August 30, 2006
Hello, … I am the mother of a beautiful Native American daughter. Since my daughter was 4 months old I have had a custody order in my favor. She is now 11 1/2 and last summer when she was 10 my husband and I went to jail for a little bit, keep in mind that I am 28 years old and have never even had a traffic ticket. My ex husband, in the mean time has had very little to do with me or our daughter since our divorce in 2000. For the last 3 years he has had absoulutely no contact with his daughter. Not a Christmas card, birthday present or even a phone call. When I got arrested I called my ex sister in law, who was married to my ex husbands brother, and I essentially gave her custody of my kids. Within days my sons dad picked him up and thats where he remained until I was released from jail and my daughter remained with her aunt. Then my daughter went to visit her grandma, who in turn called her son and told him that I had been arrested. My ex husband came to town the day before I was released from jail and took our daughter to his reservation where he filed a temporary custody order. 10 months later we went to tribal court and he recieved custody after a 90 second hearing.
I am wondering how this happened and if there is anything I can do? Who’s custody order trumps who’s? Why does nmy daughter have to live so unhappily? It’s not that she doesn’t love her dad she just barely knows him and I am the only constant thing in her life. How can they just take her away? Please point me in the right direction as far as what legal action I mght be able to take and regain what I think is rightfully mine.
I recently had her for three weeks after our court hearing and put her on the train to go back to her dads. As the tears streamed down her face and she begged me not to make her go, she pulled out of the train station. The nexted day I talked to her on the phone and she cried once more asking me when she got to come home. She will be back for Thanksgiving and I am trying to do investigative stuff in the mean time to see if there is a motion I can file in my court so she doesn’t have to go back if she don’t want to. If you know of anything I can do or can point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated from me and my family.
UPDATE November 15, 2006
Hi Lisa, Things are going ok. Since I talked to you last my ex husband took me to court and won custody. The tribal judge didn’t even ask to see my divorce papers or custody order. We were only in there for 90 seconds or so. It was the most heart breaking day of my life. I get all holidays with her though so she will be here on Sat. the 18th and will stay until the 26th. She will turn 12 in Feb. and the judge said that after the school year is over, my daughter can choose who she wants to reside with. That makes things a little easier to deal with. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.