“Our Home is Now at Peace” — With the Center’s Help, Mother Fights to Protect Daughter From the Abusive Life She Led

“Stolen” from her family as a young girl in rural Mexico, Terese* could not return. Viewed in her culture as dishonored, she felt forced to endure a life with her abductor after they migrated to Los Angeles. Bearing three children, her goal was to keep them as safe as possible and protect them from the life she led with her abusive spouse. Though threatened with losing everything, with help from the lawyers of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, her family is now secure.

Terese panicked when her husband announced he wanted to return to their homeland and take their oldest daughter with him. The rebellious adolescent, mad at her mother, said she wanted to go. Referred by the court’s self-help program, Terese came to the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law for aid to gain legal custody of all three children, and prevent the move to Mexico.

Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law lawyers quickly prepared legal documents with Terese, and knowing of her deep fears, they secured pro bono representation for her. Lawyers from the Kolodny Law Group, Alexa Wolff and Howard Posner willingly took the case, appeared multiple times in court on Terese’s behalf, and convinced the judge in short order that Terese should have custody and the daughter should stay with her mom. They went further and intervened with Terese and her daughter and helped repair their broken relationship. As to the impact on her, Terese quietly says “now we are a family. I am very grateful for the Center for helping me have a relationship with my daughter and stopping the abuse. Our home is now at peace.”

*Name has been changed to protect our client.