how do I protect myself and my kids??

User - posted on 12/24/2011 ( 20 moms have responded )

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First of all, I'm sorry this is so long...

I have a 4 year old son from a previous relationship and an 11 month old daughter from my ex husband. Im also pregnant with his second child (a boy) He's always been abusive but as soon as we got married this past August it got so much worse. He was very emotionally abusive and physically abusive, he's hit my son many times which I tried to stop but then he hit me. My daughter, who was only 9 months when he left, was terrified of him. Everytime I left the room she was in, she would SCREAM! Especially when he was in the room with her. Everytime someone raises a hand around my son, especially a guy, he freaks out and cries. I have NEVER hurt my kids, my ex husband believed in spankings and timeouts for hours for punishment. My son still isnt potty trained, and my ex husband always put him on the potty for hours and now my son cries everytime I ask him to go potty, even though the longest he sits on there is 5 - 10 minutes. This past october I got fed up with him. We got into a screaming fight when my daughter was in the room (my son was with his grandparents for the weekened thank god!) and I told him I didnt want to fight in front of my daughter but he didnt care. My daughter was on the floor screaming and my ex husband picked her up, then realized she wasnt going to stop screaming so he literally threw her to me. If we were further away, I could have missed the catch and she would have fallen on the floor... that was the scariest thing ever... but I did catch her and he pushed me down onto the couch. I was trying to comfort her and I tried to get past my ex to go to the bathroom (the only locked room in the house). I finally got past him and was on my way up the stairs and he kicked me and I fell down but my daughter didnt get hurt that time, only I did. And at that time, I was about 4 months pregnant!. We got to the bathroom and he was outside the door still screaming. He finally said "Im going for a walk and when I get back we are talking!" so he left, and I called the cops on him. He came back from his walk after 10 minutes. and I got my coat and my daughters coat on because my son was on his way home (we live in an apartment so I had to meet my son downstairs) and he told me to leave my daughter and I refused to, so he said as soon as I get back we are talking. I went downstairs and the cops came as my son also came home. The cop told me to go to the police station so I didnt have to see my ex. The grandparents (not my sons biological grandparents, just really close family friends of mine) came with me to the police station. I got an EPO (emergency protection order) against him with my kids on it. Now Im fighting for custody!! I have a lawyer but he said I'll probably get joint custody. I dont trust him around my daughter at all!!! And when my sons born I dont want him involved. Im not the type of girl who will take the fathers kids away from them, but when it comes to their safety I will do anything!! How can I get sole custody?? I've told my lawyer everything thats happened in our relationship and everything he's done to me and my kids. I just want them safe... please help!

Oh and I forgot to mention, as soon as my ex left due to the EPO, my son slept so much better (he was on melatonin but I decided to try taking him off of it. Before he wouldnt sleep until midnight) And my daughter started going to other people and didnt need me in the room at all times. And she started cuddling with me more, which was a big thing cause she was scared to sit for even 2 minutes with me cause of him.

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Robin - posted on 01/02/2012

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So sorry to hear about this all, I have been through something similar, I live in canada, nova scotia.. I have fought my ex in court and won, I know its hard but u gotta try to play the system that's the oNly way to win, what u have to do is petition the court for a interm order for full custody based on the restraining order u have, that's first and any court u can go to and get this order .. Its a emergancy order ..... Once that's done, petiton for full custody with SUPERVISED visits with the kids through a 3rd party company here there's a place that does it for u and its a social worker that is watching him and the kids, they are locked in the room with him and the social worker so no chance of taking off, they will document everything and the kids reactions to him and his reactions to them say screaming when they see him or crying... You do 10 visits with them and from all u said I can guarantee they will freak out when they see him , this will all go back to the court... It feels like you are using the kids as a pawn but for there saftey this is the only way to do it... 1 is shows the court even tho he abused him your not objected to letting him see them but in a controller setting 2. Once the report goes back to the court from a (non-subjective witness) someone that doesn't know either of u .. With the kids reaction of being scared of him and his reaction with them.. The court will give u custody.. Write me if u wan robyn 11552@msn.com or facebook me robin grandy, I can help give u some info if u want or just someone to talk to i hope things get easier for u :) they will over time you just have to jump the hoops the system wants u to

