The backstory: When I met my partner 3 years ago, he had just gotten full time custody of his three kids. CPS had removed them from her care, because she allowed them to spend large amounts of their time with her parents, who are toxic drunks. Her dad molested her as a child, and finally her little brother (16) tried to get her dd, then 7, to touch his genitals. She was awarded supervised visitation on the recommendation of the GAL, and if she would complete therapy and parenting classes, she could go back to court and try to get unsupervised. She never did. DP was the designated supervisor, and in 21/2 years, she came maybe five times. In the meantime she had another baby with a guy who was jailed for multiple incidents of violence.
Six months ago, her other dd was removed by CPS because she was living with her parents, with baby. She finally started going to the parenting classes, and got a free apartment through CPS. She is transitioning into getting her younger dd back.
My dp is letting her have the kids, unsupervised, at her apartment. He reasoned that since she was doing what the court had required, and since CPS saw fit to let her have her daughter, that it was ok to send his kids over there for visits. He doesn't want her to go to court and be officially awarded visitation, because he wants to be able to stop the visitation if anything fishy happens. He said it would be every other weekend.
This sounds like a good strategy, except:
1. She has this boyfriend who is about like baby's daddy. He is not supposed to have any contact with the child. When dp went to drop the kids one friday, he was there, drunk. Dp refused to drop the kids, but then brought them right back when she called and said he had left.
2. Bad judgement is bad judgement, and she is still exhibiting it. It's not like she did a 180 and now "gets it". Her apartment is constantly full of people, basically whoever else is around the complex with no life. I don't trust her at all to filter the people who come over, and I'm afraid someone is going to harm the kids, especially since they could have access at night.
3. Every other weekend has never happened. She has had the kids every weekend for the last two months. Ok, not all the kids, because the younger two don't want to be there very often. Yesterday my dp gave her a car, then let two of the kids spend the night on a school night, so she could bring them to school in the morning. This is after insisting that he would not let them go over there during the week. I don't see any boundary setting here, and it worries me. Dsd really wants to go live with her mom, and I'm pretty sure at this point that she will be doing just that when school's out in a few days.
4. Dp insists that her only crime is her parents. Oh wait, and her boyfriend. Without them around, everything is hunky dory and she's a great mom. But this doesn't make sense to me. What kind of mom lives 20 minutes away and doesn't come to see her kids for three years? And when I've been around her, she acts like they're pesky kids belonging to someone else. She just doesn't act bonded to them, if ykwim. She is a terrible role model, because all she does is smoke, eat, and watch tv (which she also doesn't filter for the kids). Her sons don't even want to spend the night there, most of the time, what does that tell you?
5. She always has some kind of drama going on in her life, which she is happy to share in detail with dsd. Her (ex's) mother plays nasty games with ex and her brother, trying to pit them against one another. Currently the mother is on the brother's side, so dsd gets to be a part of things like not getting invited to family functions because she's on her mom's "side". I also heard dsd talking the other day about how her mom told her that her violent ex boyfriend found out where she lives. This is not a good environment for a ten year old.
6. Dsd is ten and very heavy. She is quite active, but we are working on getting her to a couple of regular sports activities that she enjoys, and improving everyone's diet. Ex is almost a poster child for how bad health habits can wreak havoc on a person's body. I don't want all of our efforts to go down the drain because she's spending a significant amount of time with her mom.
It's Dsd that loves her mom to the ends of the earth, and wants to live with her. She's the one I've spent the last three years nursing through the grief of abandonment. She has truly been traumatized by this experience, and in that way it's good for her to be around her mom. But what will happen to her if she's over there all the time, and then her mom flakes out again?
I've explained all of these points to dp, and he sort of says he agrees with me, but his actions say he doesn't. It's not that I don't want the kids to visit their mom, I just want to stick with an every other weekend schedule, and I want him to put his foot down about her boyfriend. That if the boyfriend is there when he comes with the kids, or shows up while they're there, she can't have them until the next scheduled visit. I think this lack of boundaries could come back to bite us all in the butt in so many ways, and it's scaring me.