Possible Abuse/Change of Custody?

Recently, my son told me about an incident where his father grabbed him by the throat, pushed him against a car and cursed at him. My young daughter also said she witnessed this act. This is the not the first issue like this. I have pictures of my son’s arm where fingerprint bruises are visible where his father forcibly grabs him. Over the years, I have been reluctant to discuss my ex with the stories my kids tell me because he and his new wife always confront the kids over the incident.

Last week, I sent an email detailing this incident and many others that concern me. I specifically asked him not to discuss these things with the children and suggested he and I meet to talk about my concerns. My children went back to their father’s house on Friday. At nearly 10 pm at night, my son called me to tell me that he lied about the allegations and had apologized to his father and stepmother for saying it. I asked to speak to his father and he said that he had to straighten our son out for telling lies. When my son got back on the phone, I asked him if he was forced to do this. He said yes. I asked him if what he told me was truly a lie. He adamantly said no.

On Saturday night, my 6 year old daughter basically relayed the same apologies to me. When my son talked me on Saturday night, he asked me to never confront his dad with anything else again.

I am very fearful for my children’s safety because I believe now they will be afraid to tell me if anything else in the future. How can we effectively coparent if everything I discuss with him results in my children bearing the brunt of the argument? The incident above is just one of many I can document.

Do I have a case to file for an emergency custody order? I want to do what is best for my children, but I am just not sure how to truly help them. What can I do.

If the children are at an immediate risk of harm, you may file an action for emergency custody, and may also want to consider contacting DSS.