What can I do to get custody immediately?

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What can I do to get custody immediately?

Unread postby dadsdivorce » Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:12 am

I live in Missouri and am divorced from my children's mother (ages 7 & 12). Their mother has physical custody although my son has been living with his grandparents since November. She is abusive to my son and has also gotten herself involved with drugs and alcohol. She was in the hospital and a treatment center about six weeks ago for meth addiction. I worry about my kids constantly and would love to have custody of them. I cannot afford a lawyer to take her back to court and have been told that it will be a while before it would come before a judge anyway. Is there anything I can do to get them immediately out of this situation and get custody of them? Thank you!
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Unread postby dadsdivorce » Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:14 am

I am assuming in this response that your ex-wife is the abusive and drug addicted party and not the maternal grandmother. It is not crystal clear in the facts presented which person has the problem.

Without an attorney it would be very difficult to get custody immediately. Even with counsel there are problems. If you went to court you would need to file a Temporary Restraining Order. The procedure for a TRO is fairly complex and the procedures must be specifically followed. Further, I have not seen a great success rate with courts entering TROs. A Child Order of Protection would not be effective as you already have a custody order in place and the Child Protection Order can not supercede the divorce custody order. In addition to wanting a TRO, you would want to file a Motion to Modify. This is really the only permanent solution to your problem. It is possible that the Motion to Modify could be brought before the court in a little over 30 days. If your ex-wife does not file a responsive pleading within 30 days after receiving a summons you can request a trial date and get what amounts to a default order.
If you need immediate action, you can contact the Division of Family Services. They are really the only agency that can take the child on an emergency basis. Based on the facts presented they may not be able or willing to help if the child is being well cared for at the maternal grandparents home.
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