My 7 year old told me he was molested by biological father! Help!

Chelsea - posted on 12/15/2013 ( 41 moms have responded )

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My 7 year old hardly knows his biological father, as soon as he caught wind I was engaged he took me to court for custody/visitation. Shortly after it was granted my son came out and told me about drug use physical abuse and sexual abuse, I told the court (judge) ahead of time that this was a risk being it is in the fathers history he had been molested as well as molested others she considered it hearsay-now my son has reported these things to me I have reached out in every angle- hired an attorney with all my funds who failed miserably at helping once she received her retainer she only showed up to court even LIED in court. I am now being held in contempt for stopping the visits and the judge is making me out to be a liar I promised my son I would protect him and don't know where to turn!!! Help!!!

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Jodi - posted on 12/16/2013

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OK, so new information (see how each time you post, there is different and new information that would have been helpful from the very start?). NONE of the psychiatrists that saw your son were witnesses in court, so therefore, evidence wasn't actually presented. Again the attorney's fault. Do you have proof that the subpoenas were sent incorrectly? If so, you need to file against the attorney for your money back so you can hire a NEW attorney to take care of this other business. I would definitely approaching the courts with evidence that your attorney committed malpractice. Because any attorney with half a brain should know the law enough to know how to serve a subpoena.

LalaBoom - posted on 12/18/2013

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Chelsea,

Excuse me for the lengthy post.

Kelly is incorrect in a couple of things: Evidence submitted before cannot be resubmitted again as it does not pertain to the same allegations. Two- you cannot make a case against a person with the same allegations either. You can, however, make NEW sexual abuse claims. Another thing is, once there's a custody case opened in family court for your child, which apparently there is since your ex has established visits, you cannot "re-open" a case for the same child. What you can do is request a modification.

You filed a complaint against this lawyer for alleged malpractice and the lawyer removed herself from your case. Aside from the fact that its the ethical thing to do, its what she is supposed to do once you filed the complaint against her. You have no argument here because she did what she is supposed to, so this is "extras."

You say she communicated only via email and charged you fees for such. She provided service and you agreed to, and paid for those services. You, admittely, hired her with only a month to prepare for your case, and you do realize your case is not the only case she has for that month.I don't know what argument you are trying to win with this one since you're the one who failed to retain an atty in a timely manner. "Extras."

The lawyer cannot contact you, period. This would be like you suing your husband and then expecting to have a continued working relationship while you're in litigation. If someone punched you in the face, would you be friends with the person immediately following the punch? I strongly suspect not even if deep down you know you deserve the punch. As a matter of fact, your contacting her and demanding she contact you back will get you into "harrassment" territory. So, really, there's no wrongdoing on the lawyer's part for that. "Extras."

I can't think of a single lawyer who doesn't know the basics of his/her profession (i.e., court docs being served properly). Court documents do not have to be served in person, they can be sent via "certified mail." The goal is to be able to prove the person received the papers, therefore, a signature (as in certified mail or messenger service) would suffice. The lawyer mailed the subpoenas a week before the court date, but do you remember you only gave her a month before the court case? This is residual effects of your failure to retain an atty in a timely manner. "Extras."

There's a lot of technicalities involved in civil cases so you attempting to run your case for your lawyer is probably what did you a disservice. I don't think anyone here was being rude to you, and yet you were very defensive and hostile in your responses simply because we can make objective observations about what you post. This isn't therapy, this is real-world advice. Some of us have spoken to you from a professional stance and others from a "been there, done that" stance, and it seems we don't quite "get it," in your eyes.

My question to you is this, what tangible sings of sexual abuse has your seven-year-old child demonstrated other than words...? When there is de facto the presence of sexual abuse in a child, especially one old enough like yours, s/he won't just 'say it' and behave like their normal self. S/he will show it (aggression, regression, introversion/extravertion depending on the personality, underwear soiling, school behavioral isssues, learning difficulties, etc). None of that seems to be present. What is present is a child in the middle having to validate mommy's projections and unfounded suspicions. Have you thought about how this crusade translates for your child?

You say things have been found but havent been enough for this judge. You always have the option to request the judge remove himself/herself from your case too.

Good luck to you...

