Ronald is the loving, caring, involved father of 11-year-old Ann. He has raised her since birth. They are each other’s family. Ronald is deaf. He independently takes care of all of Ann’s needs, including medical care and educational support. Ronald became a single father after he and Ann’s mother split up. At the time of the split, he was devastated. As a result, he moved in with his mother-in-law, who welcomed them with open arms.
At first, Ronald welcomed his mother-in-law’s involvement with Ann. However, behind Ronald’s back, she petitioned the court for Guardianship of his daughter under false pretenses. His mother-in-law took advantage of Ronald’s trust and had him sign a document he did not fully understand. The results: he was cut out of all decisions regarding Ann. To make matters worse, his mother-in-law conversed with Ann without using sign language in his presence. She also misinformed him about the availability of sign language interpreters at Ann’s school. Ronald decided it was time for them to move out and into his home. He was told he had no right to that decision. That was when Ronald contacted LCD.
Over the course of a year, staff attorney Sherry Thomas worked closely with Ronald. She advised him on the law and defined his goals. Both Ann’s grandmother and mother were legally represented as well. Through a series of negotiations, a custody evaluation, settlement conferences and pretrial conferences, both sides were able to come to an agreement. Ronald was given primary physical custody and sole legal custody of Ann. Now, thanks to Sherry’s efforts, father and daughter are a family again and remain reunited for good.
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