Karina’s Story

Karina* needed help to protect her daughter

KarinaKarina always wanted a family to call her own but didn’t opt to do things the traditional way–she fell in love, had a daughter, but never got to wear the ring.

Like every couple, Karina and Julio had their share of ups and downs. Karina’s aunt was generous enough to provide them with housing. One night, however, things escalated in the shared home when Julio and Karina’s aunt got into a heated argument that left Karina fearing for her aunt’s life. 

Seeing the hostile situation, Karina decided to get the police involved. Julio ended up hurting Karina in an attempt to stop her from reaching the police. Despite Julio’s forcible resistance, Karina was able to eventually contact the police and obtain an emergency restraining order on Julio.

The restraining order did not do much to soothe her worries because before Karina knew it, Julio had found ways to contact Karina and let her know that he wanted to be a part of his daughter’s life. In an attempt to try and fix things with the man that was once the love of her life, she decided to allow Julio to see their daughter after the restraining order had expired.

 “With the help of Open Door Legal, Karina was able to achieve the goal she wanted: keeping her child protected both mentally and physically.”

Things were proven to be futile when she realized that Julio was now affecting their daughter’s well-being due to his refusal to properly supervise her. Karina’s daughter also wanted to stay with Karina. It was when her daughter’s well-being became an issue that Karina began to take action and grasp both of their futures into her own hands by contacting Open Door Legal in pursuit of getting full and legal custody of their daughter in addition to a permanent restraining order on the father.

Open Door Legal was able to get a court hearing for Karina’s case which resulted in sole physical and legal, a temporary custody order, and help to the father to get on the right track through parenting classes and mediation with Karina.

With the help of Open Door Legal, Karina was able to achieve the goal she wanted: keeping her child protected both mentally and physically. Since the hearing, Karina’s daughter’s academics have improved tremendously and she has even undergone therapy to help her move on to a brighter and safer future.

This story was written by volunteer Emily Rivera, March 2016.

*The name and photos have been changed to protect the client’s identity.