[deleted account]

There are several issues to be discussed here so bare with me.
I'll start with the dealings with your attorney because that should be done first so that you have the evidence to get your custody case reopened. If you have filed a report against her with the Bar she cannot contact you at all now. Any more of your dealings need to be with the person the Bar has put in charge of the report. Also, you said she has withdrawn from the case, so she no longer has any reason to contact you. Now, in addition to the report with the Bar, you need to file a civil suit against her for the amount you paid her and any additional amount associated with the suit--new attorney's fees, court costs, etc. (compile any evidence you have that she mailed the subpoenas as well as all written communication and the transcript from that day in court to prove that she did not speak as you had agreed for her to in court). The Bar Association will put a note on her record, I doubt what she did was bad enough to be disbarred, but they cannot get your money back for you, and you need to get it back to pay the new attorney.

Make sure you have a copy of all of your communications with your lawyer, the report you filed with the Bar, and the civil suit to submit to Family Court to prove that the previous case was mishandled by your attorney and have the contempt charges against you dropped. (Ideally, you would want these cases to be resolved, but you cannot wait that long, so having them on file will have to do.) If you cannot get the former case reopened, open a new one, but you will still need a lot of the evidence above.

Next, submit the same evidence to Family Court again to have the custody case against your ex reopened. There may be a problem if you cannot have it reopened. Most states allow you to open a custody case as often as you like as long as no more than one case per child is open at any given time. If that is the case in your state, just open another case if you cannot get the old one reopened. Other states require a waiting period up to two years between custody cases. If that is the case in your state, you will need to file for an appeal of the judge's ruling in the last case. To do that, you just submit the evidence showing your attorney is under investigation for mishandling the last one. You'll probably need an attorney, but someone in the Family Court offices might be able to show you the process without one.

Once you have an open case, you need to compile the rest of your evidence. While you are waiting for the appeal to go through or for the case to be reopened, work on strengthening your molestation evidence. Make sure the psychologist is court approved and get his or her statement in writing, have it signed in front of a witness or notary. That way, if he or she doesn't get to court again, you still have the statement.
File ANOTHER report with CPS against your ex. Make sure your son knows he needs to provide all of the information he can. You CANNOT coach him on what to say, but make sure he knows not to leave out any details, even the smallest ones.
File another report with the Police Department in your district as well.
Get copies of all of these reports and compile them in order with the evidence against your attorney (I find a 3 ring binder works well for these things).

You CAN represent yourself in court, however it is not recommended. If you can scrape together the funds or take out a loan for an attorney (to be repaid by the civil suit), you really, really, need to hire one. This time, make sure it is a good attorney. You can look at their records online, and make sure they have been in practice for at least 5 years (9 years is actually my minimum for hiring, but if budget is an issue, 5 years is sufficient experience for this kind of case).

For now, you have to keep honoring the visitation established in your court order or you will be charged with contempt again. You may be able to have the order suspended while your ex is being investigated by CPS. Your lawyer will have to help you do that, I can't help you there.

NOTE: I am NOT an attorney, and this advise is just advise. It is not meant to be a replacement for legal counsel, and laws and policies vary by state, so some information might be irrelevant or incorrect. I do hope it helps, and I'm sorry if I said a lot of stuff you already knew, but it was easiest for me just to lay it all out in order to make sure nothing was missed.

Amy - posted on 12/18/2013

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I'm not really sure how your court works but everytime I was in court and an order was being put into place the judge asked if I agreed to the terms and if my attorney had represented my best interests. If my attorney hadnt I would of let the courts know at that point. It sounds like you've done all you can now, just keep documenting every incident.

Mariana - posted on 12/17/2013

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Thats terrible, I know nothing about stuff like this but theres one thing I will do for you, which is pray for you and your son. No one deserves that being done to them and that man needs to pay for what he did God is good and he will no leave you stay strong :) XOXO

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Chelsea - posted on 12/18/2013

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Thank you for the advice, yes there are tangible things and today I finally got a subpoena out to the nurse who worked with him. There are a few things I think maybe I didn't make clear or were misunderstood, I hired this attorney back in sept. before any motions were filed and she was to file one immediately, she didn't. She told me to use email as texting to communicate and said I'm not going to nickel and dime you for them bc I prefer email, she did. She did not meet with me until the morning of court and claimed she forgot. Twice. She asked me to lie in court I refused and then she said she looks bad enough and will withdraw from the case there are alot more facts involved its just hard to get them all in here for a complete understanding

