Very Afraid


#1

If custody is not decided in an agreement or by the courts then both parents have 100% custody and the right to have the child in their care. It sounds as though you have been going back and forth with who has primary custody.
Unless you have an agreement between you stating that you have primary custody then you can not prevent your ex from keeping the children. If you do not let them go then it will look as though you are keeping the children from him…
If your children have not had contact with their father since August then I would think they would want to go and visit. That is their father…unless they are in some sort of danger, there is no reason that they should be afraid to visit their father.


#2

I’m not sure I know exactly what “reply with quote” means so I hope this gets to you. We do have a separation agreement. The children are in my custody. They are afraid of their father because they have been witness to domestic violence and their father has had allegations made that he has hurt my daughter (by her, in fact). Hope this clarifies some issues. Originally posted by stepmother
[br]If custody is not decided in an agreement or by the courts then both parents have 100% custody and the right to have the child in their care. It sounds as though you have been going back and forth with who has primary custody.
Unless you have an agreement between you stating that you have primary custody then you can not prevent your ex from keeping the children. If you do not let them go then it will look as though you are keeping the children from him…
If your children have not had contact with their father since August then I would think they would want to go and visit. That is their father…unless they are in some sort of danger, there is no reason that they should be afraid to visit their father.

[/quote]


#3

If there has been domestic violence then you need to get DSS involved so that they can begin an investigation. If your agreement states that you have primary custody and your ex is allowed visitation then only DSS or the court can stop those visits from happening if there is abuse. If you do not allow the visitations then the court could look at this as you have broken the contract that you agreed to with your ex. BTW, your separation agreement must state custody/child support arrangement, otherwise, you both retain custody.
Question: Have you not reported this? Taken pictures of bruises? Written down events, times, what your daughter reported and when?
It sounds to me as though the domestic violence has not been an issue before since you were able to “work it out” previously to keep him from suing for custody. When did the domestic violence begin?
To answer your original question, the only way that you will be able to prevent either the visit or the ex keeping the children is to have a court order regarding custody. Even then it’s unlikely that you can prevent a visit. Filing a claim for abuse and getting DSS involved, which should have been done long ago if this is an ongoing issue, would be the next step. This is NOT done lightly or without proof. If you file a false claim and the ex is suing for custody, it’s likely the courts will know that it is a false claim due to the custody issue. This is perjury and slander.
If the abuse is legitimate, then the courts will investigate and do what is necessary to protect you and your children.


#4

The only way to prevent him from keeping the children is to get a court order requiring that he return the children to you. You can do this by agreement with a “Consent Order” between the two of you. You can also refuse to let the children go, however, with a custody hearing pending, that is not your best option.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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#5

[Stepmother: DSS has been involved. I did report it. There were no bruises or anything to take pictures of because this happened while he had the children with him originally in Alabama. (You will recall that he took them without even my knowledge much less approval). I feel absolutely certain that the events took place as my daughter quoted them to me as the issue was almost exactly as it had happened to me one time. In fact, I do have pictures of what he had done to ME on that occassion. I, however, was not told of this abuse from my daughter until she had been back in my custody for seven months. Since he lives in Alabama, I was actually the one the case was opened on since the children are in my custody. DSS got an “assist” in Al. to go talk with the father about the event (which took SEVEN weeks, BTW, before he was even contacted!! Our agreement does state that I have primary custody (although you will recall he is now suing me again for custody and support). BTW, the complaint with DSS was filed prior to my knowing that he was again suing me for custody. In fact, I think he may be doing this in retaliation. DV did happen upon me for a while but I wasn’t sure I called what he did with the children “abuse” although I was uncomfortable with his level of physical aggression with the children. I only reported it when my daughter detailed a story to me that I thought went beyond being a little more “aggressive” than I was comfortable with. DSS closed the case and said they cannot make any recommendation whatsoever to him because he lives in another state and they have no jurisdiction to make him follow through with anything anyway.quote]Originally posted by stepmother
[br]If there has been domestic violence then you need to get DSS involved so that they can begin an investigation. If your agreement states that you have primary custody and your ex is allowed visitation then only DSS or the court can stop those visits from happening if there is abuse. If you do not allow the visitations then the court could look at this as you have broken the contract that you agreed to with your ex. BTW, your separation agreement must state custody/child support arrangement, otherwise, you both retain custody.
Question: Have you not reported this? Taken pictures of bruises? Written down events, times, what your daughter reported and when?
It sounds to me as though the domestic violence has not been an issue before since you were able to “work it out” previously to keep him from suing for custody. When did the domestic violence begin?
To answer your original question, the only way that you will be able to prevent either the visit or the ex keeping the children is to have a court order regarding custody. Even then it’s unlikely that you can prevent a visit. Filing a claim for abuse and getting DSS involved, which should have been done long ago if this is an ongoing issue, would be the next step. This is NOT done lightly or without proof. If you file a false claim and the ex is suing for custody, it’s likely the courts will know that it is a false claim due to the custody issue. This is perjury and slander.
If the abuse is legitimate, then the courts will investigate and do what is necessary to protect you and your children.
[/quote]


#6

My ex is suing me for custody. Originally, he took the children without my knowledge and without allowing them to say goodbye to anyone or anything. He did this while I was out of town. He simply got them out of school and left and took them to Alabama. He kept them for three and a half months before I was able to get them back. I was able to talk him out of suing me for custody and “working it out”. He dismissed that case. Since then, he sued for custody again and, once again, voluntarily dismissed. Now for a third time, we seem to actually be going to trial for custody and support (he again suing me). I have had the children now since Jan. 12, 2007. We have a separation agreement between the two of us, signed and notarized but not filed with the court nor prepared by atty. He is scheduled to have some time with them during the holidays for which he plans to take them to Alabama. Of note, he has had no contact whatsoever with the children since August of 2007. Since our trial is pending (no date yet set), I fear he may just keep them. Can he do this? Is there any way I can prevent this from happening? Some sort of contract or something? Would it be wise for me to not let them go? I wouldn’t want a Judge to think I was keeping them apart. Please help. My children (who absolutely don’t even want to go) and I are very scared.