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Out of Jail and want to see my son

 
 
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 09:23 am
Hi, I was released from prison on Christmas Day and I have a 10 year old son. I have had zero contact with him for the 5 1/2 years I did in jail. His mother kept him away from my family and myself the whole time.
Before I went to jail I won joint custody and had my son 3 - 4 days per week, sleepovers, parenting time, everything.
Now, she will not let me have any contact with him whatsoever. She has the same cell number but she remarried and moved out of state. The Court will not provide me with any information.
I applied to have my order enforced and the judge denied me and told me to contact her to get all of my sons current information and to set up therapeutic visitation. She will not give me any information and when I told her about the court order she told me to stop texting her and stop harassing her (apperantly one message every 3 days is harassment).
I can't afford to go to the courts again because they won't wave the fee. I am homeless, have no job, no money, and they won't wave the fee. And because of my record I don't qualify for any assistance except partial food stamps.
Anyway, I just want to see my son. I'll do whatever I have to do. I love him so much and I think I can be a great person in his life.
What are my rights? What should I do now? Anyone know any case law that will help me out? Thank you for any and all help.
 
jespah
 
  5  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 09:37 am
@kylesenior32,
Contact Legal Services in your area and see if you can be set up with pro bono representation. This is often for inexperienced lawyers to cut their teeth, so don't expect the world's greatest orator. But this is above your pay grade. Asking for a bit of case law in your favor when we have no idea which state you're in, what you served time for, whether there were allegations of abuse in your marriage, let's face it, you're asking for complex, esoteric information without giving us a lot to go on. For free.

But it will be FAR better for you to have that kind of a conversation with the legal services lawyer. Be prepared to answer the questions I've hinted at above.

You are going to have an uphill slog here. I suspect your chances are very, very small. But they are pretty close to zero if you don't get a lawyer to help you. You need help with this.
kylesenior32
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 02:08 pm
@jespah,
Thanks for the reply. To answer your questions: I'm in New Jersey. I served time for PWID (Possession with the intent to distribute). NO, there were never any abuse charges or restraining orders - ever. I've never had one by anyone.
I got my motion returned to sender but I just pealed it back and it says the forwarding address is in Washington State. I live in New Jersey. I'm devastated and have no clue what to do. Legal Services don't do much here. I call and they don't answer or hang up. It's very hard to deal with them but I'll never give up. This is the most important thing in my life.
Isn't it against the law for her to take my son across the country without prior consent from myself and or the court? Is there anything I can do? Please help me...
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 02:22 pm
@kylesenior32,
kylesenior32 wrote:
I can't afford to go to the courts again because they won't wave the fee. I am homeless, have no job, no money, and they won't wave the fee. And because of my record I don't qualify for any assistance except partial food stamps.


if you have to pay for a lawyer (and you absolutely need a lawyer for this sort of thing) - and pay for therapeutic visitation if and when you locate your son - you have to get a steady income started

hook up with one of the agencies that will help you find work and housing

your one upside is that New Jersey seems to have quite a few services available

an agency worker/counsellor there may also be able connect you with Legal Aid
kylesenior32
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 03:19 pm
@ehBeth,
thank you for the advice. I just got off of the phone with legal services and they only provide legal advice on the phone they don't actually become your lawyer. I have an attorney calling me next Thursday to talk to me. Hopefully they'll give me some good advice but I'll still need to hire an attorney.
As for the job agencies, they actually turn there noses up at PWID charges. They won't help me at all. So, I'm out here every day walking to different places and applying everywhere. I'll get a job soon, hopefully.
The problem is I don't live in a metropolis. I live right on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and it's easier to find jobs in PA (and homeless shelters and everything). However, PA pays less per hour. Whatever, a job is a job at this point.
Oh, and with my charges I'm told by temporary/emergency assistance that I can't have cash assistance, temporary rental assistance, or anything but NJ Family Care (Medicaid) and partial food stamps. Which, I'm greatful for both.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 03:29 pm
@kylesenior32,
I'm following along, no immediately handy advice; I like your attitude, hang in there.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 03:52 pm
@kylesenior32,
kylesenior32 wrote:
As for the job agencies


