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#286293 - 09/20/07 05:11 AM divorce in making, soon to be bitter custody fight
outonalimb Offline
recently joined

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 1
I've been married for almost five years, recently my wife has cheated on me after a man showed up at my house recently and I welcomed him in, details at request.

I married into the daughter that I have now, she means the world to me as I'm sure I do to her. However she has not been legally adopted by me, and as of now my soon to be ex-wife is plotting ways to take her from me.

I have a mortgage that I have been paying for a little over a year and a half now, the house is in both our names. I convinced Jenny(as she will now be known) to give me a power of attorney and so she has with now about 4.5 months pending on the validation length. We had agreed upon an uncontested divorce at the time, but she is changing her mind rapidly.

She has been staying at the city mission and she has found a job recently at the same place of work as me(of all places. :mad:). She called me tonight and informed me that she refuses to sign anything until she has done some research and also to tell me that she doesn't trust me.

Now, tonight is when the game begins. I don't know how to move forward from here. I don't want my daughter to not see her mother, but I don't think it can be anything but one way or the other. The only legal right I have to my daughter is a power of attorney. I don't make much, should I proceed to finding legal counsel?

The only thing that I have on this woman that still stands is that she now has a police record from the night that I had the confrontation with her and her boyfriend. They were both very intoxicated that night, and her boyfriend had pulled a knife on me.

I know this is a tough one, but my real question is: is there a way that I can receive full custody of my daughter? Is this a likely scenario? :confused:

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#286294 - 09/20/07 02:32 PM Re: divorce in making, soon to be bitter custody fight [Re: outonalimb]
BeachBabeRN Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 3236
Loc: VA for 21 years, NC forever!
The problem here is that you're a stepparent, as per your post. In theory anyway, you have absolutely NO rights to the child except those bestowed upon you by her mother. The natural father, if he's in the picture has far more rights than you in this scenario.

Unfortunately, nothing you've written demonstrates her inability to parent effectively -- what was she charged with when she showed up at your residence intoxicated?

It is unlikely that you will receive full costody of your STEPdaughter. It is probable that she will be awarded to your ex **her mother** or at the very remotest, her biological father **if that's possible** And, sad to say, if she leaves your custody, there's not a damn thing you can do to get to see her -- you can file for visitation all you want, but if her mother doesn't want her to see you, that would be the bottom line.

However -- as she has been left in your care voluntarily, that is a point in your favor. Beware, living in the city mission is NOT to your stbx's detriment as she is now working and I would assume, looking for premises to live in.

There's almost no way to call this one but remember, she's NOT your daughter biologically. The laws in most states don't consider stepparents in their decision making process.

I do think you should take advantage of any free consults with attorneys you can get -- this is going to be a tough one.

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#286295 - 09/23/07 05:07 PM Re: divorce in making, soon to be bitter custody fight [Re: outonalimb]
Gecko Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 20602
Loc: Third rock from the sun
There have been cases in which step-parents have received custody...I would recommend doing some research into case law (http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/) as you do have strong grounds for maintaining the status quo.
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