Dealing with Lies

This is a hard situation to be in. If the children have witnessed this abuse of you and were victims themselves, then they know nothing else than ‘this is how you’re supposed to live and treat people’. Many times the woman is scared to stand up and defend herself (understandably). I can see how that may be hard against a grown man, but children are another story. You MUST stand up to your children and tell them that this behavior is UNACCEPTABLE and not right. If the father does not back you up (and he won’t), then you must stand up and take control. When the Dad is not around, you need to have a SERIOUS conversation with the children about what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable. It needs to be a conversation you have OFTEN because they probably won’t listen to you right away due to conditioning from Dad. But a child hitting a parent is unacceptable and must be nipped.

What this man it teaching the kids is how to be like him. It will be cycle they will repeat if you don’t stop it. This means you will have to get tough. If he has not left yet, then you start today with taking control of the kids’ behavior. Even if they laugh at you, you stand your ground. If you feel threatened or if there is ANY move toward a physical confrontation, then call the police. Having the police there will create a record. This can be used when dealing with the courts concerning custody. Even if the kids see you call the police, it will show them that that kind of behavior is wrong and can get them in trouble.

You ARE putting yourself at risk so to speak. If you have no record of any violence, then you’re right…it will be your word against theirs. You need to stand strong. Seek help from public agencies in your area that can help you. You do not need to be with this man and you need to prepare yourself to be free of him.

Also think, he may never try to get the kids. If he is an abusive man, he may be asserting his obvious control over you to keep you quiet and to do what he wants.

I would also seriously look at some kind of plan for supporting yourself. I would meet with some agency (battered women, social services…) and talk with them about your situation and how you can prepare to become independent. Do you have any family support nearby? Do you have a church family?

I’m sorry you’re in this situation. It sounds like he calls all the shots and you have no voice, and that is NOT a relationship for anyone. You have to start asserting your voice or things will never change. Those kids will turn out just like their Dad.

I agree wholeheartedly with comingclean2. You have to do something about this now. The next incident that happens leave the home. Take the children with you. Go to a shelter. Contact the police.

Here is what I have seen happen. You said the children now want to live with their abusive father? There are a couple of reasons. His father is being nice to him at the moment and he is getting alot of attention. It’s the situation of “keeping your friends close but your enemies closer”. He wants to do whatever his father wants him to do and that includes talking badly to you, abusing you. This makes his father happy and whatever he can do to not make his father angry he will do. He’s surviving. That’s natural instinct. This does not mean that he doesn’t love you. But if by doing this to you he can keep from being hurt, that’s what he is doing. It is a learned behavior in domestic violence. It must be stopped because he will grow up to be an abuser himself if you do not get help for him now.

As difficult as it will be, you should, once you are out of the home, in a safe environment, talk to the teachers at school and neighbors that may have seen bruising or heard abuse going on. There is almost always someone that knows something and if there is a child being abused, the teachers at school may have a suspicion or have seen something useful. You need to get a protective order for yourself and your children so that the father will not be able to have the children.

My suggestion: Pack a bag of necessities for you and your children. Go to DSS, and let them know that you can not go home. Tell them everything. They will possibly talk to you and the children separately. Make sure that the children are told prior to this that they should tell the truth about whatever is asked.

The biggest thing to keep in mind here is that you have nothing to be ashamed of. Regardless of how long you have lived with him and you believe you allowed it to happen. You are doing this to protect your children and yourself. It is NEVER TOO LATE to do the right thing. The only thing to be ashamed of is if you admit there’s a problem and allow it to continue. You all need counceling and there is a lot of help out there for people who need it. Please contact someone today!

Today I received court papers. He is asking for custody of all three children, one of which is not his biological child. He has not harmed me, or the children, since he began planning this separation and custody case. So that type of proof will not be easy to get at this point. I do have some proof of previous physical abuse to me, but none to the children, unless they tell the truth. (Checking with teachers/counselors at school is a good idea. Thank you.) He of course will say that I am the one who has abused them, and I’m sure the kids will back him up, because there again, I am the mean one since I try to make them act right.
Can you tell me … do people have to appear in court etc. in order to confirm that I am the one who has had primary care of the children? or can they just write statements to verify that for example, I am the one who had to leave work to get sick kids, or that I am the one who takes them to the doctor, dentist, and goes to school conferences, etc.??

Also, since my mom lives out of town, we have done a lot of corresponding online. Is anything said online admissable in court? Is my mom able to give information in the form of a letter to the judge about things the kids have told her?? Or things she has heard on the phone?

Oh my … what a mess!!!

First, he should not be able to get custody of the child that is not his biological child, unless you have signed an agreement on this, or he has adopted. Custody of that child is between you and the father.

Second, an attorney would be able to take a deposition for persons not being able to attend a court hearing but from what I believe, they would actually have to be present and give testimony. If the children have told your mother things and there are things she knows about, she should be present.

