Abuse and Custody question


#1

My daughter was abused by her Step-Mother last week. Her face, side of her chest, and bottom were very bruised. We went to the ER, and had DSS come to visit us while we were there. Until that point my ex husband and I had 50/50 shared time with our children.

DSS said that the girls would be with me until an investigation was complete. The social worker interviewed them the following day and according to my ex husband the girls are allowed back at the house, allowed to be alone with the step mother, and the only rule is no physical discipline is allowed for now.

During this time my ex has decided that our daughter “just bruises easily” even though the hospital did blood work to check for any medical conditions that would of caused her to bruise easily. He also said and I quote “She just bruises easily… she has even bruised before when I gave her the belt”. I was so shocked by that statement.

I’m trying to keep this short… so my questions in a nutshell:

Does DSS give “slaps on the wrist” for something like this? Because thats what it feels like at this point.

If DSS determines (which they’re behaving like they will) that the children are safe in the home… do I still have a good chance to file for primary custody of the children and limit the time they are at the home? I would like to see them only there every other weekend, and that he has to always be present.

I am in no way comfortable having my children back in that house. However, I feel like this is being taken very lightly by DSS right now.


#2

If DSS had found the home to be dangerous to the children they would not have allowed the children back in the home. Their job is to create a safe environment for the children, and in this case they found that their environment is safe so long as there is no corporeal punishment. You may still file an action to modify custody based on your finding out what is going on in the home.


#3

In your message you say “according to my ex husband the girls are allowed back at the house, allowed to be alone with the step mother, and the only rule is no physical discipline is allowed for now” - Have you spoken with DSS about their findings? I would definitely NOT take the ex’s word for what DSS said. If DSS told you that the children would stay with you until an investigation was complete, then they should be the ones to tell you the outcome of that investigation, not your ex.

Just my cynical two-cents worth…


#4

Well… if DSS would return my phone calls :confused: