STEPMOM DILEMA

Chassedy - posted on 11/17/2014 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I am feeling very confused. Birth Mom is possibly about to have restricted visitation with my stepdaughter. Weather or not the courts rule in our favor (I have a good relationship with my stepdaughter) I feel the need to inform birthmoms fiance's ex wife (fiance n his ex have 2 kiddos under age 6) about what has been going on...excessive drinking, throwing while fighting, waking up kids at midnight fighting etc. My stepdaughter on several occasions has texted me scared about what was going on during her visits. The birth mom and her fiance now have a 1 yr old together as well.

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Michelle - posted on 11/22/2014

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Chassedy: We don't know what country you live in so that's why you have been told to report it to "the authorities". The child services/CPS/DCP is all the same thing but called different things in different countries.
Most people would know what authorities to contact when it comes to a child's wellbeing. It's common sense.
None of us have said we aren't concerned but we are also not there and only have what you have written to go on. You haven't been in the house and witnessed it either so you don't know for sure.
All you can do is report it to CPS/DCP/child services and get them to investigate.

Jodi - posted on 11/21/2014

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You call child protection with your concerns. End of story. It isn't your place to notify anyone. They will decide whether to pursue your concerns or not.

As a mandatory reporter myself, if I am concerned about the welfare of a child, I contact child protection. It is then up to them to investigate and take the appropriate actions, that isn't my place.

Raye - posted on 11/20/2014

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Sadly we're living in an age where being nice can get you sued (or worse) and most people don't want you butting into their business, even out of concern.

Imagine it's 3AM... a man and woman are in a car parked across the street from your house... you wake up hearing the woman screaming, pleading with the man to get off of her. What do you do?
A: Yell out the window that you're going to call the police.
B: Don't say anything to them, just call the police.
C: Go back to bed, it doesn't concern you.

Thinking it was the "nice" thing to do, and since she may have been raped by the time the police got there, I yelled out the window that I was going to call the police. You want to know what happened? The WOMAN yelled back calling me a bitch and telling me to stay out of their business. So much for trying to be nice.

So, from my experience, what you think may be going on is not always the case, and trying to be nice can get you in the line of fire. If you have proof, then by all means take it to the other parent. But the possibility is there that the other parent may not appreciate you being "nice", or they may not want to believe a complete stranger would know more of what's going on with their kids than they do.

If you are really concerned and want to do something that may actually result in the kids being removed from that environment, then contact the police, social services, or whatever agency was involved in getting your step-kid out of there. If you don't like that option, then you're still free to do it your way. We're just trying to warn you that your actions may not have the intended result and could put you personally at risk. We're concerned for you, too. How is that not nice?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/20/2014

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Chassedy,

I could care less what others think of me. I know that, legally, it is not my place to tell any parent stories about what could possibly be happening when their children are somewhere, unless that somewhere is IN MY CARE.

To do as you wished, tell someone that you don't know about a situation that you only have a 13 yo's story on will be potential legal trouble for you. If you have the dollars to support your legal fight once you take that upon yourself, then so be it.

The proper method is to report, to the authorities, what is suspected, along with any proof that you have. You ask " What autorities"???? Seriously? Child services! If you have proof of your allegations regarding the OTHER children (not your stepdaughter), then contact child services!

It's not that we're not being 'supportive' of anyone, its that we understand the LEGAL side of things...and I, for one, will not falsely accuse any parent of behaviours and actions that I have not PERSONALLY witnessed, or seen physical documentation of. Covering my ass is what that's considered.

Chassedy - posted on 11/20/2014

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what authorities to notify? DCFS? Lawyer? etc? I was thinking that at court yesterday that it would be asked if other children were in the home. Nothing was mentioned. I was not allowed to speak. As I am "stepmom". I asked our lawyer if in the future my stepdaughter was allowed over there that should we contact DCFS and was told that would open a whole other case and to call the police.
And YES I was as a parent wanting someone to say "I agree that the other mother should be notified, have you tried this or that (and actually tell me what the this or that is)?" not just simply state "its none of your business etc" why cant we support each other "nicely" and state I agree with you that if I was this other mom I too would want to know, let me think about it and get back with you as to a proper way of doing things?" why is it this generation is so afraid to just support someone instead of "omg! dont do that ! its non of your business or I would be afraid of what might happen to you" and so on....It seems no one wants to be just be nice and supportive...or even if it isnt any of my business say it a little nicer? or suggest exactly what "authorities " to notify? just be nice? wouldnt that be nice? to just be nice? jeesh!

Raye - posted on 11/20/2014

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Chassedy,
None of us said we were not concerned for the other children in that household. You are justified by being concerned. And none of us said not to do anything. We said to report it to the authorities. In our opinions, that is your recourse to try to protect those other kids.

It seems like all you want to hear is for someone to say "yes you should definitely tell the other parent(s)." If that is the only solution you see, then what's stopping you? We have given our opinions, and you've rejected them. So go ahead and do what you feel is the right thing.

Chassedy - posted on 11/20/2014

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I said I am not going to do anything. I have sought legal advice on the matter. I just cant believe that anyone would not feel something for this situation. I will not jeopardize our situation by doing anything. I do know that if I ever found out my girls were allowed around someone like this I would absolutely seek legal protection for them.I would also wonder why any other parent who knew of the situation didnt come forward. Shouldnt all parents, good parents, support each other? My stepdaughter stepped before the judge to tell the truth about what happened. I am grateful I have an ex that would never allow this to happen. I feel for these 3 little kids and the other mom.

