERE. STOP MEETING HIM. STOP CATERING TO HIM. YOU HAVE LEFT AND HAVE **NOTHING** ELSE TO BE AFRAID OF. GET A GUN & A PERMIT. PROTECT YOURSELF.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 01:10 PM   #3

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Default re: Urgent Legal Advice (domestic violence, child custody issue)

I just read your answer now. Guess you posted it just a bit ago. Very nice! Very good advice.

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Old May 10th, 2012, 02:06 AM   #4
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Old May 10th, 2012, 07:42 AM   #5
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Old May 10th, 2012, 08:29 AM   #6

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Default Re: Urgent Legal Advice (domestic violence, child custody issue)

Originally Posted by Friend In Court View Post
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Wow. You really live for this forum, don't you?
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