Legal fees - Help Protect kids from abuse

I am a single mom with two children.  I have been battling my childrens' father in court for years.  I believe he is a sociopath.  His behavior is outrageous and harmful.  I ran up a bunch of credit card debt trying to protect my kids from their father.  I have borrowed money from family members.  The battle to protect my kids continues, but I have finally run out of money for legal fees.  I also have exhausted all options to borrow money.  I need help.  I hate to ask for help.  I never ask for help.  However, I have reached the conclusion that my childrens' mental and emotional survival depends on me asking for help.  I am hoping that I can raise the money I need to pay my attorneys and continue protecting my kids.

I have a special needs son who is on the autism spectrum.  He had a stroke at age 9 (due to an AVM rupture) and was recently diagnosed with Crohns.  His father denies all medical diagnosis, refuses to timely pay for his share of medical expenses.  He tells my son that he is not autistic and doesn't have Crohns.  I also have a daughter who struggles with mental health difficulties which I absolutely attribute to emotional abuse from her father.  Both of my children are in weekly therapy as recommended by their doctor.  The medical bills are outrageous but I am doing everything I can to provide my kids the medical and mental health care that they need.

A couple of years ago, my children's father demanded 50/50 custody, offsetting child support, and exclusive right to make education, medical, and mental health decisions.  He is self employed, but claimed to be unemployed so he would not have to pay child support.  I had no choice but to battle him in court as I cannot allow him to have exclusive decision making rights for my special needs children.  He has told the children that the medicine they are taking is poison.  My son's medications are literally life saving.  Without medication for Crohns, he could die or end up with serious medical complications.  He doesn't believe anything doctors tell him.  He claims that our son is "not defective" and doesn't need all the "poison" doctors are giving him.  This is devastating.  Any parent that would suggest that a diagnosis of autism means a child is "defective" is sick on all levels.  I could write a book about all of the dangerous and harmful things this man has done and am continually shocked by his willingness to harm our children in order to "win something" or prove a point.

I have won some battles.  We ended our two year court battle in July with a settlement agreement.  We both lost.  I had to give up some decision making rights and he was awarded 50/50 custody of our son.  It was devastating.  However, I was hoping that the legal bleed would stop and the damaging behaviors would diminish once he got some of what he wanted in court.  However, I was wrong. 

Less than two months after our settlement, he went off the deep end.  He decided that he didn't like the special needs school that our son was attending so he refused to take him to school.  He threatened the school.  He threatened our parenting facilitator.  He filed a false police report claiming our son was assaulted at school.  Note that the police report was filed against a special needs child at the school that my son considers a friend.  It was absolutely horrifying.  The behavior was so egregious that the school banned him from being on campus and filed a CPS report for emotional and education neglect.  I was advised to file a restraining order as he is increasingly unstable and a danger to our children.

So, I did.  Now the battle is back on.  The judge ordered supervised visitation and a psych evaluation, but I had to pay for all these filings.  I also have to pay to write the order since I filed the restraining order.  The judge has appointed an attorney to represent the kids (I have to pay half of this).  A parenting facilitator is also still appointed in our case.  I have to pay for half of her fees.  The judge has ordered mediation (again).  The judge has scheduled a full day trial (again).   I am having to pay for legal fees for all HIS bad behavior.  We asked the judge to require him to pay my legal fees, but she will not consider any legal fees until trial which is months away.   I will never make it to trial.  I cannot afford ANY OF THIS. 

I am out of money.  I spent over $100K in the past 4 years trying to protect my kids from this monster and the court has reopened the case.   I am glad the judge is recognizing the problems and taking action, but I also know that a new trial means 10s of thousands of dollars in legal fees that I cannot afford.  Their father makes over $200K a year, has unlimited funds to run up my legal fees, and isn't incurring any legal fees.  His attorney is working for free.  I assume he must be a friend.  

The system is unbelievably flawed.  I am terrified.  I do not have the skills to represent myself in court against an experienced family law attorney, but I can no longer afford to pay my attorney.  I am now in a position where I have to give up and let him continue to harm my children or I have to figure out how to keep fighting.   The only solution I can see at this point is to hope that strangers will be willing to help me help my children.    

I have a long term goal to help other single parents that are fighting deviant personalities in family court.  My hope is that I will be able to start a foundation to help fund legal fees in outrageous cases like mine.  After I settled my case, I actually started talking with others in my community that are like minded.  I have started networking with other single moms that are victims of narcissists/sociopaths.  We are in initial discussions about setting up a foundation and gathering support from childrens' advocacy groups, local attorneys, and mental health professionals.  My goal is to prevent this nightmare from happening to another parent. 

Unfortunately, I am out of time and I need help NOW.  If I am able to somehow miraculously raise more funds than I need for my legal fees, I have a growing list of moms like me who are facing similar legal battles.  Any extra money I raise will go to help other victims.

Please be willing to help my children.  I am grateful for any money you are willing to donate to help me protect my kids.
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