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Child Custody - Mother Abroad

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1 Child Custody - Mother Abroad on Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:45 am

mariamakiling


Arresto Menor
Hello Everyone..

I am a Filipina living in the US. I have a daughter who I left in the Philippines who is now 9 years old.

I was married to her father on July 2001 and separated June 2003. Filed for divorce in the US on March 2007 which he signed and was granted the divorce on August 2008.

I have re-married to a caucasian in 2010 and he filed for an immigrant visa petition for my daughter.

I plan to go home in May 2011, but it all depends on my daughter's visa. I want to be there for her interview. I want to know the answers to my questions so I will be able to decide whether or not it is possible to file for a full custody case.

My questions are:

1. Would my 2nd marriage make my chances at full custody slim, no chance at all or I have a fighting chance?

2.How long is a custody court battle? Is it possible to pursue it while I live in the US.

3. How much will it cost me?, so I will be prepared financially when I go home, just in case I decide to. [ball park figure at least]

4. How brutal will it be for my daughter? [I'm doing this to ensure that she has a better future but if this will destroy her, I don't think I'd be able to bear that.]

Her father is a project engineer. He doesn't have a house, he is living in MY parent's house because my daughter doesn't want to live in his parent's house. He sends my daughter to a school that I believe doesn't develop my daughter's full potential. My daughter doesn't have a very good social life for her age and that's why she has dogs in exhange for friends she should be playing with. Her father doesn't have friends [unbelievable, I know!!] and so my daughter usually plays with 2 of her cousins on her father's side on some Sundays, but she has complained about it as she is not really close to them. Her father works 5 1/2 days sometimes 6 days which doesn't leave so much room for him to spend time, teach or bring my daughter to educational places, like parks & zoos etc..

I speak to my daughter every weekend on my effort. He has never communicated with me to inform me about the develpments or achievements of my daughter or anything concerning my daughter he makes decisions by himself. There was a point where he didn't not let me speak to my daughter for months, it was very depressing.

My daughter has her complains, but knowing and seeing [skype] that my daughter is not very sociable and just keeps to herself is very heartbreaking. She spends a lot of time with her dogs and complains that she doesn't have playmates. The school that she is in is not good even. My daughter is painfully shy and scared to express herself.

This is very heartbreaking for me, especially that our neighborhood is full of kids. I only work part-time that's why I know I can better care for my daughter and when my daughter decides to stay with us I'd find a part time work around her school schedule so I can closely supervise her. School is just 5 mins away from our house. I know that my daughter will have better growth and opportunities here with me than she has with her father.

Thank you very much for all the valuable information you can provide.

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2 Re: Child Custody - Mother Abroad on Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:52 am

attyLLL


moderator
sorry to sidetrack your issue, i'll get to your daughter after this.

were both of you Philippine citizens when you filed for divorce in the USA? If so, philippine law will not recognize the divorce.


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3 Re: Child Custody - Mother Abroad on Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:56 am

mariamakiling


Arresto Menor
Hi Atty,

Sorry for the late reply.

I understand that the divorce is not recognized in the Philippines. I am just very concerned about my daughter.

PLease help. The newest development is her father is looking for a house now without telling me and it seems that he doesnt have any plans of telling me about this move.

Thank you. I appreciate it.

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4 Re: Child Custody - Mother Abroad on Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:13 am

attyLLL


moderator
i'm not sure what your question is? if the father and you get into a custody fight, who will win? my bet will be for the dad. he has equal parental custody rights and the courts are not in a hurry to let the child get out of its jurisdiction and stay with a mother who is, in the law's eyes, in an adulterous relationship and left her.

sorry to be blunt. i recommend you handle this by trying to convince the dad that there will be a better life for your daughter there.

of course, you can try to file a petition for custody. yes, you can fight it from there but you won't win sympathy by being absent from hearings all the time.


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5 Re: Child Custody - Mother Abroad on Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:30 am

mariamakiling


Arresto Menor
Thanks for the reply, Atty!

Are you telling me that this is a losing battle if I decide to file for a custody case? Just because I left and have remarried? Will the court not see the totality of the situation and the fact that I have a better future to offer my daughter? FYI, I did not leave my daughter purposely to marry someone else,I left because his father cannot afford to have a family. It took me awhile before I got married again. I know that I will be viewed as an adulterous woman no matter what. I appreciate your bluntness though.

I also want to know, how long will the court battle last if I file for full custody and how much [just a ball park figure] will it cost.

I have been on my wits end trying to explain to him that my daughter will have a better future with me. He doesn't get it because he is thinking of my new husband, he is taking that against me. This whole situation is just very heartbreaking, I feel that as a mother I need to be maligned and be judged before I'd be able to be with my daughter.


Your opinion is appreciated

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6 Re: Child Custody - Mother Abroad on Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:10 pm

attyLLL


moderator
For now, focus on getting the visa for your child.

I'm sorry to make you feel hopeless. Of course, there is always hope and you have a fighting chance as any mother would. in custody cases, it is the paramount interest of the child which is most important.

The cost of a legal battle depends on many factors, chief of which is the lawyer you will retain. if you need more information, please feel free to contact me at attylllaw@gmail.com


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