If you have a child under school age and do not work due to taking care of that child, you are entitled to alimony. You are entitled to half the marital assets which includes bank accounts, furniture. The best thing to do would be to consult an attorney and file for Divorce from Bed & Board so that your spouse must move from the home. It would have been easier to prove with police or hospital records but if you have proof at all of domestic violence, you can probably get him to leave the home. Since he’s already filed for custody I assume one of you has left the home??? You really should contact DSS today to find out what your options are.

DSS may be able to help with the court…not really sure how that all works. You may want to move this post to the legal forum to find out if the attorney has some suggestions.

EDIT: I did read this wrong. I was more concerned with abuse issue than the rest of it. DSS may still be able to help you concerning the custody but as I said, he can not get custody of a child that is not his unless there’s already been an agreement or he has adopted. More than likely, he did not inform the person filling out the papers sent to you that the child was not his. The abuse would be investigated but honestly, I don’t believe that many children ever see the courtroom. If there is proof of prior abuse to you, it’s possible that you could use that as a reason to retain emergency custody while the child abuse allegations are investigated. Get on it right away though…do not wait.

If I read right, you’re not married and have never been married to this man? If this is the case, then you wouldn’t be eligible for alimony, but you would be for child support.

I don’t see how a lawyer could have drawn papers for custody on a child that wasn’t his. Has he already moved out? Or is he still in the house?

He would have to have evidence against you just as you would on him to make a case on one parent not having custody. I do not think the kids’ statement would hold up to be honest. If he left and didn’t take the kids, then what excuse will he give for that if he ‘fears’ for their safety if they’re with you.

I would also take Helen’s advice from earlier and address the drinking issue. Your kids will need you healthy and sober.

You are correct. I am not, nor have I ever been, married to this man. We are both still living in his house.
An attorney today said I should stay in the same city until this case is heard in three weeks.
I am allowed one more week in my stbx’s house, then I am out of here … and I have nowhere else to stay in this town. I do have a place in another town, but that would require a change of schools.

He has not adopted my child, nor have there been any papers signed. But it is in the paperwork I got today that he is requesting custody of the child that is not his … due to the fact that he has love for her like his others, and the children have love for each other.

Such a mess…

A good attorney can make the case in court that the children have been predjudiced by their father.

And, yes, he can legally make the case that it is in the kids best interest for him to take custody since he is the ‘acting father’.

I think that you can get emails to back you up, provided you make sure that you print out the full headers which give the accurate time/date stamp. Ditto IMs, but they’re probably less reliable.

Unfortunately, his attorney will also probably make the case that your mother has a stake in the custody of the children and would be willing to lie. (Why time/date stamp is important to show communication of abuse prior to separation.)

I’d check with Helena before taking my advice on this, but my current advice is for you to grab the kids and move to that other town ASAP. You have no claims on his house, and if you can separate the kids from him, they may change what they are saying. It’s at the beginning of the school year and would be far less disruptive to the kids than doing so in several weeks. Given his abusive nature, I probably wouldn’t even tell him up front that I was going. I wouldn’t deny him visitation with the kids, but would probably seek to get a court order that stipulates that it must be supervised visitation with a neutral party. If you have evidence of physical abuse for any of the kids, you should be able to get something like this.

I would also look into psychological counselling for the kids for the following reasons:

1.) This event will be traumatic for them and it would be good for them to have someone to talk to.

2.) If proof can be gained of the father’s physical abuse through a professional, it will help your case. (In the meantime be very careful not to say anything negative about the father around them.)

3.) It establishes that you have the kids’ health and welfare at heart.

Now, I know that you probably can’t afford anything right now, but there are clinics that will take hard luck cases on a sliding scale, possibly even for free. If you are moving to an area with a university, check with the university. They can either do the counselling there or they can refer you to someone who can help.

That was a lot of helpful information. Thank you.

My fear is that I will take the kids and get them enrolled in the new school, and then he will win custody, and they will then need to be transferred back to the other school. I may have to drive them back and forth every day until court.

I am afraid having to change schools twice within a few weeks would be very detrimental. They have already been through so much, I hate to put them through more.

I will, however, check with my attorney about moving immediately… once I choose one…

I am unmarried and have 3 children. Two of my children belong to a “man” I have been living with for a lot of years. For those years, I have been abused, both mentally and physically.

This “man” and I are separating, and he is going to try to get custody of the children. Here is my problem:

Somehow, he has talked the children into lying about things that happen. The child that has been abused physically (until about a month ago) is now good buddies with his dad, and he now wants to live with his dad. How can I protect him if he’s with his dad? How can I make the courts see that I am telling the truth about abuse? I don’t know how he has gotten the children to agree to lie, but I have no way of proving anything if they both lie against me. (The third child is a baby.) The two younger two are his children.

My children now talk back to me, call me bad names, and their dad watches and laughs about it. They hit me, and he does nothing to stop it. How can I help them?

I have no friends, because he has basically alienated me from friends and family. I really have no proof that he has abused the children, or myself, without them verifying it.

I am still at home with the baby, so I have no income. It’s difficult to get a job when you have three children to care for and limited time to work. I have had sole responsibility of the children for all these years, and now he wants to take them away from me. Any suggestions?