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What should I do? Ex wife making threats, kinda long

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What is the name of your state? Iowa

Here's the scenario, it all happened this evening, and I want some opinions on what I can and should now that this has occured.

I called my daughter tonight to talk to her about visitation this weekend, to see what she would like to do. My ex wife of course answers the phone, and like normal, starts in with her normal rantings and ravings, except for the fact that she completely caught me off guard with her statements.

She said, and I quote, " I am so sick of having to deal with you, so I guess I have one option, to get rid of what is keeping you in contact with me." Then she went on to say, " It would be a waste of your time to drive here to get *****, cause she will not be here anymore." "And if I do come there, be prepared for what is going to happen to you."

So, I start freaking out thinking, what in the world could she mean, I then ask to speak to my daughter, the ex tells me, she is busy, call back later, and hangs up on me.

I try a half hour later, no answer, wait 15 min. more, no answer, then I called the sheriffs office, asked them to do a welfare check.

The sheriff calls me back, telling me the child was scared and shaken, but basically allright, he tells me that my ex was quite resistant about letting him check on my child, she put up quite a fight. He also said that she told him that I was to blame for this, that I had no right to call them in.

The sheriff told me, off record of course, that I should do something, as my child was crying, or had been, and was asking for me. He said that my ex has quite a reputation for causing trouble in his area, and is somewhat troublesome.

So, what can I do to protect my child? Can I get some sort of temporary order, so that she can get some help for whatever is making her say stuff like this, and to protect my child, it may have only been talk tonight, but what if she does what she threatens?

Thanks for reading this and responding.

Lissa68's husband



Is there a police report for you to get your hands on? If not... well, it's just another divorced parents bickering, I hate to say. Do you know what I mean? Not to minimize anything, but the judges hear alot of tales about ex-spouses, from ex-spouses, ect. Not sure about the laws for taping conversations in your state... someone will comment, I'm sure, keep checking back.
Also, not letting you talk o the phone to your daughter can be denial of "visitation" if it's a pattern... keep records.


Thank You

First of all, thank you both for your replies. The only "report" would be the Welfare Check, I would suppose. And I have been documenting the phone calls I make to speak to my child, but are denied access to talking to her.

I did not know I could tape the calls, so I will invest in a hand held tape recorder.

I will do whatever I need to protect my child, and I do understand the he/she said game, and I know that's what she would say.

Thank You.


Under the Radar Member
If you go to Radio Shack, they have a set-up you can buy that hooks a tape recorder to your phone/answering machine that produces much better tapes than a handheld held up to the receiver. Just as an FYI.


Well, we just happen.......

We just happen to have one of those here in town. What do I ask for? Just explain what I want to do?



Senior Member
Lissa68's husband
I am more concerned for the welfare and safety of your child than I am for your being able to prove denial of visitation through taping phone conversations.

I would like for you to call the child abuse/ child protective agency in your child's area and report the incident and ask that they verify this with the police, investigate, and remove your child to a safe place until such time as you can gain emergency custody of your child.

Your child's wishes do not matter to the court; her safety does. It also matters to me and I would feel much better if you would please look after the safety of your child before you look into proving denial of visitation.

Thank you,
Last edited:


Thought I'd let you know what happened........

I went to the courthouse, with papers in hand, requesting an emergency restraining order against my ex wife, on behalf of my daughter and myself. In less than 5 minutes, the Judge, in all his holiness, told me, that he was denying my petition, on the basis, that "no physical abuse" has taken place. I tell him about the threats she made, referring to death, killing, of myself and my daughter. He tells me, "theres nothing I can do". So, I ask him, does my daughter have to be killed before anyone will do anything, to that he does not reply.

So, I take my denied petition, and head over to the Sheriff's office, thinking that verbal threats, that's a criminal charge. I ask for the sheriff, tell him what has happened, he responds, "that's civil, not criminal, nothing I can do". So, i ask him, what has to happen before you people will take so action, to prevent her mother for going through with her threats, he tells me, "basically she has to do something physical or kill her before they can step in".

So, nothing, I got nothing, and I left without my daughter, and not knowing of her safety.

Now, I get no answer on phone calls, and the sheriffs dept does'nt want to get into it.

So, thats what happens in Iowa's family court.


Under the Radar Member
The problem is, lissa - you have no proof of what she said. Yes, the cops went out and found your daughter distraught - they have no way of knowing if it was an actual threat to her that got her to that state, or Mom telling her she doesn't get to talk to her girlfriends on the phone for a week 'cause of some rule she broke.

I do understand your concern and frustration. But the cops and the courts can't do anything without actual proof of the problem. I'm sorry.


Yes, true, but.....

If a child is involved, where is their concern, where does it lie? If all in the courts is done to obtain what is best for the "best interests of the child" then what is a person to do when a scenario like this occurs?

And, I mean no offense to anyone out here on the boards, but some women go in on a daily basis, and walk out with a RO in a heartbeat over something frivolous, and I cannot protect my daughter? Because it might not be true, or is it a possibility that because I am a male, it cannot be true?

Just venting, and like I said please take no offense, as I am not aiming at anybody but or family law system.

Lissa 68(hubby)


Under the Radar Member
Like I said, I do understand your frustration. I don't have an answer for you. I do know that when I filed for an RO against my stbx (after he threw me to the ground when I was bringing the kids to him), the judge made it mutual - but nothing wrt the kids. So it isn't always that easy.

Good luck.


I wholeheartedly understand your frustration. I was in a similar situation in PA...no one will do anything preventative. It makes me sick how the legal system works!!!

Any way, my point is this: CALL CHILD PROTECTIVE SERCVICES NOW!!!!! DO NOT DELAY!!! If it wasn't done already, do so NOW!!! There is a toll-free number listed in the phone books for child abuse hotline...It is confidential...They will send someone over to check on your daughter...IF there is anything, child services will remove the child!!!

Good luck....My heart goes out to you...IF those threats were said and followed through God how AWFUL!!! Even if the threats are not followed through, what a nurturing environment your daughter is in...NOT!!!

CALL CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES and let us know how your are doing and how your daughter is!!!

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