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this can't be happening

post #1 of 114
Thread Starter 

I asked for a guest account just in case....I don't even know where to begin and I am hoping others may be able to help, maybe someone has gone through this?

 

My ex has our daughter one day a week right now(until recently). This has been the case since September. He isn't dating someone who is safe to be around our daughter, so the judge limited his time.

My daughter has been in therapy and seeing a psychiatrist for several months now due to the problems with her dad and his girlfriend.

2 weeks ago I took her to her therapy appointment. She sees her dad on Sundays, so therapy takes place on Monday.

She disclosed to her therapist that her dad touched her inappropriately. The therapist asked a couple questions to kinda feel it out. I was in another room and the therapist came and told me she would have to report to CPS. I asked her to also call the GAL involved in our case.

I also called CPS, the GAL, and her pediatrician to see what I should do. I also went to see the court facilitator to find out what I needed to file to protect my daughter. I filed for an emergency ex-parte restraining order and it was granted. We were both pro-se.

She was examined at the ER, but they didn't see anything. We're waiting to be seen at the local child abuse clinic.

My daughter has fallen into a deep depression. She barely eats, sleeps all the time, nightmares non-stop. Her psychiatrist has prescribed an anti-anxiety med and a anti-depressant. She has been seen by her Dr., psychiatrist and continues to see her therapist. CPS did come out to talk with her and she disclosed the same information to them. The worker said that no visits should take place until the investigation was complete.

Last week he hired an attorney. I found out that this attorney uses all legal resources he can and tries to draw things out. Of course he has an attorney and I don't. I don't know what to do. They asked for a continuance so the attorney could prepare and it was granted and the restraining order was extended.

With the ex-parte restraining order I filed a parenting plan. I suggested supervised visits, but after talking to the therapist and psychiatrist they said there should be no visits. So I plan on filing a amended parenting plan saying no visits. I also plan on filing the new letters I have. So far I have one from the pediatrician. My daughter has been complaining it has hurt in that area since October. She said daddy touched me and hurt me in November, but no one thought it was credible, so the Dr. included all of that in her letter. I also have a letter from CPS, the psychiatrist, and her therapist. I am also writing a declaration.

I am so SCARED. I am still in a state of shock. I am basically functioning only to do what needs to be done. There is a lot riding on the appointment with the child abuse clinic next week. I am scared because she has good days and bad days right now. If she is having a bad day, she won't talk to anyone. The Dr. interviewing her next week is experienced and his report could mean the difference between a criminal investigation or saying there is not enough proof. What if she doesn't want to talk. What if he can't get anything from her?

what if they allow my ex to have my daughter? How can I protect her? What if he keeps on hurting her....I mean she already tried to tell us once and no one believed her because she couldn't clearly state what happened :( Has anyone else been through this? Any advice? I can't afford an attorney. I have sought out the volunteers lawyers program, but all they can do is assign me a 30 minute appointment to help fill out paperwork. I feel like this is his word against mine :(

 

post #2 of 114

my lord, that's terrifying. :hug i'm so sorry  that your daughter annd you are going through this. it sounds like you're doing everything possible to protect your baby. good job, mama. i really, really hope that the system comes through for you two and gives her all the protection in the world. i hopeyou have lots of friends & family for support right now. :hug

post #3 of 114

HUGS

 

If CPS is saying no visits, ask the social worker to write a report to the court (the investigation doesn't need to be complete - she/he can just write a report to update the judge as to the current state of the investigation and the recommendations - the GAL will go with that).

 

Can you call around to law firms in your area to see if someone can represent you pro bono?  (for free)  Tell them the situation, that your dd is being abused and you need help.  Call your states Bar Association - they will be able to help you find someone that can help.  Make sure you let them know you need it pro-bono, have income stuff ready to prove that you cannot pay.  Ask for an attorney when you go back to court if you haven't found one - legal aid should be able to provide you with one. 

 

again, big big big HUGS to you.  Follow CPS's advice, work with your dd's therapist (who can testify since she's been seeing your dd for longer than the abuse has been going on - she's a good resource for you too if you need someone to talk to, she can probably refer you to someone for you to see)

post #4 of 114

I agree with with PP about trying to find a probono attorney. It seems like this would be a good case for them to pick up. Plus, its Jan., so most  attorneys arent likely to tell you that they have already done all their free work for the year.

