I have tons of questions and a rather long story. Please bear with me!
My sister is in the middle of a domestic abuse case and a child custody case.
Her (now ex-) boyfriend and child's father has beat her up several times, including choking her, throwing her against the wall, and forcing himself on her. She has lived with him for a year or so, though they were never married, and the violent acts happen regularly. Their daughter (now ten months) has been living with them as well. A week ago, he beat her up once again, took the baby and their car. She's been living with my mom since then and although he's gone on trips and not seen the baby for weeks at a time, this is the first time my sister has not seen the baby for more than a few hours.
The domestic abuse court case is from the time he beat her up a few months ago. She showed up at my house at 3am all bruised and bloody. We went to the police that morning and they documented it with pictures of her wounds and pictures of their house that he had done considerable damage to, and he was arrested.
1) Will these photos be in the police report? Can we present a copy of the police report as evidence? Found this out through police office.
2) How do we legally obtain her possessions and the baby's possessions (that we purchased) from their home? It is her ex-boyfriend's home that his parents purchased for them. Everything she owns is in that house. We have no proof that we purchased the baby's items, but my sister, mother, and I have spent thousands, whereas he just buys diapers and the occasional onesie.
The court date for the domestic abuse case was a few days ago, but it was postponed. When his grandmother saw my sister in court, she served her the custody case papers.
My sister is terrified he is going to get custody, even though she is the primary caregiver and has nothing on her record. He does make more money than she does and his parents have money, whereas she is living at home with my mother.
3) Will her being enrolled in WIC affect the custody decision?
4) Will her attending a rehab/methadone clinic affect the custody decision? He doesn't know that she is and she's attending in a different state.
5) Is there any way we could gain access to his police record? He has several DUIs, fights, and domestic abuse of his other child's mother on his record, but how do we bring that up in court?
6) If we have witnesses to the abuse or how he treated the child, should we sign affidavits? Are these admissable?
7) What can we do to prove she is the primary caregiver? What documents should we gather for the custody case?
Thank you so much for your time and any help you can give. I'm sorry if the details distract but I wanted everything to be clear.