To be as straightforward as possible, I need $5000 by Christmas 2020 in order to retain an attorney to provide legal defense against false allegations from my ex, so that I can protect my children and their best interests moving forward.
Three years ago I was going through a tough drawn out divorce. Divorce can alienate you from existing friends, and due to the nature of the relationship I had been in with that marriage I was already isolated from most of my friends. I was lonely and had little support.
When I was younger I would have movie nights and invite everyone I knew so I decided to do the same to make some new friends. But only one person showed up, some guy who I knew through a parenting group. He was also going through a tough separation and we became fast friends being able to vent about worries, stress, and even navigating dating. Months into our friendship we began to realize we might be more than friends, confessed our feelings for each other… and you can guess the rest. We held off a long time on meeting each other’s kids out of caution, but once we were sure we wanted to marry someday we took the leap and introduced our children. During this time I was able to get financially more stable, create a positive environment for my kids, and make lots more friends. All was well for a short time, we eventually were able to marry and find a house for our combined five kids! I wish I could say that was our happy ending.
The summer we were married was quickly shadowed by Adam’s ex. We began to notice changes in the children and after a time it was obvious drug abuse and neglect were plaguing these poor kids lives. Daily panic attacks and worrying about safety became the norm for the kids. After a series of more and more concerning events and reports from the children we filed for emergency custody, and managed to get the kids safe. We were blessed with generosity from many, many people and the children have been safe for more than a year now. The attorney fees are still a huge burden, but we’re chipping away at it. This fall we began to plan to buy our own house, and the kids said all they wanted for Christmas was a vacation at the beach. The kids are thriving in school and we have been starting to see them unwind and be comfortable again.
Unfortunately, the day before thanksgiving I was served a petition to modify the permanent parenting plan for my own two biological children put in place less than two years ago. I had begun to stand up to my ex’s accusations and harassment and requested we communicate through a more neutral platform to mitigate the conflict, after all with any conflict it’s the kids who really suffer. He filed to modify the parenting plan immediately after. Although my kid’s father hasn’t exercised over 60 days of parenting time since March 2019 he wants majority custody and sole decision making rights. There are no less than 11 false allegations, all reporting neglect where I have direct evidence these are false claims. Also, I’m a dog trainer, specializing in behavior modification and service dogs, and have my own service dog related to PTSD from abuse, as well as other disabilities. The kids’ dad claimed I am hoarding animals and it’s an unsafe environment for the kids. Multiple witnesses and professionals disagree and are willing to support my case with testimony and affidavit, including CPS workers who examined our home and found no concerns. Still, he wishes to limit the number of animals I have, including animals related to my career and charitable work like training service dogs and fostering rescues. My family has benefited so much from the company of our pets and lessons from selfless service dogs and rescues who love even though they have no reason to trust us. The kids love their animals, they say they’re one of the most important parts of their lives and ability to cope with the changes the past few years have brought.
If all of that wasn’t enough stress the following week from being served my son was diagnosed with epilepsy, which will be costly to treat and run additional tests for. I am nervous because I know treating a condition like epilepsy is a difficult journey for a family, even more now when one parent isn’t on board.
Clearly, vacation and home buying are now taking the back seat, but even working full time and overtime, which isn’t a possibility because of homeschool and COVID, I couldn’t save the attorney's retainer in time. I need to have $5000 before Christmas just for the lawyer. I need your help, every dollar counts. It brings me great humility to ask for help but my children absolutely come first even over my pride. Anything excess will go to the $6000+ we are still paying towards my husband’s kids case.
If you want to pay a different way, my business, Full Color Dog Training (http://bit.ly/fullcolordogtraining) will be donating all profits to this cause (https://square.site/book/EQ950YYMGSSGV/full-color-dog-training-memphis-tn?fbclid=IwAR3T8dfN1wmKb9vqxkdVEsHRNaXLWbSZenjui3UgqMkuYJ8cA_6mX0uC6QE).
- Daniel Francis
- Andrew Armond
- Ann M Hall
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