 

::Hugs to you ::

 

Molestation or child abuse in any form is so diffucult for a family to deal with- my family is ridden with it, and the court systems havent always been helpful. I know you have a guest account, so Im not going to ask you how old she is or where you live, but here is something to think about:

 

My sister was molested at the age of 13 in the state of Ohio and after a long investigation we were told that the law stated that since there was no "proof" and no one witnessed it, there was nothing that could be done. We were told this by a judge, after a year long investigation.

 

My other sister was molested at the age of 6 in the state of Alabama, by a family member. We were able to get a restraining order against him, and he did eventaually go to jail for 3 months. There was physical evidence that she had been raped and he still only served three months.

 

My brother was molested at the age of 10 in the state of Alabama, by the same family member (was happening at the same time). Since there was no "proof" the abuser was not charged with any offense, even though it had been proven that he raped my sister. The restraing order against him was lifted, but because he had been labeled as a sex offender, he was only allowed supervised visits. However, if he hadnt be charged for raping my sister, he would have been able to get my brother on the weekends.

 

I dont mean to scare you, or tell you that nothing will happen in your favor. I just know that the court system doesnt always act in our best interst when it comes to these issues. If things didnt go my way in your situation, I would try to move far far away. I would keep at it. If he has done it once, he WILL try do it again, and you will have to catch him. Hopefully, you can get a lawyer to represent you and CPS will have your back, and you can keep him away from her. If anything, hopefully they will allow only supervised visits.

 

Stay strong, and know that is is okay to be angry. He has committed an unforgivable offense, but this is not your fault. ::hugs::

post #5 of 114

My heart is breaking for you and your DD

 

Please keep looking and asking for pro-bono help it could very well tip the scales of justice in your daughters favor.

 

grouphug.gif

post #6 of 114

hug2.gif I'm sorry this is happening. Wishing you and your dd strength to get through this.

post #7 of 114

i'm sorry you and dd are going through this.  it sounds like you are doing everything right to protect her.  i will say a prayer that she will feel safe enough to talk during her interview.  hopefully, since she has been willing to talk with her therapist and her doctor, that practice will make her feel more confident in talking about it again.

post #8 of 114

Keeping your DD and YOU in my thoughts. What a very, very difficult situation to deal with. Hang in there mama, sounds like you are doing everything you can.

post #9 of 114
Thread Starter 

So I called around today and found an attorney who will work with me. It's going to cost and I'll have to go without for awhile, but I guess I have to do what I have to do :(

the other side filed papers today of course calling my mental status into question, first time ever. They say it's "parent alienation syndrome". OMG. They also say I let her watch adult tv shows, which explains the nightmares. Of course I know they are going to try and turn it around, it just hurts to have my mental health questioned. They want me to have a psych evaluation and some other stuff that would take 2-4 hours??? I am a nursing mom and it would be so hard to be away from either child for that long. Of course the court can order it...

So the attorney I found will take $500 now and charge $75 an hour. I said I would give him $1000 out of my tax return and then I could pay $200 a month starting March. Of course I could do a lot of the leg work....we'll see I guess. Best I could find. I called 48 family law attorneys and he is the.only.one. who offered help.

What I want to know is, why is CPS not doing more? Why am I being questioned? Will the court allow this?

They say to give the GAL and court a better idea of what is going on...the GAL already interviewed me and said I was a good mom :/ I know they are pulling sticks, but come on :(

post #10 of 114

I really suggest asking CPS what the status on the case is and for the name of the prosecuting attorney, if it has been referred.  The more you push for him to be held accountable the more likely the prosecutor is to push for him to be held as accountable as possible in court.  If you don't show interest in making sure he is prosecuted he may not be, or if he is it will be a very mild prosecution with no long term protection for your child.  Tell them what he is trying to do in court and ask if there is anything they can do to make sure she is protected until the investigation is complete. 

post #11 of 114

Hugs to you OP, and to your daughter.  How old is she?