[deleted account]

The nurse is correct--due to privacy laws regarding healthcare in the US, she cannot reveal anything she knows about what your son said unless you have a subpoena (or unless she is filing a report herself, which she is actually obligated to do if a child reveals to her that he has been molested--she probably did, but it wouldn't hurt to make sure. You will not have access to that report, you just have to trust her, but you can use the fact that it is open as evidence against your ex.
Unfortunately, I don't know how to help you get a subpoena without an attorney because the procedures vary so much by every municipality. You should be able to go to the Family Court offices and speak to a clerk. He or she should be able to tell you the process. (You really shouldn't have to do any more than fill out a few forms) They do have to be hand delivered or sent via certified mail (the recipient has to sign for them) If hand delivered, it usually needs to be done by a 3rd party who can testify that they were delivered, but again, varies.

Jodi - posted on 12/17/2013

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I was not rude to you once before you began to be rude to me when I had been genuinely trying to assist you. And even after you very rudely told me that I was stating the obvious, I STILL tried to offer genuine help and had it shoved back in my face with rude comments.

Chelsea - posted on 12/17/2013

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Thank you-that is very kind, very nice things you've said to me throughout, I don't want your time if I'd have known this was a place to call names and bash people I would've said the same to you, but I chose not to Jodi because I happen to have compassion for people especially those in need of support- I hope you never go through this, have a nice life not wasting time being extremely rude

Jodi - posted on 12/17/2013

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Chelsea, can I just say that you are coming across as extremely rude, and I have no further comment other than this: Not ONCE in this entire conversation had you previously mentioned that you had reported your attorney to the bar. You used the term state board, which, being in a different country, I assumed was something entirely different - this is an international site. Your very rude post to me stating "Exactly my point-I've tried time and again to reach this attorney who as i did say I reported to the bar already (you have to read the conversations) and she will not contact me back." Instead of being rude about me having read the conversation, I suggest YOU go back and reread your posts, because no, you never said it at all.

I was genuinely trying to help you with the questions I was asking, but why would I want to help such a rude and obnoxious person? What a total waste of time.

Chelsea - posted on 12/17/2013

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Kelly, thank you VERY much for the advise you gave, here's where im at, I have another hearing the day after Christmas, my last chance to get witnesses into court and I contacted them today a nurse who worked with my son who he told everything to. I was told she wants to come and help us but the hospital will only allow it if I subpoena her, I don't know how to do that without an attorney? Since they were suppose to be subpoenaed already and I need to do that ASAP before its too late again (like the attorney sending them by mail less than a week before court) do you have any advice? You have been extremely helpful and understanding as appose to some other comments made, and I thank you for that!

Chelsea - posted on 12/17/2013

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Then don't read it if its too confusing and you have nothing nice to say-I hope as a mom you never go through what I am. Now, either say something nice or say nothing at all "thumper"

Chelsea - posted on 12/17/2013

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Exactly my point-I've tried time and again to reach this attorney who as i did say I reported to the bar already (you have to read the conversations) and she will not contact me back. Yes I do have proof since the only way she would communicate with me was/is via email so she could charge me 20 mins an email rather than do anything with my case. IN COURT SHE HAD THE NERVE TO PUT HER HAND INFRONT OF MY FACE AND SHUSH ME LIKE A CHILD BC I WAS GOING TO TELL THE JUDGE WHAT SHE'S DONE! "Nothing else your honor" is what she said and I have not heard from her other than the "then I'll withdraw from the case if you don't think I'm doing my job"

Michelle - posted on 12/17/2013

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If you don't give us the whole story in the original post then how do we know what you have done? We can only go on what you have written.
Don't assume that we know everything that you or your lawyer have done and we then state the obvious. As we have already explained, some people DON'T do the obvious and will ask here first.
Just because people are commenting on what you have written doesn't mean we don't understand or aren't willing to help. Understand that we do need all the information first. A lot of us have been in your position or know someone who has. But if you just keep adding information along the way it gets confusing.

