After the sudden loss of her mother in 2011, then-3-year-old Roselynn Sanchez became the unfortunate pawn in a custody battle between her living relatives. Roselynn’s biological father, Ryan Sanchez, who had separated from Roselynn’s mother prior to her death, was issued a court order to appear in Montana regarding custody of his daughter.
Roselynn’s two maternal grandparents, who were divorced, wanted Roselynn to remain in their custody and filed for custody in Montana, despite Roselynn’s only living parent (Sanchez) residing in Kansas.
Sanchez rushed to an attorney like most people would in a similar situation. Sadly, Sanchez quickly found out that his decision to do that was one that will weigh on him for many years to come.
The grandparents were given custody, all while his attorney was collecting legal fees.
Three years later, and after spending roughly $40,000 on his attorney, Sanchez is still baffled when trying to understand how he lost custody initially.
As the legal bills kept piling up, Sanchez had to work out of state in the oil fields in South Dakota, attempting to do everything possible to keep up with the financial strain. His wife, Andrea, was in Kansas, working hard herself and taking on this fight as her own, doing everything to help have her stepchild brought home.
As the bills continued to pile up, combined with the headache of dealing with an attorney who allegedly failed Sanchez greatly, Sanchez quickly found himself almost two years further into the seemingly never-ending custody battle without any meaningful resolution.
At that juncture, Sanchez’s father hired the US~Observer. After looking into the case, it was obvious that very little had been accomplished in court. Either Sanchez’s attorney Chris King of Wyoming was failing miserably to effectively assist his client, or the court was simply not interested in Roselynn’s being permanently reunited with her only living parent. This writer believes that Sanchez was being financially drained by his attorney.
It was reported that the judge presiding over this case, Blair Jones, had a direct connection to Roselynn’s maternal grandfather. No evidence of this was ever found. Shortly after the publication of our only article on this case, a final plan to determine permanent custody was arranged.
As the final custody hearing of Aug. 8, 2014, neared, Ryan and Andrea Sanchez were deeply concerned. What would the judge do? They had been labeled horrible things by the maternal grandparents. The claims were never proved as true, but it still caused them much grief. They had fought so hard for so long just to have their little girl. Making things worse, they received an email from their attorney just days before the hearing, demanding an extra $2,000 to “finish” the case. At a meeting with their attorney, just one day prior to the hearing, King allegedly threatened to “remove himself” from the case. The meeting ended abruptly, with tempers reportedly flaring.
What would you do if had paid almost $40,000 to an attorney who spent three years on your case without getting you custody of your daughter, then he suddenly demands an extra $2,000 along with allegedly threatening to drop your case?
Despite the troubles with King, the Sanchezes walked out of the meeting with their heads held high. They had done everything humanly possible to prove they deserved to parent their child. The next morning was a big day, and they needed to stay positive and look past King’s reported threats.
On Aug. 8, I received a phone call that brought tears to my eyes for many reasons.
“She’s coming home. We’re picking her up tomorrow at noon!” Ryan and Andrea followed by stating they were “happy, very happy!”
Jones finally ruled in their favor. He did the right thing in this case, despite the animosity between the two parties involved. Ryan Sanchez is Roselynn’s father — a damn good father, who has fought very hard to have the right to raise his daughter.
The US~Observer commends Jones for his just ruling. You never know what a judge is going to do these days, despite how obvious it may seem.
The US~Observer conducted a thorough investigation and subsequent report, along with other pertinent work, which Ryan stated “helped tremendously.” It was stated several times that our efforts caused “a big change for the good in this case.”
The US~Observer would also like to commend Andrea Earhart, the guardian ad litem in this case who helped give Roselynn a permanent foundation in her young life. Ultimately, Roselynn will be the one who benefits most from this.
On Aug. 12, Roselynn started school for her first time in Kansas. There will be many adjustments ahead, but one thing is certain: Roselynn is finally where she deserves to be — home.
It is this writer’s opinion that when going through a custody battle, an attorney is not always the most important “first” option, although legal counsel will likely be required at some point. You need to understand that having a good balance of advocates other than an attorney is equally as important. The US~Observer provides that option. Not all attorneys are the same. Before you hire one, ask them pertinent questions, talk to some former clients, be prudent in your decision-making process.
Congratulations to the Sanchez family. They truly deserve this moment.
As for King, if you ever consider hiring him, I would highly suggest contacting Ryan and Andrea Sanchez before writing him a check. They might just give you some wise advice.