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Michele - posted on 01/21/2012

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WOW. Your story really hits home with me. I WAS in the same situation 4 years ago. My ex husband was very abusive. At the time I got fed up I had a 4 yr old daughter and a 2 month old son. I was able to get a FRO (final restaining order on him). My first piece of advise to you would please tell your lawyer everything. My ex for the past 4 years has supervised visits only with the kids in a county building for a hour a week. We do have joint custody but my kids have never been alone with him, or have ever slept at his house etc.. I have my kids 24/7. If you do not tell your lawyer what is going on and what he has done your worst fear might come true. Document everything he has done to you and the kids, with as much detail as possible (dates, people who might have witnessed, everything) Then join a womans abuse group, where you can get support from other woman in the same situation. I was in a group for 2 yrs and it was a great help. Go after all the court orders you can think of. Get him drug tested, psyo evaluation. The worst the judge can say is NO, but you need to ask for all of this to protect your children. I also would recommend getting therapy for your son. My daughter was only 4 when all of this happend, now she is 9 and remembers a lot. So for your sons sake get him help and have him talk to someone. You can use that in court too. I will not lie to you it is hard the whole fighting in court thing and trying to protect your kids, and at times I wanted to just run away. The best thing you can do for your kids is be strong and try to stay strong. I hope I helped and I hope you and your kids stay safe.

Kristina - posted on 01/13/2012

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Not sure where you live but in most states I believe that anyone that has an abuse case against them (whether child abuse or domestic violence) is automatically prevented from having any type of custody of their children. They may get supervised visitation but that is it. I would consider getting a different attorney if the one you have cannot adequately represent you and prevent this monster from having custody of the children at all. He is a proven abuser and that alone should prevent him from any custody. I would look into pressing charges against him for abusing your 4yr old and son and also your daughter. Good Luck!!

Ellen - posted on 01/02/2012

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Look into a guardian ad litem (? spelling may be wrong). They are special lawyers to help with kids in custody disputes. I was fortunate I got sole custody of my daughter (no abuse either), I was able to bring enough up that he was not able to provide for her (his living environment & "party behavior"). Your EPO should be brought up in court & should help prove your safety concerns. Good luck!

Misty - posted on 01/01/2012

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First I have to say you should have left a long time ago. It's 1 thing for you to put up with abuse but for you to allow your children to is absolutely horrible. Thank God you are gone now. Are you already legally divorced? If you are then DO NOT let him come to your son's birth or put his name on the birth certificate. That will give you more time because you can keep him away from at least your youngest til he takes you to court for the paternity case. Second you need a different lawyer because he's totally full of crap if he said you are only gonna get shared custody when your husband/ex has been abusive to you and your children. Get notes from your oldest child's teacher about his behavior and document everything. If you have holes in your walls and things he's broken take pictures. Have witnesses if you talk to him either in person or on the phone, put him on speaker phone. Whatever you do, don't be alone with him.

User - posted on 12/27/2011

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thank you Janet. My whole family are somewhat witnesses. Of course he wont show his abusive side to anyone, especially my family, but they have seen his bad attitude. He could care less about his daughter, he'd only try to get custody or joint custody to ruin my life. hes ALWAYS on the computer and when my daughter bugs him at all, he curses at her and picks her up roughly and roughly puts her down on the other side of the room while shes screaming. ive told my lawyer that though... and even my sons social worker at school see's a big change in my son since my ex left. (a good change). And i think my son (whos 4 today) isnt potty trained cause my ex made him sit on the potty for hours just so he didnt have to deal with him. I didnt like it at all, but of course if i said something or tried doing anything about it, he'd hurt me.. i just got fed up with it. and i dont trust him alone at all with my kids. im just going to pray that it works in my favor. i do so much better as a single mother and my kids are so much happier...

