MLP Site: Abbottsford Falls
Disability: Back injury, mental health
Joanna is a patient at Abbottsford Falls who first asked to see an LCD attorney over two years ago. At the time, she had sued her baby’s father for child support and for full physical and legal custody over their one year-old daughter. After completing the intake, Staff Attorney Ben Feldman opened Joanna’s case and told her LCD would advise her on the child support and represent her in the custody matter.
The first custody hearing was in December 2015. Since the child’s father was on the Megan’s Law Registry in Pennsylvania for an enumerated offense, LCD requested a home evaluation as well as a psychological evaluation by the court. The court ordered both and demanded that he attend Assessment and Treatment Alternatives training.
The child’s father then hired an attorney. At the next several scheduled hearings, his attorney requested a continuance to allow his client more time to complete the ATA course. Finally, LCD argued that the father’s persistent failure to complete the ATA course demonstrated his lack of dedication to being a reliable parent. The Judge agreed, and ordered dad’s petition dismissed. Joanna decided she wanted her child to have some contact with her father, but would only agree to supervised visits at the nursery since he had not proven he was not a threat to his daughter’s safety.
As a result of LCD’s diligence, Joanna has full legal and physical custody of her daughter. Now, Joanna has the power to decide how much to allow her daughter’s father into her life until she feels confident he has been rehabilitated.