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Is there anything I can do

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My ex lives in WV where we were divorced. I have 3 children,13 year old girl, 11 year old boy and a 9 year old girl. My 13 year old is failing 7th grade and may be held back. I talked to the guidance counselor and she said if my daughter went to summer school, she would be able to pass. My ex doesn't want her to go to summer school, and my daughter says it is because she doesn't want to take her. I live an hour and a half away in another state. This daughter has told me on several occasions that she would like to live with me, and according to law in WV, she can decide that next spring when she has a birthday. My daughter says that she is rarely helped with her homework and is tired all the time from being in too many activities.
My daughter has hinted that there may be occasional domestic abuse in the home between her mother and boyfriend, but the other two children will not deny or confirm any of this, and my son has said he is "not allowed" to tell anything that goes on in the home. The oldest daughter is afraid to tell everything as she is afraid if it went to court, I would lose, as many dads have in the past. I don't know what to do. I want my children with me but I don't think I will win custody. There is so much more, like continuous poor hygiene, clothes that are mismatched or seasonally inappropriate at visitation, lack of notification of ballgames, school functions, etc,...but to beat all and despite all this, my youngest daughter makes straight A's and functions beautifully. Any suggestions?



concernd parent

well first thing i would do is go to the local d.s.s.office and ask them to investigate the possibility of an unfit invironment,based upon what you have witnessed that certain of your children seem not be provided with the proper neccessaties,for their best intrest.i would ascert that the eldest doesnt seem to be effected,maybe perhaps because she is older,and can deal with certain struggles,and cope with her invironment better,and perhaps because she is older,is allowed more freedom of choice to leave and have more breaks from that invironment.also as the father you have the right that has been addressed by the us.supreme court,that you have full access to any school records of your children,and notifications of events that your children are allowed to attend.i am not an attorney.please seek legal advice from a competent attorney.good luck friend.


Senior Member
if you wait to address the courts next fall, then summer is gone and the child will be repeating the same grade again.

a child being held back a grade doesn't necessarily hurt the child, but it does create problems for the child. we are talking high school years here. (and those are the vicious ones) sophmores do not associate with freshmen and lord help her juniors and seniors would never be seen associating with underclassmen.

she will be losing her social circle. it will be a matter that she doesn't fit in with her old friends, but she really won't fit into her new friends. it could sour her whole opinion on school and definitely affect future attitude and grades.

<b>she can decide that next spring when she has a birthday </b>

check that wording again. a child can not pick who they want to live with. there are limits on age where they can voice their opinions to the judge, but the decision is still that of the judge. of course, with age, their opinions do matter more.

the scene that you are describing is basically one of neglect. improperly cared for,no interest in the school, etc. one thing you could do - contact the school - as the father you are entitled to school reports and to be notified if the child's grades slip. the send letters and reports to the mother - you would like copies of those items. give the school a few self addressed stamped envelopes or offer to give them the money for the postage. you stay involved with the school - even with the distance. it shows your concern for the children, where the mother apparently doesn't have any.

you should explain to your son that it is okay to talk to you about anything. that you don't keep secrets from each other. but be careful trying to "pump" them for information. you are basically pulling the children between mom and dad and they shouldn't be there. it is all about them, but it shouldn't involve them.

the dsf is a good suggestion. give them the information that you have listed here. they will investigate the matter and they could be your best witness during a custody hearing.

<b> but to beat all and despite all this, my youngest daughter makes straight A's and functions beautifully. </b>

i know that mothers are not suppose to play favorites. but do you think it could be associated with the fact that the older two remember what it was like with mom and dad together and that the youngest is more dependent and loving towards mom because she doesn't. not saying that the youngest doesn't love dad, but that her loyalties are more towards mom. maybe causing a little more attention from mom then the other two are receiving. i know that moms are not suppose to play favorites, but i have seen it before.

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