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son witness to domestic violence

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Texas -

Ex had 7 yr old son for summer - May 26th to July 9th, this would have been their first full summer together.

Got a call from ex on Thursday at 8PM that I needed to come pick up son. Ex and new wife got into a fight and it got physical, ex took off with their two yr old son who they were physically fighting over (like tug-o-war), leaving OUR son standing on the porch watching the whole thing. Apparently ex had been drinking. 911 was called, but no report was taken except for an APB issued for ex as he was drinking with a toddler in the car and no car seat.

Ex's wife called and after talking to both ex AND his wife, it was decided a friend of mine would pick up my son who lived closer, so I could get him out of the situation faster. (we live 250 miles from each other)

Friend picks up son, brings him all the way home. Son is terrified, has never been around any kind of altercation. The fight was over his wife walking up on ex quizzing son about me and apparently bad mouthing me pretty bad. (according to her and son) Now son even feels somewhat responsible.

Ex has not called at all, it is now Saturday. I do know he did end up taking the baby back to his wife and she claims they are filing for divorce, though I have a feeling she will play the victim role for a while, she already sounded defeated by him and had back tracked on her decision to file the assault charges.

I emailed my attorney - we had a court date for June 22nd, so we are going to ask for a new trial at that time.

In the meantime she said I need to file for supervised visits until he undergoes a physcological evaluation.

Sorry - now for the questions....

1. Legally what good does an evaluation do? I personally think he is nutso, but I'm not sure an evaluation is going to find anything medical that would change his visits with his son. He makes very very poor choices but that doesn't make him insane.

2. We live 250 miles from each other, I didn't even think to ask how we would go about doing supervised visits? I will ask my attorney next week, but am hoping someone may know of a situation like this and could advise?

3. Any legal or even personal advice would help.....I'm at a loss. Dad and son have had a VERY difficult time building a relationship because dad is just not a very nice person and attacks me constantly. He has now started attacking son and son is terrified of going back. He was SO concerned about his half-brother and his step-mother. If this is going to be a long drawn out battle with nothing happening in the end except re-instating his normal visits, I would like to know what to do to facilitate a proper relationship between father and son. I don't know if this is the right decision to charge forward with supervised visits and evaluations etc....but i don't know how to protect son either....I CANNOT send my son back to such an unstable environment.

Poor Jr. Bonk. :(

Do the evaluation. My friend at work didn't realize his wife was truly mentally ill either until theirs was done. You should have heard the laundry list of neurosis, and that was just the ones that they would tell him about! They didn't even reveal them all.
That evaluation is going to be your GOLDEN TICKET to getting things rolling in the right direction.... DO IT. The courts will listen to the evaluators summaries and they often make their decisions from them. Check out the SPARC site, it has some great articles on evaluations. http://deltabravo.net/custody/articles.php Check out the section about evaluations... I a msure something will help you there.

I would think that if supervised visits are ordered, then the distance won't be a problem... hopefully they will appoint someone from his town to do it.

Sorry for your situation... I hope that your son recovers from this soon.
Thank you very much, what a great site! I appreciate the assistance and the kind words ithildriel and ncpdad, I will go ahead with her ideas, my attorney is the expert after all...


How heartbreaking...
Well, can I suggest that that not only do you need to get your attorney to file for supervised visits, but those visits need to take place with an orginization that is set up to watch over these unstable people. I'm sure your attorney knows of a place.
It sounds like you are trying to be easy on your ex. Forget your ex, it's about the child and you must do everything you can to ensure that that child is not mentally or physically scarred for life. I'm not a legal proffesional but I have just been through the texas system and it moves slowly. Sure the ex has rights, but ultimatly, it's about the child.
Pro's? Can't she get some kind of restraining order for the childs safety in the meantime?
I only can offer advice from my perspective but I can say that you need to make sure that your attorney is fierce, you can't afford to have a wishy washy attorney. My first attorney wasted a year of time and let a lot of things slide. My attorney now really cares and takes no baloney. It's all about protecting my son and thats exactly how it should be.
At any rate, it's a long wait on that evaluation, I just went through a social study and it took a year. The Texas family court system is so bogged down it's nuts.
Good luck, really.
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