Chassedy - posted on 11/20/2014

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After court this week all physical visitation was took away from my hubs ex wife. She has a 1 yr old that was in teh home during the situation that caused the loss of visitaiont her fiance was not in the home most of the evening. He has 2 kids from previous marriage. This ex is unaware and I am 99.9 % sure that the man is completely being lied to and unaware of what has happened in court. He was not there! And we know this woman lies! he is gullable enough to believe the lies! she lives in another state. Anyway, I am putting myself in the shoes of the ex wife of this man. There are 2 kiddos under age 2 that stay over night in this home. I would FREAK out if I found out my 2 little ones were staying over night in a home under the care while my ex was at work with a woman that lost total visitation to a 13 yr old. Think about it! I am not going to do anything. But if anything happens to these other 3 babies I will not forgive myself!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/20/2014

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Chassedy, you've been told that, if you have PROOF, to REPORT IT TO THE AUTHORITIES.

If you can't get past that, and still think that it's your place to tell everyone what you perceive is going on (regardless of the actual events), it will only lead to trouble for you, perhaps legal trouble.

Chassedy - posted on 11/20/2014

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after court this week my stepdaughter no longer has physical visitation!
I am only having it weigh on my conscience. If I was this other woman and my kids were staying over night with a woman who lost physical visitation completely, I would freak out! I am putting myself in this other womans shoes. I can gaurantee that this man doesnt have a clue that his fiance has lost visitation. I am positive she is telling him lies that the child just has sports events preventing her from visiting. He is guilable enough to believe it. the situation that caused this woman to lose visitation the 1 yr old that is hers by her fiance ws there as well and the man was out of the house. Until later that evening. Would you want your under age 7 kids staying over night in a home where your ex's fiance lost visitation? d/t behavior and drinking? think about it

Haley - posted on 11/20/2014

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If you fear for the child being in that home, then you report it. But if the court is allowing her visitation there's nothing else you can do. Other than that, that's all you have any business doing. You, you're husband and your children (step included). The BM fiance's children are not your business.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/18/2014

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Chassedy, if the courts rule in favor of the child's father, your partner, that will be the end of it.

The case of the other children in the home has nothing to do with the case of restricted access to your partner's child by his ex.

Again, IF YOU FEEL that the situation merits attention, by all means, REPORT IT. But you still do not have the authority to spread stories to other people who are not in that situation in the home. As we've all told you, that is between the father of those children, and their biological mother. Since you and your partner are neither...It will cause more problems than it would potentially solve.

And, to be quite honest, unless you are physically IN THAT HOME whilst the children are there, you don't know one way or the other how they are being treated. All you know is what your partners child has told you and he about what happens to HER. To project that treatment onto the other children in the home could be making an extremely incorrect assumption.

Chassedy - posted on 11/18/2014

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So if the judge rules in our favor, then it is absolute that they will ask if there are other children in the home and investigate this? No DCFS has been called on this case. Not to my knowledge anyway.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/18/2014

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IF you have proof, submit it to the attorneys. Nothing else is acceptable.

Now, what makes you think that the other two kids are staying silent? Highly doubtful that they are, and regardless, it's not your place to call the other mother and say anything.

It is up to HER EX, who is your partner's ex's new partner. As the others have stated, if the household is already under investigation, it is highly likely that she's aware of the situation anyway, and if she is not, she will be soon.

Chassedy - posted on 11/18/2014

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Ok...I am not sure if I was clear on my post....we are going to court d/t lawyers advice on my stepdaughters words of what happened. Done.....
My problem is my conscience on the other 3 kids still in the home. 2 have visitation with their father in the home that I can pretty much gaurantee has NO clue what is going on with his GF and her daughter (my stepdaughter). She lies. His kids are the ones I am so concerned about! I keep thinking that if I was this mans ex wife, who's two kids under age 7 will still be visiting this home that I would want to be made aware of it! HOw would I feel if something happened to these two sweet kids? Shouldnt she be notified as to what is going on with the woman living with her ex hubs. Wouldnt you want to know if your kids were visiting over night in a home where one parent had her child restricted visitation d/t her behavior around the child? This woman had already wanted to spank a (at the time) 2 yr old (not hers but the bf) for crying and wanting his mom d/t teething? THen put in a time out chair? chores of clearning off a table at age2? I can pretty much gaurentee that the other mom has no clue as to what is going on...How could she if the gf is telling lies? This is not hearsay, we have all had proof, legal proof of the lies. IF the man and the woman are not notifying his ex of restricted visitation d/t behavior how will she ever find out?

Raye - posted on 11/18/2014

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Chassedy,
You seem like a very caring person to want to warn the other kids' parent that their children may be in danger. If the courts are investigating your case, then it's probable that they are also looking into the welfare of the other children. As the other mom's have pointed out, it is not your place to contact the other kids' parent. If you feel you must do something, then notify the court of your concern that the other children that may be affected by the same situation that's affecting your child. The system usually sucks, but the system is in place for a reason. Let them handle it.

Michelle - posted on 11/17/2014

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Like the other ladies have said, it's not up to you. If she may be getting restricted visitation then surely there are social workers involved in the case. If they are then the child should let them know what's going on. No court will accept hearsay.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/17/2014

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Again, it is not up to you to determine when to reveal that information, or who to reveal it to.

It is up to your partner's ex and her partner.

Chassedy - posted on 11/17/2014

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No rumors...all truth...I just feel that if I were in her shoes I would want to know. I wouldnt want my little ones around a parent who has legally lost visitation d/t a violent and alcohol environment. I am 99% sure that this man has no idea what is going on in the courts w this woman.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/17/2014

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It is not your place to spread rumours about anyone to someone you aren't even in an immediate circle with.

You are contemplating calling your partner's ex's partner's ex? Do you even see how confusing that is?

It is up to the man (your partner's ex's new partner) to tell his ex things. Not you.

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