Originally Posted by 2xy
Personally, I think that is a bad idea. What's to stop the mother from claiming that your DH "kidnapped" his own child?
As for joint legal custody, it simply means that both parents have equal input and responsibility regarding the child's upbringing, including educational and medical matters. I live in RI and my kids' dad has lived all over the place because he's still on active duty. He currently lives in VA and has been overseas as well. We still have joint legal custody. I have primary physical custody.
For example....since there is no court agreement, if something were to happen to one of the girls (like a car accident), and a decision had to be made regarding life support, your DH currently has no legal say in how that is handled. If his ex is decent enough to take his feelings into consideration, that's fine and well. But since you've portrayed their relationship as him having to walk on eggshells with her lest she cease visitation, it doesn't sound that amicable to me.
I consider the spanking to be inappropriate touching. YMMV.
Regarding the spanking, I consider that inappropriate, as well. I find it unnerving. However, I don't know that it would qualify as sexual abuse. Even though I totally disagree with it, a lot of people spank their kids. It speaks to me personally and makes me (as well as DH) uncomfortable. And DH has communicated to his ex that the girls are not to be spanked period, and she has agreed to this.
When I mentioned his ex possibly keeping the kids from him, it was regarding how she may respond to us calling CPS. She's never kept the children from him in the past, but she also hasn't felt threatened in that way. Right now DH doesn't *know* why stepdad did what he did. He doesn't *know* that it was a sexual thing. He did make it clear that it is not to happen again. DH is certainly keeping the communication open with both girls and if anything else sounds weird, he'll address it with his ex or take further action, depending on the severity of the situation.
DH and his ex have already drawn up an agreement that they're both signing regarding custody of the girls. They'll still communicate about the big issues. For instance, I'll be homeschooling DSD when she moves in with us, and her mom agrees with that. If she disagreed, we'd school her in another way.