not job agencies

agencies providing services to ex-offenders --- are you hooked up with any of those?
kylesenior32
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 04:31 pm
@ehBeth,
I've applied to every job agency I know of. I applied to all of the online ones as well. At unemployment all they do is tell you to put your resume online and take a few handouts of places currently hiring. I tried all of those places and my honesty about my criminal record is blocking me from getting a job. I have a good job history, but my criminal record is too much for potential employers to see past (I'm afraid to lie and lose my job if they do a google search). There is a place that hires inmates from work release in the city next to me. I went there and applied today. I'm sure they will call me back. Minimum wage, but I'll take it. It's better than what I'm making now.
Also, I have packets from different jails that have places that hire ex-felons and I've applied to all local jobs and am currently waiting on call backs (as well as calling myself to check status of applications). Not working in my favor so far but I'll make it work eventually. Thanks for the ideas.
kylesenior32
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 09:10 pm
@kylesenior32,
Also, I live in New Jersey and I just got a certified letter I sent to my sons mother returned to sender. There was a forwarding address for Washington state.... that's 3000 miles away. What can I do??????? I'm so devastated. This is literally the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 09:13 pm
@kylesenior32,
Listening.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2016 10:07 am
I am sorry I cannot offer much in advice as I do not work in the legal area. I do wish you well - you seem like a good person with a good heart that made a mistake and repaid it.

Some thoughts maybe after talking with a lawyer --- Do you think if you are able to get in contact with your child's mom that you could talk with her? I can understand how she would want her child in contact with you in one respect - she wants to protect him from what she may see as a bad person. Maybe explain how you have changed and plan on redeeming yourself. Let her know how much you care for your son and what sort of benefits he could get from having contact from you. Also, you can work with her to set some sort of perimeters to make her more comfortable. A dad being a part of a child's life is a win-win situation even if parents are separated. It would make it easier too even if you get court ordered visitation to get along with the mom.

If they are out in WA - (not sure what the legal is about moving away without your permission - lawyer should fill you in). You can Skype and use other means to talk and have contact.

Just wishing you well as you seem genuine in wanting to be a positive part of your son's life.
kylesenior32
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2016 05:49 pm
@Linkat,
Thank you for the ideas. Yea, it's truly devastating to learn that he's out there 3000 miles from me. As for getting in contact with my sons mother, we did have contact slightly. She still has the same cell phone. I received this new court order from the court and I sent her picture of a paragraph from the order as well as describing it to her as the court clerk told me to do and she responded back with a do not talk to me or I'll file for harassment. So, I'll never message her again because she really will.
I don't think it's a protection situation. Before I went away I fought through the courts and got joint custody and I had him more than she did. She knows I love my son dearly and I can be a great father (if I'm home). She has another kid too and what she does to both of her kids dads is use them for everything she can. She knows I have nothing right now so she wont let me see or talk to him.
I've told her I'm willing to talk to his "therapist" or whomever. I'm ok with therapeutic visitation to start with. She won't agree to that or even talk to me about it. She wants the control I guess.
My son turned ten on February 10th and I bought him some presents, so did my Mom, both brothers, and friend. The presents are still with me. I asked her what I should get him for his birthday and she told me he wants $36,179.92 (my arrears from my 5 1/2 years in jail). I asked for a picture and she sends me a picture of him hugging another man (I'm assuming her man, I don't know I don't ask). But, as you can see she just wants to hurt me and I don't know what to do. The court is of no help at all.

On another note, I guess I could file something with the court complaining of parental kidnapping since we had a divorce agreement through the court that she couldn't move him out of state without my consent. I think I violated the order by going to jail but I don't believe that two wrongs make a right. Just because I violated it does not give her the right to violate it. I doubt the judge would take that serious because the judge would have granted the move even if I fought it. Also, I don't want to make any problems for her. I just want to be a part of my sons life. So I need different ideas.

I'm currently drafting a letter to the court pleading for help. I don't know what else to do. Any ideas???
0 Replies
 
 

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