I am really embarrassed and nervous to share such a private matter with so many people. But as a mother I have to do what I can to keep my children safe. Right now, that means swallowing my pride and asking for a little bit of help.
A couple months ago my husband and I received a call from a DHS caseworker. She wanted to know if we could come pick my three children (from my previous marriage) up from their father’s (my Ex Husband) house. He had been seen driving under the influence of methamphetamines with the children in the car. Of course, we dropped everything and rushed over to pick my children up.
We weren't surprised by the accusation or the call from DHS. Actually, in all honesty, it was an answer to our prayers. We have been working with DHS for some time now to get my children out of this unsafe and abusive environment but there was never enough evidence to warrant taking them from their father’s home. Most people would be shocked at what is legally tolerated.
I have spent almost $10,000 on court and attorney fees to date. In our initial custody battle I was awarded sole custody of our children but was unsuccessful in proving their father as unfit. After such a brutal ordeal for only a partial win, I was reluctant to go back to court without something substantial to back me up. It’s been a long and hard road, especially for my kiddos. I now have the evidence I need to remove my children from the environment where they witness drug abuse, violence and are subjected to emotional and psychological abuse and into a home where they are safe and loved.
My family and I have exhausted all of our financial resources and are truly in need of a helping hand. We are looking to raise $3,000 to retain an Attorney and help cover legal fees as soon as possible. We will continue to work hard to save what we can but we have a large blended family of eight and work off of a single income. Our family budget is very tight and we simply do not have the means to pay for this emergency (especially as time is of the essence.)
I have done all that I can on my own so far. I have filed the Emergency custody order (which was seen and granted by the judge). The Modification of Parenting Time has also been filed and they are both waiting to be served. Now that the Emergency order is in place my kiddos are safe with me for the time being. However, I worry that it won’t be for long if I don’t get the funds to retain an attorney to secure a more permanent solution for my children.
If you are able to help in any way we would greatly appreciate it; even if that is just to pass this message along.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,
- Jerry Ozbun
- Jerry Ozbun
- Quentin Hagewood
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