Lyndy - posted on 12/16/2013

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Oh that's a real shame. I can't begin to understand how awful this must be for you. I would imagine feeling really helpless, with little control over what's happening. I hope you get the outcome you need from all this and that your son is now safe

Chelsea - posted on 12/16/2013

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I know my son well and I'm also sorry to say I don't think you should assume, rather ask.. Have I tried letting this man get to know his child YES ma'am I use to pay him and his girlfriend to attend birthday parties etc. purchased him a phone to have contact. So please, don't assume you know before asking. Thanks for the actual advice after the assumptions. I don't think this group is right for me-there have only been a few understanding women here and the ironic part of that is they read the whole post and comments prior to assumptions or reiterating advice. So this is me not being rude back and saying, if you're not on here to be supportive or THUMP be respectful or say nothing and if you also read there has been proof! He's been to psychiatrists counselors the whole works NONE of which were subpoenaed to court bc the attorney I hired mailed out subpoenas and did not realize they must be hand delivered.

Chelsea - posted on 12/16/2013

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Child protection? Yes they claimed he did not disclose enough evidence to do anything

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/16/2013

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Chelsea,

None of these ladies has been rude. ALL have been in your situation, or in one similar.

One, in particular, is employed in "the system", so has a better idea of the ins and outs.

I'm sorry to say that, if you've done all you say you've done, and CPS is finding nothing, and the judge is finding nothing, perhaps there's nothing to find. Children DO make up situations at times, especially in order to get out of something they didn't want to do in the first place. You initially kept the child from his biological father, and until he demanded his rightful access you probably never really had an intention of letting him know his child. Your child very well could be telling you stories because he knows you don't want him to be around his biological father. He could very well be picking the worst scenario because he thinks it will make you stop letting his father see him.

The fact is, most sexual predators were NOT molested as children, and most children who were victimized DO NOT grow up as predators.

I agree that the man should be shot, if this has happened, but in this day and age, with everyone on every street corner worried about perverts, a child crying out like this, with any proof behind it, would have gotten results. The fact that you've had investigations, and none of the allegations has proven out indicates to me that there may be nothing there.

And, generally, it's quite common for someone making accusations that are less than true to blame the lawyers and the courts for the issue.

I'm not saying you're lying, I'm not saying your son is lying. I am saying that we've offered you the best we can. We cannot help it if you take offense at our statements, nor can we be reading over your shoulder to decipher them.

As its been said, if you truly feel there is something happening, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT. Document every time a miscommunication occurs. Take before & after pics of your son to make sure nothing is happening. Report it every time he tells you something happened. Get it officially on the books. This is the only way any resolution will happen.

Chelsea - posted on 12/16/2013

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I wasn't being rude and if you read everything I posted you would see that I did utilize every venue I could. I did not come here to be put down. Thank you for the last piece of advice you gave. I do have it in writing. Via email, but I don't see how that helps me now? I have turned it in to the state board, but that doesn't help me protect my child

Chelsea - posted on 12/16/2013

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I'm not asking anyone for money? Have you read my posts? I have done the obvious and I have done everything within my knowledge-this site is suppose to be positive support for women correct? I think your post was neither if you don't think you can help keep your "thumps" to yourself

Chelsea - posted on 12/16/2013

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Thank you for the advice and support it is very appreciated-if you know of any other way I can stop this or any more advice comes to light please tell me- thank you

Chelsea - posted on 12/16/2013

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No things were most definitely found... Don't get me wrong there- it just hasn't been enough for this judge

Danicia - posted on 12/16/2013

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After reading through the comments, I do believe you are doing the best you can. keep up the good work! The courts are a terrible and frustrating administration that cause as many problems as they fix (in my opinion). be persistent. to better help protect your son, you could look into getting him a prepaid cell phone to use in case he feels threatened. is there any way to get your case switched to a different judge? if it is in the records that he admitted to doing drugs to the judge, that is definitely something that should not be overlooked. If your son comes home with bruises/scratches/any visible signs of abuse, be adamant about filing filing filing those police reports. It's an exhausting and dreadful thing to go through but persistence is what will get him safe. I'm so sorry you and your son are going through this, just make sure to cover your bases and file things the minute they come to your attention. the more legit paperwork you have in the system against him, the better/easier it will be for you to protect your son from him. Keep your son seeing psych help, that is a valuable resource to help your son cope and handle things until the courts catch up. I wish you the best!

