So, let me get specific so I can get a more accurate answer.
My fiance's daughter had been in the custody of the State of Oregon for about 10 years. Yes, a ten year open case. She was taken from her mother.
My fiance (at the time) did not have a stable living situation or employment (but was NEVER a safety concern) so Oregon wouldn't give him custody. After about a year into the state having custody of his daughter he was in the position to have custody of his daughter. But, the state wouldn't grant custody.
The state required my fiance to take many classes (he did). But, there was always another hurdle for him to jump. When I met my fiance almost 6 years ago he had his own 2 bedroom appt., a job and was living a normal life, but, without his daughter.
We began to push back and write letters to the state, all attorneys involved, DHS, the juvenile judge ect. the case had gotten so bad and the judge, case workers and attorneys have gotten biased and had their own plans for his daughter.
They began to make a permanent plan for where his daughter will live and the life she will have for her remaining childhood. A court date was set to finally TAKE my fiancee parental rights (as he would not ever willingly give them up).
Three days before that court date, a meeting was frantically put together by DHS and they invited my fiance, his attorney, the mother of his daughter, her attorney, his daughter, her attorney and casa, the case workers involved in the case and a supervisor whom my fiance has never met. The purpose of that meeting was to see if my fiance was going to willingly give up his rights (it was a quick meeting). The DHS supervisor also stated that he had NEVER seen a case that big and open for so many years.
Three days later, we went into court and that DHS supervisor asked to speak to the judge, attorneys and casa. They all went into the judges chambers and when they all returned that DHS supervisor said that DHS is pulling out of the case and told the judge that she should grant custody to my fiance. The judge tried to talk DHS out of that decision but DHS told her they won't continue to keep custody of my fiances daughter. The judge continued to struggle with that decision and got DHS to agree to staying involved in our lives for 3 months if she were to grant my fiance custody.
A week later, we had full custody of my fiances daughter.
During all the time the state had custody of his daughter he racked up some owed child support to the state as well as paid the state thousands of dollars. They took his tax returns every dang year, until last year!
We know that DHS pulled out of the case and the judge was basically forced to give my fiance his daughter because as soon as that supervisor from DHS looked over the case he realized they should have given custody to my fiance YEARS AGO!
While we will never be able to get back the time and raising his daughter who is now 16, we want the child support that the state took while they kept custody of his child when they shouldn't have.
How do we go about finding someone to help us? What sort of lawyer should we contact? Any immediate steps we should take to make this process quick and easy? And, is there any cheap way to go about this?
I'm a stay at home mom and my fiance supports our family of 6. We are considered low income right now and DHS has a huge part in our crappy financial situation.
Any and all suggestions will help and be very appreciated. Thank you.