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Mother Ordered to Pay $195,000 in Child Custody Legal Fees

Posted on in Child Custody

child custody battle, Austin family lawyer, child abuse, Austin Texas, divorce attorneyA Fulton County, Georgia judge has ordered the mother involved in a bitter custody dispute to pay $195,000 in legal fees to her ex-husband's attorney. According to an article in the Daily Report, the judge issued the ruling after announcing that the child-abuse accusations that the mother alleged against the father were not credible and has determined that the father will retain primary custody of the child.

The parents were divorced in 2009, when a child psychologist filed a suspicion of child abuse report based on the child talking about "secret stuff" at the father's house. The father was arrested and charged with child molestation in Georgia. The father also maintained a home in Colorado and was arrested and charged there too, after the mother filed a complaint in that state. The Fulton County district attorney's office conducted a two-year investigation, but dismissed the charges in 2011. Colorado authorities also dismissed their charges. A year later, in 2012, after only seeing his daughter once in three years, the father filed a motion for custody petition. In 2013, based upon recommendations from a therapist chosen by the mother, a custody evaluator and the child's guardian ad litem, reunification therapy between the child and her father was begun. A month later, in May 2013, the mother stopped the therapy and fired her attorney. In June, the judge granted temporary custody of the child to the father. This decision ignited protests at the courthouse. A final hearing was held in October, with the protesters returning to picket outside the courthouse during the six day trial. During the trial, the mother's attorney claimed there were over 20 images of child pornography found on the father's computer. However, in his decision, the judge pointed out the mother's computer expert witness testified there was only one image he thought was child pornography, but also admitted during testimony that he could not say what the ages of the people in the image were. The judge also signaled out the mother's child therapist expert witness, writing that she "inappropriately gave opinions about the child without ever having interacted with the child." Regarding ordering the mother to pay the father's attorney fees, the judge wrote, "While this Court notes that efforts to level the playing field are generally viewed favorably in the context of domestic cases, there never should have been a playing field to begin with in this case." If you are involved in a child custody dispute, contact an experienced Austin family law attorney today to ensure that you and your children's rights are protected in the courtroom.

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8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759