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  1. #1
    tkjc123 Guest

    Unfit living conditions

    What is the name of your state? CA

    My ex has our kids overnight every Tuesday and every other weekend. On Tuesday's he has the boys stay with him in his place. On the long weekends, he takes them to his parents house. The court recently ordered I do half the travel. I have not done the travel prev since my ex decided to move closer to work than the kids. He moved 35 miles away, his parents 30 miles away, and because of that, he or his dad did all the travel. Again, because of the agreement we had, I had no physical contact with my ex in-laws. Since the court ordered me to do the pick up, I have picked the kids up at my ex's house and once at Gma&Gpa's house. This morning I was instructed to go pick up the boys at G&G's house. This time they let me in the house, since the boys were not ready. I was shocked at how dirty the house was. Dirty is not the word for it, disgusting is more like it. They are pack rats and don't throw anything away. There were boxes and boxes everywhere. This is how they used to live, but my ex told me that the house was cleaned up. I have not seen the house in over a year. When I entered the house, I noticed a saw-zaw laying right beside the front door as you come in. The blade was not covered or protected at all. There was other tools right by the door in a bin with a router sitting on top. The kitchen had a "path" that you could walk into the main cooking part area. The kitchen table and the surrounding counter tops had papers and endless boxes of stuff everywhere. It is even worse in the main living area. There is only a small patch of carpet that is clean so the kids have a place to sit and watch TV or play video games. It is worse than what I am explaining. You can't even get into the formal living and dining room area, it is covered from wall to wall with stuff. I did not see the upstairs or the downstairs, but the level that I was at, it was gross. The kids say the house is like that all around. The kids stay there with G & G every other weekend. My ex works on weekends, so he only spends about half the time with the kids on his weekend. He takes them to his parents to watch them. I have asked that they be brought home, but he told me that I can't tell him what to do while he has them. I don't know what to do about his parents house. It is completly unacceptable for the kids to live in that mess and dangerous as well. I have thought about going to social services, but we are still in the court system. Only a part of our court case was decided by the judge. The rest he wants us to go to mediation, which my ex has said he will not cooporate in mediation. But that is not for another couple of weeks and then we don't appear in front of the judge for another month. I don't want to appear like I am doing anything in spite, but the living conditions are untollerable. If I don't do anything, doesn't that make me look like an unfit parent for allowing the kids to live in that mess? Another reason I hesitate to go to social services is because I really love my ex mother-in-law. We have not been close since the year long court battle begun, but she has always been kind to me (unlike my ex father-in-law) and she really loves our kids. My ex MIL will always hold a special part in my heart and I love her. We are not close anymore and don't talk because the court case is getting ugly. I am sure my ex is telling some wopper of some stories, which are not true. All that really does not matter, because I still care for her, but do not communicate with her. I am so torn on what to do. The kids should not have to live in that mess, but I don't speak with my ex or my in-laws. Everytime I try and talk with my ex he dismisses anything I say and then belittles me (The last time in front of our children). I just don't know what to do. If I say something, I will hurt the last person I love in my ex's family and if I don't say anything, I am allowing my kids to be put in danger. (Really the house is that bad). I need some advice. Please help!
  2. #2
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    My response:

    Now, edit your lengthy post to remove all the editorializing, and make it shorter to get your point across.

    Otherwise, see a local Family Law attorney.

    IAAL
  3. #3
    tkjc123 Guest

    Unfit living conditions

    "edit your lengthy post to remove all the editorializing"

    What do you myan by "editorializing"? First time I have posted anything here and I realize it is a lengthy post.

    bottom line - because of the unfit living conditions, I don't want the kids to stay at G & G house until it is cleaned up. Should I leve it alone? Has anyone dealt with this before? What would the repercussions be if the kids get hurt and I knew about the living conditions and did not report it? I already know I can't say anything to my ex or my ex-in-laws. We are not on speaking terms. That is the bottom line without all my emotions and concerns mixed up in this crazy situation.
  4. #4
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Unless your order provides for him to ask you to watch the kids when he cannot (and vice-versa), you have no say in who watches them while he works - or where. If you feel the conditions they're kept in are unfit, you can call CPS or the equivalent in your state. However, you may not deny him visitation based on your own determination unless you intend to be hauled in front of a judge for contempt of the visitation order.
  5. #5
    tkjc123 Guest