Janet - posted on 12/27/2011

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Hey Amanda - when I went in with my custody hearing my ex lied about everything - he had 8 pages of how I was a bad mother by switching the things that he'd done and saying that I did them. The judge here is a complete and shes the only judge for these types of things. She basically threw the whole thing out on "Not enough evidence" and then held our file so we were unable to revise and resubmit. Long story short, we had to go back in with a "separation/divorce petition" that INCLUDED the terms of child custody. Thankfully my ex admitted that he lied originally and SAYS he'll no contest on the petition... I have yet to see the signed documents though. I have to contact my lawyer and the courts to check on it in the New Year.

Take notes, get witnesses, get as much EVIDENCE as you can - and pray to God your judge isn't a complete backbirth like mine was. IN THE END it will all work out, it just may take a while, some money, and a huge headache to get there. And if your ex so much as TWITCHES in your child's direction, I'd call the cops - becuase that leaves a papertrail a mile long - AKA Evidence. :)

Good luck and I'm cheering for you!!!

User - posted on 12/27/2011

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I really hope so... my lawyers not back until january 3rd but i will ask when i talk to him... but the thing is... he denies everything! he denied everything to the courts and im scared they will believe him...

User - posted on 12/27/2011

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actually i do live in canada... ive been with my daughter since the day she was born and shes soooo attached to me. I gave my lawyer a long list of everything hes done to me and the kids since we have been together. i would never take him back. my family says the same thing and i wont ever even think of taking him back.. ok ill add you on fb.

MICHELLE - posted on 12/27/2011

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I Have been Through Almost The same thing. What State do you Live in? ADD Me On Facebook if you have it and Just write me a little message in the request. Document EVERYTHING!!! I'm in NJ. I'm sorry What You & Your Children had to go through.DON'T TAKE HIM BACK, NO MATTER HOW NICE HE IS BEING OR PROMISES TO BE. MY E-MAIL IS michelledutton81@ymail.com if you don't have fb.Also what ever accounts you have...e-mail, etc change the passwords.

Janet - posted on 12/27/2011

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I don't think the name matters much, but then I'm in Canada so it may be a bit different up here. Chin up though and keep strong, you've come this far and you can do the rest!! Hugs for you!

User - posted on 12/26/2011

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Oh and my daughter was born before we got married and she has my last name as well. And we havent got her birth cirtificate yet so do you think I have a better chance of getting full custody then?

User - posted on 12/26/2011

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My lawyers helping with the divorce and everything as well, but I have to be seperated for at least a year before I can get a divorce... unless my lawyer can do something so I can get divorced sooner. And I get some child support from him but I honestly dont care about the child support if I can just get rid of him for good.

Bryndís - posted on 12/26/2011

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Get the divorce thru before your boy is born. That is important. I think that if you are not married when the child is born he does not get custody and you may not have to fight him in court. Ask your lawyer about this. And if he is not doing his best for you, get another lawyer. Good luck and God bless you trough all this.

Luvmia - posted on 12/24/2011

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I am glad you and your babies are at peace. I hope that everything works out for you.

User - posted on 12/24/2011

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Thanks alot, I really appreciate it...

After he did leave, it was actually the best thing ever. Even I got to sleep more and it was quieter and everyone was sooo much happier. Im just stressed about the custody and hope it goes well...

Luvmia - posted on 12/24/2011

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I too hope their testimonies help. Just try your best not to worry and to focus on your little darlings.

Sigh. I realize life is so much easier now that I am single. After my divorce, I would lay in bed and listen to how quite and serene it was in my apartment. I too hope you will be able to enjoy that serenity.

User - posted on 12/24/2011

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The things is though... I did tell him I want sole custody and he's still going to try to help me get it... but he also said if the courts favor parents who want the child to have a relationship with the other parent... and I dont have much proof of his physical abuse, but my family has agreed to be witnesses for his attitude.. Im hoping it will help a bit.

Luvmia - posted on 12/24/2011

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Hugs from me to you! You are very strong to endure what you have endured.

I think you should ask your lawyer why you would not be able to get sole custody. It would seem to me because of the abuse you should get sole custody. The court system is really interesting.

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