Hello, my name is Alicia and I’m a single mom to a wonderful 11-year-old boy. I was born and raised in Arizona, but moved to Chicago with my mother and stepfather at the age of 14. It was here where I met my son’s father, in high school. After the birth of our son, our relationship eventually became acrimonious and there were episodes with abuse, including a time where he kicked me, with my son in my arms, as hard as he could. This was the last time we would all live in the same home and we went to court for the first time. After over a year of domestic abuse and family law court, I settled for joint custody and a parenting agreement that included not being able to leave the state without his approval. My income at the time was very low and I couldn’t keep paying the lawyer fees, so I gave up.
Long story short: I want to create a better life for our son and you know that old saying “it takes a village to raise a child” well, it’s true. I never realized how challenging it would be to raise a child in a big city with only the support of a few friends who have their own families to raise. So, in this message, I am asking for your support to help me help my son. We are in need of $15,000 to pay the accumulated legal fees.
For the full back story:
I have been struggling with this agreement for many years. Part of the agreement was that my child’s father was to pay child support consistently, which he hasn’t, and it has been a decade. He has also been unable to be fully supportive because he suffers from seizures and is unable to drive, so I have to do all of the driving and as we all know, gas has been expensive in the past. Additionally, he hasn’t assisted with much of the childcare costs, which are a necessity for me to work in order to support our son.
The situation has become more troublesome in the past year because my grandmother has fallen ill, my grandfather recently passed away and my family, that was once my main support network, has returned home to Arizona to assist. We no longer have the consistent support we once had in Illinois. This is when I decided I needed to fight for child support and permission to leave to Arizona when necessary with our son. Some might say “well, what about his father’s family for help?” unfortunately his father’s family will not speak to me or even acknowledge that I am standing in the same room as them, as the situation has become volatile.
So after many years of living in fear of standing up to my son’s father, I hired one of the best attorneys in Chicago knowing it would be pricey, but I needed someone with a good track record and the know how. I found him and he and his colleagues have been working hard and making progress. Half way through our trial/case I’ve estimated my portion so far is nearing $20,000 and rising, between the mediator, guardian ad litem, and attorney fees. I have paid down some of he fees, but the balance shot up to just shy of $16,000 post trial.
We have finished our trial and have one court appearance to submit our new parenting agree and get all our documents finalized! he judge has been incredibly fair in her decisions; distant parenting agreements and other legal matters. The guardian ad litem and judge both feel moving to Arizona is good for us to have our support system back and for me to have the opportunity to go back to school for acupuncture and naturopathic medicine. I want to create a better life for our son and you know that old saying “it takes a village to raise a child” well, it’s true. I never realized how challenging it would be to raise a child in a big city with only the support of a few friends who have their own families to raise. So, in this message, I am asking for your support to help me help my son. We are in need of $15,000 to pay the the remainder of our legal fees and move forward with the finalization.
Thank you for all your support whether you have been by our sides through the entire process or if you are just now hearing of this. It has been a long and gruling expereince, but it is almost over and I am gratful for all the lessons I've learned during this process.