“I gave temporary custody of my two little girls to their father 5 years ago so that I could go to an in-house drug rehabilitation for one year. He has since failed two drug tests (during a modification of custody hearing) and I have passed all of mine. i have the last year school teacher of my oldest child on my side as well as last year’s principal (who is now on the school board) and the current principal (we can only go back to court for modification of custody every two years in KY) on my side to testify that he does not respond to phone calls (my oldest is adhd) and is not involved in theri education. My girls are 8 and almost 10. They do NOT wnat to be at their fathers and have finally had a chance to talk to a gaurdian ad litum who recommends they be with me full time and that he only have visitation once a week IF he attends anger management and drug/alcohol abuse classes. They told the gaurdian ad litum that they see their dad’s girlfriend get beat up, once to the point they thought she was dead. BUT, the gaurdian ad litum cannot change the custody order, only make a recomendation. We now have a 2 2 3 split, which is very hard on my girls, especially my oldest with adhd. The father is also facing a 4th degree assault for smacking our youngest daughter in the mouth 4 times (but he is taking it to trial because he knows I will not put her on the stand to testify and he has a SHARK for a lawyer!!) What can I do? I have a custody trial in two months but I am scared she will vote his way because I live in a small town and the judge and his lawyer are freinds. I don’t have the money for an appeal to a higher court if she rules in his favor, but I know that if she does it will be wrong as far as the law. Are there any organizations that review cases to make sure things are operating in a checks and balances type of way without charging me thousands of dollars? This is America, it seems like there should be, but I cannot find any info on it.”
First, you need to consult with a Kentucky family law attorney – one who is very experienced in custody matters – and fast. Second, make sure that it is someone who is a certified family law specialist, or the Kentucky equivalent. Based on the facts as you have described them, you have a very strong case, but that will mean little if you don’t have the right attorney to advocate your situation for you. This is not, unfortunately, a situation where you are going to find free resources to help you. You should do whatever you need to do in order to hire the best family law attorney you can, as that is not only your best – but indeed your only – bet for reversing a custody situation that has been the status quo for several years.