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Case Type Custody Skills Developed Client Interviewing/Courtroom Experience/Negotiation

Case #20-0045120

Client faces a semi-protracted custody hearing regarding her two sons initially scheduled for September 25, 2020, at 1:00pm before Judge Michael Fanning. This will be rescheduled due to the court’s COVID-19 related measures. The opposing party is the children’s father. Father physically and emotionally abused client when they were in a relationship, and client was the main caregiver for the children most of their lives. In May 2017, client’s youngest son was injured while playing with his maternal uncle, and client took him to the hospital. The injury sparked an investigation by DHS and the Special Victims Unit of the Philadelphia Police. Under pressure from her family client took her son home from the hospital without treatment. Soon after she moved to Delaware with her children to get away from her family and the opposing party. . DHS took the children out of school in Delaware and brought them back to Philadelphia. The court denied a DHS petition to place the children in shelter care and physical and legal custody was then given to the father. Client filed multiple petitions to modify custody, but felt intimidated and failed to show up for court. Finally, a master’s hearing in December 2019 resulted in an interim order granting client supervised partial physical custody with weekly visits at the court nursery. Client missed a few visits, because she had a newborn baby and the nursery would not allow her to bring him. Now the court nursery is closed due to COVID-19. Client says the father now makes her pay him money to see the children, and client believes the children are being neglected. Recently, client learned that father had threatened sexual violence towards a daughter he had with another woman, and it was shared on social media. Client’s goal is to have primary physical and sole legal custody. Client seeks representation for her upcoming hearing.