Darius' Story

A willing father should not have to spend his life savings to be a part of his child's life.

As I sit here crying and typing I am officially out of options and I am asking you all for your help.

Many of you have followed the story of Darius and what we've all been going through the past 9 months on my private page. I would never in my wildest dreams believe that any mother could do to their child what this woman has done to Darius. Just before his 17th birthday Darius decided on his own free will that he wanted to live with us in WA state. He has more opportunities here. He can play sports, attend a better school, find a job, etc. At 17-years-old he should be allowed to choose where he wants to live. Especially considering we are not criminals and Butch is his biological father. Darius told his mother face-to-face that this is what he wanted.

Many of you know that Butch has been very sick over the past two years. He was furloughed from his Explosives job in 2013 and has not been able to return to work. I cannot go into details about his health, but it's a daily struggle sometimes for our entire family. Because of his health complication he cannot travel. He has numerous sworn affidavits from health care professionals stating this, but the judge did not care. The Judge told Butch, "you better start driving". 

Butch was admitted to the Medial Specialties. His sickness is still not understood.

Butch would never "pretend" to be sick to save himself a flight to Florida. SERIOUSLY?!
  With the help of family we have already spent approximately $5,000 on court actions since Darius decided to move here, but the money ran dry and we had to make a decision to back away from the nonsense. Until literally the night before the final hearing Darius' mother was not willing to file a pick up order for Darius to be returned to Florida. She even stated this on the stand during our first hearing saying it would not be in Darius' best interest to file the pickup order. Well, after 9 months of Darius living here, and 3 months before his 18th birthday Dawn thought it would now be the appropriate time to rip Darius from the life he's created for himself here in Washington. 

Because of our inability to pay an attorney, Butch's inability to travel and the court's refusal to allow Butch to appear via skype Dawn was awarded everything she asked for to include an immediate order for Darius to be returned to Florida and over $14,000 in monetary awards.We tried to fight this every way we possibly could, but due to the case being in Florida and Butch being administratively barred from participating our hands were tied. What happened today was illegal and unjust. Now we are left with no choice but to retain an attorney to show that Darius' voice has not been heard.

There is SO MUCH more to this story but here are a few facts for you.

1. Darius HAS A COURT APPOINTED advocate in the state of Florida. Darius' mother purposefully blocked Darius from communicating with the child advocate. The advocate reported Dawn's behavior to the courts, The judge did nothing. Darius e-mailed the advocate, his mother, the courts, EVERYONE. No one cared.
2. Darius has e-mailed his mother and called her countless times begging that she stop this. She doesn't care. Darius filed a sworn affidavit with the courts stating this is what he wanted, how well he was doing here, no one forced him to be here, etc. No one cared.
3. We filed for modification of child support in the state of Florida in February. The courts would NOT modify because technically Dawn still has custody and would not cooperate. She refused to allow child support (so did the courts) but she also refused to do anything to resolve the issues allowing him to build a life here for 9 months. We filed for child support in WA state as well. Washington has no jurisdiction whatsoever and is 100% unable to help us or Darius in any way.
4. We filed for a protection order in the state of WA. Denied.
5. We went so far as to file for emancipation in WA. Denied. The judge understood, was very sympathetic, and Darius met every requirement, but because he still lived with his father they couldn't grant it.
6. We cannot get legal aid (a free attorney) in WA because they can't do anything in Florida. We cannot get legal aid in Florida because Butch is not a resident there.
7. We cannot transfer the case to WA. We've tried. Florida has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction and refuses to cooperate.
8. Butch is physically unable to travel per sworn affidavit of multiple medical specialist. He petitioned to attend the hearings via Skype/Telephone but the Florida courts denied his request. They have "found" no evidence that he is unable to work and the judge told him "you better get an attorney", despite having no job and not being able to get one.
9. WE HAD AN ATTORNEY... until the money ran out. We didn't have a choice about letting him go. Further, we thought the Judge would rule in the best interest of the child, considering that is her job - to protect the child. I am a legal assistant. My sister-in-law is a Paralegal. We have a wonderful friend who is an old attorney of ours in Florida who answers questions. We are educated. We have done everything possible. The system has failed our son.
10. September 1st, 2015 the Judge issued a pickup order for Darius. This was attained illegally and is being addressed. The judge also ordered Butch to pay all of Dawn's attorney's fees (just under $8,000) and to pay for "back" child support for the entire time he's lived here in Washington. Dawn is in contempt of the current court order herself. We have an attorney now. He's a verified badass and he will fix this for Darius.
Today I am asking for your help so that Darius can be free from his mother's grasp, free of his mother's continual hate for us, free to live the life he's chosen, and free to love his father without recourse. This woman has spent a lifetime keeping Darius from his father and now Darius is old enough to see for himself that she doesn't put him first. I am so absolutely heartbroken with the entire situation. Anything you can give would mean the world to my family right now. I think you all know we always try to help others when they're in need and I hope and pray that others will help us now that we're in need. I decided to set it up this way so that gofundme doesn't take their cut from anything you donate.

If you can donate $2.00 or $10.00 we would be truly grateful. Just click or copy and paste this link: