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Thread: Help protecting my children from their abusive father is custody case.

  1. #1
    Amael Lindar is offline Junior Member
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    Help protecting my children from their abusive father is custody case.

    Pennsylvania
    My soon-to-be-ex husband of 12 years has a history of aggravated assault and harassment and is very controlling. He was in a gang in the 90s and has been on probation twice- once was around 1996 when beat a man almost to death and was put in jail for 6mo. and was sentenced to two years probation, and once was last year when he lost control more than usual and hit me in the face and I called the police. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to a year of probation and anger management. He likes to brag about beating people, and he is very very abusive, and he knows how to manipulate people very well. Only this Easter was I able to finally be freed from him, not without help.
    The abuse I have suffered over the years is basically textbook, he is intimidating, he used guilt and coercion to get what he wants, he made many threats, he is verbally abusive and humiliates me in front of his friends. He isolated me from MY friends, he minimizes and denies his behavior if he isn't blaming me or others. He uses the children, he abuses authority, and he has complete financial control; I was not allowed to get a job or have my own vehicle for years. Then he would hit me or abuse me sexually.
    I was awarded a 3yr Protection From Abuse order and Temporary Custody of our two children (4yrs. and, 5mo. girls) who he is neglectful of, and I was solely responsible for parenting. I am involved at the school where my eldest child attends, and took them to the doctors etc. He has made unauthorized visits with my eldest daughter when she is at my mother's house, against the rules of the PFA, and have made many reports with my local police department AND to his former probation officer while he was still on probation before the PFA was in order.
    When he left in April he closed our bank account, took the only vehicle and some documents, and has not provided any type of support financially or otherwise. He has made FALSE and defamatory statements about myself and others to gain power. I have lost friends, family and respect through this whole process, just because I'm trying to keep my kids SAFE. He has reunited former members of his old gang in Easton, PA and I fear for my children, and further damage to myself and others. I
    Near the end of April I gained a job and I am now an assistant manager. I am collecting food stamps and other assistance to help pay for our apartment, which is now in my name only, from Social Services until I can get child support through the courts. I have barely enough money to get by right now and I walk to work while my good friend stays with my children. Unfortunately I was not always able to document things as I was terrified of him, and things would always get worse. I was afraid he was going to hurt my family or even the children if I sought help of any kind. My concern is that he has filed for custody of our children and has hired a lawyer. I need to know what to do, what to say, things I need to prove in court. Please help.
    Last edited by Amael Lindar; 05-20-2012 at 08:12 AM. Reason: omitted information
  2. #2
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Pennsylvania
    My soon-to-be-ex husband of 12 years has a history of aggravated assault and harassment and is very controlling. He was in a gang in the 90s and has been on probation twice- once was around 1996 when beat a man almost to death and was put in jail for 6mo. and was sentenced to two years probation, and once was last year when he lost control more than usual and hit me in the face and I called the police.
    Why did you marry such a violent man in 2000 and then have children with him?
    He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to a year of probation and anger management. He likes to brag about beating people, and he is very very abusive, and he knows how to manipulate people very well. Only this Easter was I able to finally be freed from him, not without help.
    Okay so last year he was sentenced for hitting you and you only left him a year later?
    The abuse I have suffered over the years is basically textbook, he is intimidating, he used guilt and coercion to get what he wants, he made many threats, he is verbally abusive and humiliates me in front of his friends. He isolated me from MY friends, he minimizes and denies his behavior if he isn't blaming me or others. He uses the children, he abuses authority, and he has complete financial control; I was not allowed to get a job or have my own vehicle for years. Then he would hit me or abuse me sexually.
    And you allowed it in that you never pressed charges until last year and you didn't leave and you consented to not working.

    I was awarded a 3yr Protection From Abuse order and Temporary Custody of our two children (4yrs. and, 5mo. girls) who he is neglectful of, and I was solely responsible for parenting. I am involved at the school where my eldest child attends, and took them to the doctors etc. He has made unauthorized visits with my eldest daughter when she is at my mother's house, against the rules of the PFA, and have made many reports with my local police department AND to his former probation officer while he was still on probation before the PFA was in order.
    Why was your mother allowing the visits? When were you awarded the PFA?


    When he left in April he closed our bank account, took the only vehicle and some documents, and has not provided any type of support financially or otherwise.
    He was abusive and yet he LEFT you last month? In other words you would still be with him if he hadn't left.

    He has made FALSE and defamatory statements about myself and others to gain power. I have lost friends, family and respect through this whole process, just because I'm trying to keep my kids SAFE. He has reunited former members of his old gang in Easton, PA and I fear for my children, and further damage to myself and others. I
    What evidence do you have that he is harmful or abusive to the children?


    Near the end of April I gained a job and I am now an assistant manager. I am collecting food stamps and other assistance to help pay for our apartment, which is now in my name only, from Social Services until I can get child support through the courts. I have barely enough money to get by right now and I walk to work while my good friend stays with my children. Unfortunately I was not always able to document things as I was terrified of him, and things would always get worse. I was afraid he was going to hurt my family or even the children if I sought help of any kind. My concern is that he has filed for custody of our children and has hired a lawyer. I need to know what to do, what to say, things I need to prove in court. Please help.
    You better have admissible evidence that he is a danger to the children and not just allegations. What convictions does he have for abusing the children? What proof do you have that he has ever harmed the children? You also better attempt to get an attorney. Because if you don't get an attorney he may very well be able to be get custody of HIS children.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  3. #3
    Ladyback1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    Why did you marry such a violent man in 2000 and then have children with him?


    Okay so last year he was sentenced for hitting you and you only left him a year later?

    And you allowed it in that you never pressed charges until last year and you didn't leave and you consented to not working.


    Why was your mother allowing the visits? When were you awarded the PFA?



    He was abusive and yet he LEFT you last month? In other words you would still be with him if he hadn't left.


    What evidence do you have that he is harmful or abusive to the children?



    You know? While I respect the fact that you are an attorney and have years of experience....

    I have to wonder if you've ever been in an abusive relationship where you were absolutely terrified of your partner? A relationship where you were so mentally beaten down that you haven't the strength to act on what you know you need to do (end the relationship)?

    Yes, we (abused spouses/significant others) all look back at the relationship and ask "WTH was I thinking?" We beat ourselves up pretty good mentally once/if we manage to make the break. We all feel stupid for staying as long as we did---and we sure as h*ll feel guilty for bringing children into the situation.

    I understand your motives (at least I think I do...)in asking the questions you asked--the OP may face those questions in the divorce/child custody process.

    I would only ask that you provide a little explanation to other OP's who may post in the future about this type of situation. Otherwise, you appear to be attacking the OP.
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  4. #4
    Amael Lindar is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you Ladyback1 for your insight. I have been met with a lot of resistance of this kind and it makes me feel good to feel like SOMEONE ELSE UNDERSTANDS WHY... why DID I...?

    I was terrified that he would hurt my children, myself and my family. He threatened to do so, and I have suffered from child abuse myself and really felt utterly alone with nobody to turn too. When I met him I didn't know his whole story, he kept a lot of things to himself for quite a while. I had no support, no friends for a very long time. He was my savior I thought. He was 'protecting me' from the world. It is only now that I'm learning what the abuse was and how severe it was and how damaging it got. Its only now that I have found support of any kind. My mother was allowing visits because SHE is afraid of him as well. She is afraid to get police involved, and I haven't been able to amend my PFA, and he has filed for custody. (I have very little money and I do not have my own transportation right now. My roommate does not drive and her family lives in Hunterdon County NJ and can't always get me around) He LEFT because the police were called, I didn't press charges this time, but they asked him to leave. He didn't have a key and I didn't let him back in and I went with the help of my dear friend whom I met a year and a half ago, (she was really the one who opened my eyes about everything and saw what was going on and asked me to seek help, though I was in denial and it took me a long time) and filed for a PFA. I was awarded the PFA April 18th. The only evidence I have that he was abusive to the children is my friend who witnessed him abusing me in front of the children, yelling in the 4mo. old's face and throwing her with a full bottle on the couch and storming away and threatening to beat my 4yr. old. My friend is my sitter and my room mate, she has been there with me while I was pregnant with my youngest girl, basically helped raise her, cooked, cleaned, looked after my eldest while I was pregnant and while my husband played video games all day when he wasn't working. She and her mother and sister have been my only true support though-out this whole mess, and I know a lot of abused women don't ever have ANY support. I'm just trying to pick up the pieces and do the right thing by my kids NOW. I am stronger now, I'm finding support, I have a job, and I'm getting help. I want my kids to be happy and healthy and not live in the same fear I did.
    Last edited by Amael Lindar; 05-20-2012 at 10:39 AM.
  5. #5
    Eekamouse is offline Senior Member
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    He LEFT because the police were called, I didn't press charges this time, but they asked him to leave. He didn't have a key and I didn't let him back in and I went with the help of my dear friend whom I met a year and a half ago, (she was really the one who opened my eyes about everything and saw what was going on and asked me to seek help, though I was in denial and it took me a long time) and filed for a PFA. I was awarded the PFA April 18th. The only evidence I have that he was abusive to the children is my friend who witnessed him abusing me in front of the children, yelling in the 4mo. old's face and throwing her with a full bottle on the couch and storming away and threatening to beat my 4yr. old.



    Why did you NOT press charges against him this time? What did you tell the police when they came? This was the perfect opportunity to get the abuse legitimately documented and how could you not have done so when the guy was THREATENING your children and abusing you in front of them?
  6. #6
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Until and unless you have been in an abusive relationship, it is very difficult to understand. It all creeps up on you, breaks you down. Until you don't know up from down, day from night, black from white...

    I understand the harshness towards some posters, but I do think we could try to be a bit more gentle/understanding with abuse vicims.
    Rushia, MichaCA, st-kitts and 1 others like this.
  7. #7
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Perhaps the experienced family law attorney has reasons for asking the questions that she did in the manner that she did. They are ALL questions that the OP will need to be able to answer in an effective manner. If the OP cannot answer them here in an effective manner, how will she do in court?

    OP needs an attorney.
    OP needs to be in therapy to help her understand and overcome the emotional damage that this man has caused her.
    OP needs to realize that, if the man hasn't been violent towards his children, then he will likely not be restricted from being around his children.
    Blue Meanie and Amael Lindar like this.
  8. #8
    Amael Lindar is offline Junior Member
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    He actually called the police on my roommate because he went after me and she pushed him. Then he left, they had to track him down in the parking-lot. First he told them she punched him, then after we gave our statements he agreed he was wrong, they informed me not to press charges and at the time I was still terrified and agreed. I was still minimizing the abuse and I didn't want to be responsible for sending him to jail again, at the time I was still blaming myself for the abuse...

    I don't understand why so many of you wish to pass judgement and yet do not realize how terrifying these situations REALLY are. I ask you who have appointed yourselves judges and jury: Go to a domestic abuse support group. Call The Women's Place hotline. Talk to other women that have been in this situation. Ask THEM WHY. Ask them why a mother with no support who has become codependent and anxious and afraid, a woman who has her every MOVE probed and is being watched, phone bills gone over, whereabouts questioned at all times, who doesn't know who to trust, who is met with resistance from all fronts, who IF she sticks up for herself or her children gets threatened and hit and terrorized, WHY wouldn't she seek help? When after he bails himself out of jail he comes home and she really gets it, and THEN he threatens her and says she will never see the kids again. He terrorizes her family who is elderly, and they are immobilized with fear as well and are afraid to stick up to him. When she lies down and takes it and is told that she deserves it, ask them why, after years of physiological abuse, why wouldn't she think she deserves to be hurt?

