Cults Divorce Legal defense
|Posted by Gladys on May 6, 2009 at 2:22 PM|
People often call me about concerns for their children, they know their marriage is over but they cannot just acquiese to the opposing side without some certainty that their children will be safe.
Sometimes a client will call and share that their ex is violent, abusing drugs or alcohol or participating in a variety of sexual relationships. This is a real threat to the safety and well being of their child. A client may have already experienced an uninformed judge handing over custody and or unsupervised visitation to the offending party.
Here are some tips that can help you in your endeavor to seek full custody, monitored visitation, or even the termination of the rights of a dangerous parent:
First do NOT tip your hand to the other parent by accusing, threatening, or anything that will make the other parent more evasive or tempted to retaliate on the child.
Next do document every contact with the other parent when it concerns your child or children. If it is legal in your state record all phone conversations and keep a tape recorder handy to covertly tape any exchange concerning your child. This will help you develop a history of your childs other parents way of communicating, any threats that are made, etc. It will also help you to keep your cool knowing your tape may make it into court.
Take pictures of your childs body and face before a visit [if there is a concern about child abuse] and take pictures when they return. Note any explanation or lack of explanation the other parent gives. In other words keep a journal. Be prepared to take your child on a car ride or some quiet time with you where he can tell you about his visit. Be upbeat, do not try to lead the child into saying what you want to hear, but just let her tell you about their weekend etc. Tape this conversation, good or bad because you never know when a child is going to slip out and say something that they may have been coached not to say, and if you try to get them to say it again later on the tape it probably won't work.
Do not let your child know you are looking for evidence, do not overreact as this may scare the child thinking mommy will be mad at daddy and I may get in trouble for telling. Try to remain calm no matter how awful the story is.
Do not run to your family pediatrician every time your child comes back from a visit but do always bring your child to the family pediatrician immediately if your child demonstrates any extreme unusual sexual behavior or if she has any unexplained bruises. Also bring your pictures with you to show how your child left your home. Be prepared because the family doctor is mandated by law to report child abuse to CPS so if you have the pictures you will be protected from being falsely accused.
If you get in the habit of taking the pictures all the time with the family, the pets and other silly things, your childs other parent will not be alerted as to your strategy.
If you believe your child has been sexually violated set up an appointment immediately with a therapist.
Some other things you should do is run a background check on your childs parent. Chances are you do not know everything about her, she may have had a DUI in the past before you met, or some association with a criminal or even a sex offender. There are also ways to investigate her family and close associates to see if any of them can endanger your child if they are in his presence.
Do not assume someone is free from deviancy just because they appear to be a nice person, often child molesters come across as very credible to the parents of a child they are targetting for violation. When it comes to your child, trust no one until you have proven to yourself they can be trusted.
Always provide a safe atmosphere for your child to come to you, do NOT run the other parent down, try to convince your child they are bad etc, that will work against you with your child as it will be their natural tendency to want to protect the image of that parent, just as they would yours. Do let your child know you are concerned and that you will help them depending on the severity of the situation, but do not say things they are likely to repeat or that will make them become more cautious the next time and not tell you what went on.
Prepare your case well and do not move forward too quickly unless you are in emergency status and have no choice.
There are ways you can assist the other parent in contributing to their own loss of visitation, custody or rights. Give them enough rope to hang themselves, don't run interference, let them drink and drive, but have an annonymous person to report them while they are on the road so that it doesn't come back to you.
When you get to court you should have enough evidence for the judge to order alcohol treatment, drug treatment, or to forbid your childs parent to have sleepovers with the opposite sex, mandate monitored visitation.
In order to accomplish all this you are going to need assistance from a Private Investigator. Try to have one on standby who can follow your childs parent when they come to pick up the child for a visit if you suspect they have been drinking for example. The investigator can watch for erratic driving and report this to the police at which time the other parent will get pulled over and tested for DUI and you will get a phone call to come get your child. Now this can be used in court.
Your private investigator can also follow your child on the visit to see where the parent takes her, and who is present during the onset of the visit. The investigator can take video and pictures of anything suspicious or of concern.
Remember any illegal activity can be documented and videoed at any time but it is always more powerful in court to have this evidence shown as being in the presence of the child.
Call the police if your childs parent comes to pick up your child for a visit if it is clearly apparent that she is intoxicated or stoned from drugs. Do not let your child go with a parent who is in such a state as that will reflect badly on you.
Try as much as possible to video and take pictures as a fun thing so as not to alert your child as to your motives. Do not let the child see the audio device. The more relaxed you appear to your child the more the child will feel safe to come to you and share their concerns and fears.
We welcome comments and questions on this blog.