Being a young, single mom was enough stress for S.P. already. Now she had to deal with an awful custody battle. Her daughter M. is 3 ½ years old and is in the center of the battle between her mother, her father, C. and her paternal grandmother, R.
R. often made threats to S.P. about having more money than S.P. did and having M. taken away from her. S.P. didn't know her options or rights as a parent, so she went to Rappahannock Legal Services. S.P. and her attorney, Willy Herbert, met with C. and his attorney. Both attorneys advised the parents of how important it was to get along for the sake of M. and pointed out the issues in the situation. S.P. and C. managed to come to an agreement and even got along for a while. Things seemed to be going well, until about three months later when R. and C. made accusations that the maternal grandmother was sexually abusing M. When M. would be with her paternal family for visitation, they would question her and even went so far as to take pictures of her genitalia, claiming it was red and she had been abused.
Although the custody case had been closed, S.P. reached back out to Rappahannock Legal Services and her attorney, Mr. Herbert, who helped S.P. get a protective order against R., and supervised visitation for C. Now M. is receiving counseling and regular checkups with the pediatrician at the recommendation of Mr. Herbert.
S.P. is grateful for Mr. Herbert and the Rappahannock Legal Services team. She says that without their help, she would not have known her options and would have possibly lost parental rights to her daughter because she would not have been able to afford an attorney.
S.P. notes, “Mr. Herbert has been great. He made me feel comfortable and went out of his way to help me. This case has been going on for a year and Mr. Herbert has been so patient.”