Can I Lose Custody For Living In A Hotel – Question: I have been told that because I am not married and live with my fiance’, the court will give custody of my child to her father who has never seen her. How could that be? I live with my boyfriend so can I lose custody of my child?
Answer: First, you should be careful about believing what “other people” tell you, because only your attorney can give you specific advice for your particular case. What your friends, co-workers and/or family members tell you (no matter how well-intentioned) is not necessarily true or applicable in your case.
Can I Lose Custody For Living In A Hotel
Now, if you live with a boyfriend/finance that you are not married to, the courts will consider that an “immoral environment”. So that would be a factor, but only one of many factors that a court will consider in a custody case. In some cases it may be a decisive factor, while in other cases it may not significantly affect the outcome.
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The bottom line is that you should tell your lawyer all the facts (good and bad) of your case so that he can give you the right advice. Without knowing all the facts of a particular case, it is nearly impossible to say how much any one item will factor or not (except for things like child abuse or neglect).
Aggressive, creative and compassionate are words that colleague Ben Stevens might use to describe him as a divorce and family law attorney. mr. Stevens is a Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers and a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is one of two lawyers in South Carolina with that concurrent distinction. He has held several leadership positions at AAML, and he currently serves as one of its national vice presidents. mr. Stevens has a statewide practice and appears regularly throughout South Carolina. His practice focuses on complex divorce and child custody cases.
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Delaware | Maryland | New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | Pennsylvania | South Carolina | Virginia | Washington, D.C.’s Dichera McLeod cries as she looks at a picture of her dead son, Prince, in 2013. (For Mary F. Calvert/The Washington Post)
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Hera McLeod pleaded with a family court judge to keep her 15-month-old son, Prince, away from her abusive ex-boyfriend. The mother, along with several other witnesses, told the court about the man’s rage, the night he threatened to kill her at gunpoint, while he allegedly abused her older son and allegedly raped McLeod’s younger sister.
But the judge said there was insufficient evidence of alleged abuse by the father, Joaquin Rames. “There’s a lot of smoke,” said a family court judge in Montgomery County, Md. “With all that smoke, I can’t see clearly.”
The court initially ordered supervised visitation with the child’s father, but months later allowed Rames to detain Prince for a full day of unsupervised visitation. Then on the fourth visit 20 Oct. In 2012, Ramsey drowned a child at a friend’s home in Manassas, Va. He was convicted of mass murder in 2017.
“You wait until the child is seriously injured, and in my case, dead, before the evidence hits the threshold,” McLeod said. “You are playing Russian Roulette with a child’s life to face this unnecessary burden.”
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The highly publicized death of Prince Rames is an extreme case, but it exemplifies a troubling pattern that domestic violence experts say plagues child custody disputes: Too often, they claim, family courts find cases of domestic abuse by mothers or children. Denies the claim. And instead put the children in the care of dangerous parents.
Advocates and lawyers have long shared stories like McLeod’s — women whose allegations of abuse were not believed and whose children were punished. But now, a first-of-its-kind study from George Washington University sheds light on how the phenomenon plays out in courts across the country.
Professor of Clinical Law John S. A study authored by Meyer shows that mothers who report abuse — especially child abuse — lose custody of children at a staggering rate. To Meier, the data provides a window into what he sees as an analogy for the #MeToo movement.
“MeToo is about women who were never believed when they reported what happened to them at work,” Mayer said. “Well, it’s about women not being believed when they report what’s going on at home. And that courtroom is … a more troubling place for infidelity.”
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Meyer called this pattern “a complete betrayal of the mission” of the court, which is supposed to put the welfare of children first.
“When they’re abused, the courts give them less protection, not more,” said Meier, who will soon launch a national family violence initiative at GW Law. This study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Justice, the Department of Justice’s Research, Development, and Evaluation Agency.
For the study, which has not yet been officially published, Meier and the research team compiled and coded published court opinions available online between 2005 and 2014, a data set of 4,388 custody cases. They sought to explore the extent to which courts dismiss abuse allegations and remove custody from parents who allege abuse — and the role gender plays in these findings. They also examined the impact of allegations in the case that one parent attempted to “separate” the child from the other parent.
The study divided the types of abuse into domestic violence against the mother, physical abuse of children and sexual abuse of children.
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According to the study, courts credit mothers’ reports of father abuse 36 percent of the time — including allegations of child abuse and violence against mothers. With regard to child abuse in particular, courts are less likely to believe the claims of mothers and children: 21 percent of the time for physical child abuse and 19 percent of the time for child sexual abuse.
In custody litigation, when mothers report abuse — including child abuse and domestic violence — mothers lose custody 28 percent of the time. But when fathers allege abuse, fathers lose custody only 12 percent of the time.
“The data in this study is very strong in showing how badly mothers suffer when they report child abuse,” Meier said. “All the dots are connected.”
Even if the father’s abuse is proven in court, a mother who claims abuse loses 13 percent of custody. But when the mother was proven abusive, the father lost custody only 4 percent of the time — and only in cases where he had abused the father, not where he had abused the child.
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“Even when abuse is credited, women lose out,” said Jane Iken, dean of Wake Forest University’s School of Law, after reading a copy of the study. “This is about not trusting women. I think that’s very powerful.”
The study also focused on the impact of a controversial claim that is used in family courts across the country during custody proceedings – “parental selection,” or allegations that a parent affects or damages the relationship between a child and the other parent.
Meyer and others have long argued that “alienation” is widely used to punish mothers who accuse fathers of abuse. Mothers are often accused of filing false allegations of abuse to “separate” children from their fathers, Meier said.
“Women are expected to act as mothers. But when they come in and say, ‘I’m trying to save my baby,’ they’re not believed,” Aiken said. “You’re just in a trap, and it’s a gender trap.”
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Meier’s study found that when fathers filed for separation, courts were more than twice as likely to dismiss the mother’s allegations of abuse—either child abuse or maternal abuse—than if the father had not filed for separation. That factor is four times more likely, especially for cases of child abuse.
For child sexual abuse, only 1 in every 51 cases is believed to be when the father accuses the mother of the climax.
“When you go to court and you report a child being sexually abused by a father, you’re done. You’re done,” Meier said.
And when fathers sought separation, the rate of mothers losing custody increased from 26 percent to 44 percent.
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Mayer’s study also found gender differences: When one parent was accused of narcissism, the mother had twice as many.
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