 

I would be super anxious if I was in your position, but take a deep breath.  You have a restraining order, which is great news.  Also, your daughter was willing to discuss with her therapist that she had been touched inappropriately, so my guess is she will be willing to talk to the person at the CA clinic next week.  Her *therapist's* report itself should hold a LOT of weight all alone.   At least in my state (I'm a social worker), the child abuse clinics are really good and really thorough.  They, of course, see many many children who are very hesitant to discuss what has happened to them.  I am betting that they will be skilled enough to know how to talk to your daughter in a way in which she feels comfortable to share, especially considering she has shared once before.

 

As far as a psych eval for you--do not worry too much.  First, the judge would have to order it, and for he/she to do so, they would have to be worried that you are coaching your daughter to make false allegations, which you are not.  Second, they won't be able to turn up anything that isn't true from your psych eval.  In fact, it could actually help your case dramatically.  If it were me, I'd love to have a psych eval to prove that whatever your ex is claiming isn't true.  Also, you said your ex has already had his visits limited due to his choices, so you must have a decent judge, and you must already look like the much more stable and appropriate parent.  Criminal proceedings are not necessary for your ex's visits to be cut off entirely forever.  A substantiantion of child sexual abuse (at least in my state) will do the same thing. 

 

My thoughts are really with you and your daughter....  I have a good feeling that you are going to be able to protect her and that the system is going to work in your favor.   Much of what you have mentioned really bodes well for your ex being cut off, one way or another. 

post #12 of 114

Oh my God. So many prayers and hugs to you.

post #13 of 114

mama who is your support system?

 

who is there to be emotionally present with you and give you some strength to go on.

 

who is there to listen?

 

this is the stop press moment in your life. you have to regroup and get your army ready. you have to go wherever you can to find your strength. you need it now than ever before. it is the scariest moment of your life. and you have to stay strong. you cant for a minute let go. obviously your ex doesnt want to be labeled a child molester and have his life ruined. so he is going to pull whatever he wants to fight that. THAT is a given. this is just the beginning. it will get worse.

 

but look how far you have already come. how very far. you have all the key agencies behind you. you HAVE TO, HAVE TO, HAVE TO appear strong and go thru with this. do whatevere it takes - spiritutally, family support, etc whatever it takes to help you find the peace within and get out of the what if's. believe me i know how hard that is... but i have found when in fear you cant see. fear makes you blind and you miss seeing other ways. other options.

 

look at how much you have in your favour. that you already do. you even have a lawyer to help you. you have so much documented already.

 

NOW is the time to gather your people resources to help you through this. your greatest help will be of course your children because you will have to take care of them - esp your baby and that will constantly ground you and take you out of that place of collapse. 

 

hug2.gifmama you WILL get thru this. no matter how long it takes and how much money you have to spend. 

post #14 of 114

 

Hugs! That all must be so difficult.

 

I don't have much to add over what has already been said but...

 

As for his (and his lawyer's) "parental alienation syndrome" allegations, take a deep breath. Your ex might have just shot himself in the foot, figuratively speaking, when it comes to court.

 

Read this: http://forum.freeadvice.com/child-custody-visitation-37/parental-alienation-syndrome-pas-information-521212.html

Then, print that out and take it to your attorney to help him fight those allegations.

post #15 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDCGuest01 View Post

So I called around today and found an attorney who will work with me. It's going to cost and I'll have to go without for awhile, but I guess I have to do what I have to do :(

the other side filed papers today of course calling my mental status into question, first time ever. They say it's "parent alienation syndrome". OMG. They also say I let her watch adult tv shows, which explains the nightmares. Of course I know they are going to try and turn it around, it just hurts to have my mental health questioned. They want me to have a psych evaluation and some other stuff that would take 2-4 hours??? I am a nursing mom and it would be so hard to be away from either child for that long. Of course the court can order it...

So the attorney I found will take $500 now and charge $75 an hour. I said I would give him $1000 out of my tax return and then I could pay $200 a month starting March. Of course I could do a lot of the leg work....we'll see I guess. Best I could find. I called 48 family law attorneys and he is the.only.one. who offered help.

What I want to know is, why is CPS not doing more? Why am I being questioned? Will the court allow this?