    unfit living conditions

    I would never deny their Dad visitations. That is not the point of the post. I would love it if he took the kids to his house. He was supposed to hire a "nanny" to watch the boys at his home when he is working on his weekends with the boys. In fact, I am paying for a nanny which does not exsist. The court order was to hire a nanny to watch the kids at his home and I was to pay half of the fee's. I have paid half of the fee's for a month and there is no nanny. Anyway, that is not my point. I have never denied Dad his time with the kids and never will. Dad's relationship with his kids is to important to him and the kids. I am pro Dad being appart of the kids life. I am not one of the Mom's who wants Dad out of the picture. Just because we can't talk to each other, does not mean that I don't promote a strong Dad/child relationship. I am concerned that they are staying in a home that is unfit (G & G house). Dad's house is fine, very neat and tidy.
  6. #6
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: unfit living conditions

    Originally posted by tkjc123
    I am concerned that they are staying in a home that is unfit (G & G house). Dad's house is fine, very neat and tidy.
    That's pretty much beside the point - he has the right to take them to his parents'. If you're paying for a non-existent nanny, you can file to have him provide proof of one or that you be absolved of paying him. It is extremely unlikely that he can be forced to hire one. Again, if his parents' house is unfit, you can call CPS. They'll make the determination.
  7. #7
    tkjc123 Guest

    unfit living conditions

    Stealth - Thanks for the info. I am not real concerned about the nanny because we still have unresolved issues and will be going to court in two months. If one is not hired by then, the order will be reversed. No big deal.

    Another question for you. What happens when CPS is called? The children are not abused in any way. Only the living conditions are really bad. Worse than I could explain. It is like one of those 20/20 reports on people who can't throw anythng away. That is their house. What does CPS do?
  8. #8
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    They may do nothing, or they may recommend that the children not be there anymore, or they may remove the children. But unless the conditions are actually a danger to the kids (clutter is not in and of itself dangerous), they may not do anything at all.

    What it really comes down to is that you have to choose your battles wisely. Calling CPS is likely to further damage an already deteriorated relationship with your ex and his family.
  9. #9
    tkjc123 Guest

    unfit living conditions

    "What it really comes down to is that you have to choose your battles wisely. Calling CPS is likely to further damage an already deteriorated relationship with your ex and his family."

    That is my dilemma and why I am here on this board getting advice. The realtionship is strained with my ex family and WAY strained with my ex, to the point that we only communicate via e-mail. With that said, I have been so torn on what to do for three weeks now. Everytime I go to G & G's house to pick the kids up, the house gets worse. Frist time I picked them up there was nothing sitting at the bottom of the stairs, second time I picked them up there was a saw zaw and router with other pointy tools oncovered. They have not been moved since. My concern is that I know what the house is like and if the kids get hurt and I did not do anything to prevent it then, either CPS or court will see me as an irrisponsible parent for not reporting the living conditions once I found out how bad it was. If I say something now, I save my kids from possible injury and intolerable living condtions, BUT it will only worsen the relationship with my ex family and the kids will see that and will be affected. That is my pickle. I know no one can tell me what to do. I just want to make the right decision without all emtions getting in the way. Hence coming here talking to other people who may have been in a similar situation.
  10. #10
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    How old are the kids?
  11. #11
    tkjc123 Guest

    unfit living conditions

    6 and 9
  12. #12
    oberauerdorf Guest
    O.K. here goes

    Legally, there's not a damn thing you can do. As you've been told, it's papa's decision with whom to leave the children.

    However, you can and should tell Gramps and Grammie face to face, regardless of the consequences, this:

    "Gramps, Grammie, I love you both dearly and love that you are a part of the children's lives. They benefit so much by having you there. If anything were to happen to either of you I know they would be devestated.

    I just wish you felt the same about them. Whenever I come over to pick them up and dangerous tools are left where they could be injured or killed, whenever I see the mounds of stuff laying around that could topple over and smother them, my heart breaks. Because I know it would kill you if they were hurt or killed knowing you were the cause of it.

    So, I'd like to help you keep these children in your lives until a very ripe old age. Would you like that?"

    Then see how they react.
  13. #13
    kidoday is offline Senior Member
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    CPS will not harm the children, but if they believe your complaint is a warranted one, they will talk to both sides. They may make an inspection of G & G's house and will want to talk to the children. As Stealth has said, clutter is not a danger. More than likely they will be asked to clean up the dangerous tools (Sawzall, etc.) for the safety of the children.

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