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Domestic Violence Dealing with abuse and violence. Getting support and help.

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Old 10-26-2009, 03:34 PM
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Ok about a year and a half ago my exwife was arrested for assaulting her then live in boyfriend. A heated custody battle for my daughter ensued. I felt it was in my daughters best interest to be not exposed to my exwife. She has always had a temper and the attack on her exboyfriend crossed the line and proved that this anger could get violent, so I tried to get sole custody. In the end I did not win, but I did get my exwife to agree to seek counceling and keep me informed of the progress along with permission for her doctor to inform me if she is off her medication or not attending sessions.

As far as I know she is still on her meds and attending sessions, though in light of what I am about to say I intend to ask my ex to make an appointment to speak with the doctor.

Ok so here is the story. My girlfriend was watching my daughter one day and my daughter said that my ex and her boyfriend (new one, not the one she assaulted before) fought a lot, and in fact police had been called on them by someone my daughter (who is only 7) said "but it's ok 'cause it was only twice", she then proceeded to say that they often hit each other "but its ok because its only a little hitting", and that a window was broken, "but that's ok because it was only a car window". All of these justifications really worry me, because it means (in my mind) that my ex has been justifying violence and making violence seem like a reasonable reaction to anger, this is a very bad lesson to be teaching a seven year old. The worst part was when my daughter said to my Girlfriend "I am not really allowed to talk about it, so I shouldn't have told you".

I have called CAS about it, and they are opening and investigation into it, but it makes me ill that I have to let my daughter go to my ex's (we have shared 50/50 custody) and spend any serious amount of time there. I am worried on several fronts:

1) my ex's anger issues are escelating
2) her new boyfriend is obviously just as unstable
3) at any point a fight between those two might break out and they could easily accidentally hit my daughter
4) if my daughter pushes their buttons too much they might lose their temper and the anger will be directed at her

I am also worried that when this hits the fan my ex will use psychological warfair against me. During the last custody battle an interm order was given which gave my ex the right to supervised visits with my daughter at my ex's mother's house, during this time my daughter was constantly told how I was mad at mommy and that was why she was only allowed short visits with her.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:32 PM
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This is very tricky. I'm no one of real education on these matters, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I don't think there's much you can do, except let whatever investigation unfold. Of course, if I thought my child/children's safety was at risk there (or anywhere) I would not allow them to be in the situation.

I imagine there could be some sever repercussions to both not acting and to over-acting on any given assumption.

Maybe call CAS again and explain how you feel and see if they can give you some advice on how to proceed .
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:32 PM
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That's just terrible.... the poor little girl.

You know... if you feel that your child's safety is in danger, you could file an urgent 'ex parte' motion for Interim Custody, pending the completion of the CAS investigation.

You wont be asking for a permanent change, and it would be a 'reasonable' request, based on the information you have provided.

If you think that serious harm is imminent or occurring (and that sounds like the case), you should ask for the motion....citing the best interests of the child.

You will need a sworn Affidavit, citing the circumstances of your situation, as well as a draft, that outlines what you want the Judge to Order.

You may be opening a can of worms with your ex, but if you are asking for a temporary custody change, only until she is able to get her personal affairs in order, then once things get back to normal, she will regain the current arrangement. That might soften the blow.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:57 AM
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The problem is I doubt the courts will see it as serious harm being imminent. I know from my previous court battle that if no anger or violence was directed at the children the courts rarely see this as dangerous to the child.

I have asked that CAS not reveal my identity so that the illusion of my ex and somewhat being civil can be kept up and thus not spurring my ex into rash actions. I believe I will have to file for a custody order regardless of what CAS says, but my previous brush with family courts left me crushed and depressed that basically they don't care if a child is a violent home until the child is physically harmed.
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:38 PM
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You did the right thing by calling CAS. Just make sure the situation gets their full attention. Get your child in counselling. They MUST tell a third party in order for CAS to really do anything.

If you didn't get CAS involved, it would have looked bad on you for not having good judgment.

All of these incidents get documented in the file and eventually you will have enough to get an order changed to protect your daughter better. Your ex seems to have terrible judgment with men, you don't want your daughter modeling these behaviors.

Very gut wrenching experience you must be going through(you and daughter). Having grown up in a home where extraordinary behaviors were passed off as "normal", I can tell you that this is harming your child permanently. She will always have these scars, and the less time in those situations, the better adult she will become.
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:47 PM
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the scary part is the child is learning how to justify fighting etc. What happens in her future if she gets treated the same way, will she use the same reasoning?
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