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am a 26 year old single mother.
I was divorced almost seven years ago. Yes, I was very young and at the time, I could not afford an attorney. My ex husband had me confined to a small Texas county.

I work about 40 miles from home therefore taking me an hour to get to work and another hour to get home to my child.

Another reason I would like to move is to put my child in a better school. I found an excellent school district about 35 miles outside of the town we now reside.
This particular school rated exemplary (as rated by TAAS scores) while the school she now attends rates average. I actually met with the vice principal of the school. Not only did the school have excellent facilities, it was also secure. There is also an afterschool program sponsored by YMCA that would help tutor my daughter with her homework, therefore, giving my daughter and I more quality time in the evenings.

Now...In January of 2001, I went to court to modify my divorce decree so that I could move. I lost my case.

The judge said that he didn't want to take the child out of the family environment that she now resides. Yes, her father lives closeby and works in the county. His family lives here and so does mine. However, my ex gets her on his weekends and on Wednesday evenings. That wouldn't change. The only change is that he would have to drive a little further to get to her.

The judge also stated twice that had I been married and was moving to be near my husband, he may have considered it. I feel as though that was discrimination against me as a single mother.

I believe I lost my case for the following reasons:

Not only was the judge related to my ex-husbands family, (His mother and
my ex-husband's grandmother were first cousins) but my ex-husband works as
a probation officer for the county and is well-known in the courthouse.
There was definite favoritism shown.

I was not represented well by my attorney and he later told me that he would've done the same thing if it would've been his child.

All in all, they worked together to keep us here. (good old boys)

Is there anyone that can help? Is this a violation of my (and my child's) civil rights?


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