    Some women in my situation NEVER get out. Think about that. Some women are going through this right now and they will never find the courage or the strength to leave. Some will be beaten to death, some will become drug addicts or alcoholics, some will kill themselves. I really don't think I have to defend myself here against you who do not understand, who could never understand, but I pray you will never have to watch someone you love go through this. I pray more women have the fortitude to leave sooner than I was able to. I pray more misinformed people will be educated. It is very easy to sit in judgement on something you know little about, and if you were one of the lucky ones and were able to get out sooner than BLESS YOU. I cannot change the past, or change my decisions. I can only strive to do the right thing NOW and in the FUTURE and to LEARN from my mistakes and give my kids a better future, and it is worth fighting for.
  9. #9
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amael Lindar View Post
    I don't understand why so many of you wish to pass judgement and yet do not realize how terrifying these situations REALLY are.
    Nobody has passed any sort of negative judgement on you. Not even Ohiogal.
  10. #10
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    OG is quite able to defend herself, ZiggieStardust. Seriously. If she has comments to my post, I'll address them with her. She's a big girl.
  11. #11
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealth2 View Post
    OG is quite able to defend herself, ZiggieStardust. Seriously. If she has comments to my post, I'll address them with her. She's a big girl.
    With all due respect, I wasn't "defending" anybody. I was merely pointing out that Ohiogal raised valid points and dismissing them because they weren't delivered with syrup and whipped cream isn't appropriate.
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  12. #12
    mommyanme is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealth2 View Post
    Until and unless you have been in an abusive relationship, it is very difficult to understand. It all creeps up on you, breaks you down. Until you don't know up from down, day from night, black from white...

    I understand the harshness towards some posters, but I do think we could try to be a bit more gentle/understanding with abuse vicims.
    Stealth is right and so are the others. Until you're in that situation it is hard for an "outsider" (lack of a better word) to understand the mental fortitude it takes to finally leave. Rape and sexual abuse can also lead to pregnancies and I have also met women forced into pregnancies because their spouse even controlled doctor's visits and birth control.

    I do hope the OP understands that harshness will prevail from her spouse's attorney and she needs to quickly get herself and her children into therapy, or she'll find herself beaten down and crying in court defending herself and will not help her case at all!
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  13. #13
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    With all due respect, I wasn't "defending" anybody. I was merely pointing out that Ohiogal raised valid points and dismissing them because they weren't delivered with syrup and whipped cream isn't appropriate.
    I didn't "dismiss" her points. But I don't feel it is necessary to attack abuse victims out of the gate. 'Nuff said.
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  14. #14
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealth2 View Post
    I didn't "dismiss" her points.
    Fair enough - my apologies for assuming otherwise.

    But I don't feel it is necessary to attack abuse victims out of the gate. 'Nuff said.
    I don't either, but I also don't think OG's post was an attack. I understand your opinion is different on that.
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  15. #15
    Amael Lindar is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    Perhaps the experienced family law attorney has reasons for asking the questions that she did in the manner that she did. They are ALL questions that the OP will need to be able to answer in an effective manner. If the OP cannot answer them here in an effective manner, how will she do in court?

    OP needs an attorney.
    OP needs to be in therapy to help her understand and overcome the emotional damage that this man has caused her.
    OP needs to realize that, if the man hasn't been violent towards his children, then he will likely not be restricted from being around his children.
    Also thank you for clarifying, I do see now that I have become defensive here in my earlier posts, so forgive me all. I do know that I need to be prepared.

    I would also like to clarify: I have sought counseling through The Women's Place, and have made an appointment with the local Behavioral Health clinic and seek to have my 4 year old talk to someone as well, I know that she has witnessed things no child should ever see. as I have now formally received medical assistance through the government. Our former couples therapist (while he can no longer see ME since he was seeing us both and that would breach the terms) has told me that he will go to court with me if I need him to and I am going to call him on Monday to see what he could do.

    I have made numerous calls to the legal aid department and have yet to be notified of who my attorney is going to be.

    I do not want to restrict him from seeing the children by any means, I want him to have VISITATION under the terms that HE also seeks counseling AND anger management and that he can take my eldest daughter to her horse lessons and ridding shows if he has her on those days. And of course if he can comply to the rules set forth by the court and does not put the children in danger.
    Last edited by Amael Lindar; 05-20-2012 at 11:57 AM.

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