Help get the girls back home.

My two little girls, along with me and their dad, lived in NC from 2012 to 2015, when we moved as a family to Texas, where their dad had a new job.  In 2016, the girls and I returned to NC where dad was supposed to join us.  He didn't.  Instead,  he filed for divorce back in Texas, forcing us to litigate custody in Texas.  After a jury trial in the summer of 2017, when I had no live witnesses (they were all back in NC), the jury awarded him primary custody.  As a result, the girls were forced to move to Texas, away from me, their friends, and their community in eastern NC.  I applied for jobs back in Texas but, without the money to move there, I couldn't even get an interview.  In the meantime, I worked really hard to build my career where I was and have been at a great job with full benefits for just under a year.  I have a second job teaching, but I only get paid during the semester while I'm teaching. 

Since August 2017, I have paid every penny of travel expenses for all of my visits to the girls in Texas and for all of their trips back home for holidays and summer break.  Those costs run on average $2,000 per month.  For Thanksgiving, the airfare alone was $3,000.  With COVID, the rental car and hotel expenses have dramatically increased.  

The girls have really struggled emotionally since being back in Texas.  They miss me and their friends here in NC.  They are incredibly isolated and lonely -- even more so with the COVID-induced restrictions.  They both sob when they have to go back to their dad's in Texas.   In May 2019, representing myself, I filed a new action in Texas seeking to have the girls returned to their home in NC.  Dad's attorney has had two separate professionals (a PhD custody evaluator and an amicus attorney) appointed and me ordered to split the costs with dad.  We have a hearing Monday morning (1/11/2021) on her attempt to have yet a third professional (another PhD as parenting facilitator) appointed.  We have a trial date set for Feb. 8 and I am pushing to have it go forward on that date.  Because of COVID, it will be via Zoom.   My half of the fee for the amicus attorney is $6,000.  I thought I had until February 8 to pay my portion, but I just received a phone call from the attorney's office saying the money is due *immediately.*   

I really need help getting through what I see as the final push before the girls can come back home.


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Serenity Norman 
Winterville, NC
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