LalaBoom - posted on 12/16/2013

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You have exhausted every venue- by your own admission; lawyers, CPS workers, judge, medical staff, counselors.... That's a lenghty list.

This means no rock was left unturned in the crusade to prove biodad's culpability. Nothing was found and nothing has been found.

This may be difficult to accept but just because your son said such things, does not mean they did in fact happened. So perhaps, there really isn't anything there?

BTW, be really careful to assume that someone who has been molested will repeat the cycle. More often than not quite the opposite happens.

Chelsea - posted on 12/16/2013

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I have and they do not seem to care, I have fostered in the past so of course I contacted them right away, his councelor did as well and they said they would send out a letter

LalaBoom - posted on 12/16/2013

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You need to call CPS/ACS. They are professionals who can deal with this in a more objective manner.

They will conduct an independent investigation and look into the allegations of abuse.

Michelle - posted on 12/16/2013

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I don't know how you think we can help you. Maybe see if you qualify for legal aid.
To us, stating the obvious is helping because, like Jodi said, a lot of people don't do the obvious.
All of what we have said is good advice but we can't make money materialize for you. You need to get on the phone and ring all the lawyers you can and ask them to help.

Jodi - posted on 12/16/2013

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Chelsea, I WAS trying to help and support. Sorry you don't see it that way and had to be rude about it. Maybe it would be more helpful to put more information in your post so other posters don't have to state/ask the "obvious" things. Believe me, they are NOT "obvious" things. Do you have any idea how many people DO come here and ask similar questions and have not done those "obvious" things?

And just another obvious thing? When your next lawyer gives you legal advice - get it in writing. Always. Because then, if they give you crap advice, you have evidence to back you up.

Chelsea - posted on 12/15/2013

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I joined this because I need help, advice, support- not to be told obvious things. It's hard asking for help but when it comes to my child I cannot I will not fail him. I would never wish upon anyone what I have been through as a mother or even more what my son has. We need help and Jodie I appreciate your words but I am not made of money, if I had it, it'd be going there I'm at my wits end or I wouldn't be here

Chelsea - posted on 12/15/2013

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As I stated- I have exhausted my funds the previous attorney cost me thousands that I don't have laying around

Chelsea - posted on 12/15/2013

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My attorney did not do anything as I hired her a month before the motion for contempt was filed and for some odd reason unknown I'm the plaintiff and its under a child support file this judge is making rulings and when my attorney advised me to stop visitation she did not tell me any of the punishments that followed though when the judge asked she claimed she did advise me of the punishments and not to stop when I told her to tell the truth she spoke over me after the hearing claimed "I don't want to get in trouble with you"

Jodi - posted on 12/15/2013

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So the judge ordered you were in contempt. Which is true. However, have you actually filed for new court orders? The contempt charge was in response to your ex filing for contempt. But in order to CHANGE the orders, you will have to file for that as a separate issue. Have you talked to a lawyer about this possibility - that it is two separate legal issues? The judge who heard the contempt order was not able to hear for a new custody or visitation order? How did your lawyer lie in court?

Chelsea - posted on 12/15/2013

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I have reported this to EVERYONE. My fiancé is a police officer himself, I know the steps in protecting my child unfortunately they are not working I have prayed over this searched the Internet days on end that's how I found this site. I need help helping my child. I have even gone as far as contacting the local media- no such luck this man admitted in court to using drugs in his home and the judge stopped him after that and advised him not to say anything else incriminating-WHAT DO I DO????

Chelsea - posted on 12/15/2013

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I have reported this to authorities who claimed my son told them the same and did not provide enough detail to press charges I had my son put in counseling and he saw a psychiatrist who put an involuntary committal on him bc he said he wanted to kill himself if he had to see jake (his purpatrator) again

Jodi - posted on 12/15/2013

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You have an obligation to report this to the police and child protection to have it fully investigated by professionals. The judge has every right to hold you on contempt for stopping visits. You have presented no evidence that this has occurred. You can protect your son by reporting the situation to the appropriate authorities.

Michelle - posted on 12/15/2013

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Have you reported it to the police? That should have been your first step.

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