They say to give the GAL and court a better idea of what is going on...the GAL already interviewed me and said I was a good mom :/ I know they are pulling sticks, but come on :(



During my custody battle we had to have a "forensic" evaluation - is that what this is referring to?  If not, then you should ask for a forensic eval rather than just one for you.  The way it worked for us was, the court appointed a psychiatrist and we each saw him individually and with ds (just me, then a meeting with me and ds, and ex met with him alone, and then with ds).  Then the forensic evaluator wrote his recommendation to the court.  If I'd had a nursling, I'm sure I could have taken them with me - the person we got was very professional, but I'm sure wouldn't have cared about that.

 

IF you are ordered to do that, remember a few things - the court appointed psych is NOT your therapist.  They are NOT there to treat you for any anxiety - leave out emotion as much as possible.  It would be completely appropriate to get very very upset about the nature of the abuse, and to express that you are scared, upset, worried, etc.  DO NOT treat it like a session with your therapist.  Also, be honest.  Don't play things up, but also don't down-play them.  You are a wonderful parent, but not a perfect one - no one is a perfect parent, its not a problem, but if you act like one in the meeting they won't believe you.  (my ex did that and it hurt him in the eval)

 

Ok, theres my practical advice.  Good luck, I hope things work out!!!!

post #16 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ione View Post

 

Hugs! That all must be so difficult.

 

I don't have much to add over what has already been said but...

 

As for his (and his lawyer's) "parental alienation syndrome" allegations, take a deep breath. Your ex might have just shot himself in the foot, figuratively speaking, when it comes to court.

 

Read this: http://forum.freeadvice.com/child-custody-visitation-37/parental-alienation-syndrome-pas-information-521212.html

Then, print that out and take it to your attorney to help him fight those allegations.


PAS has been given weight in the past, and I would not use this site for information.  There are other sources of information on PAS - this does not look like a good one.

post #17 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post


PAS has been given weight in the past, and I would not use this site for information.  There are other sources of information on PAS - this does not look like a good one.



Yes, it has been given weight in the past. And, yes, that site is not the only source of information on PAS, nor perhaps even the best. HOWEVER, the information in that post is a good starting place for a lawyer wanting to fight accusations of PAS.

post #18 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ione View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post


PAS has been given weight in the past, and I would not use this site for information.  There are other sources of information on PAS - this does not look like a good one.



Yes, it has been given weight in the past. And, yes, that site is not the only source of information on PAS, nor perhaps even the best. HOWEVER, the information in that post is a good starting place for a lawyer wanting to fight accusations of PAS.


I disagree - making accusations that the person who "invented" it was crazy and commit suicide, and was supportive of pedophilia is going to be viewed by a court as making wild accusations to justify your behavior.  OP, there were a few other threads recently regarding PAS - I would look at those and see what information is provided in those threads.

post #19 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

I disagree - making accusations that the person who "invented" it was crazy and commit suicide, and was supportive of pedophilia is going to be viewed by a court as making wild accusations to justify your behavior.  OP, there were a few other threads recently regarding PAS - I would look at those and see what information is provided in those threads.


Making wild accusations in court won't help, of course. However, case law or court guidelines rejecting it could very well help. So would expert witnesses refuting it as a theory. And, if properly presented by a rational lawyer in court, exact quotes from Gardner could weaken the credibility of PAS, too.

 

But, if you don't like that information, try this article: http://harfordmedlegal.typepad.com/forensics_talk/child-sexual-abuse-parent.html

Or this one (which discusses the states that have rejected PAS): http://expertpages.com/news/parental_alienation_syndrome2.htm

 

The point isn't and wasn't for the OP to print off that page and use it directly as it is written in court. The point is and was that her ex's accusations of PAS are not automatically going to make it impossible for her to protect her child and to provide her and more importantly her lawyer with a jumping-off point for figuring out how to counter those accusations.

post #20 of 114
Thread Starter 

I meet with the attorney I am going to hire today. I shared some websites with him and I am sure he knows about this stuff too. I almost feel like the GAL is turning against me now.

I am so numb. I am so scared.

 

I have my mom and dad, but my mom is so critical  and acts as though my daughter is lying. I have a few friends. My daughter's therapist is AWESOME.

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