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Author Topic: What would you do?  (Read 2386 times)

Confuccius

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What would you do?
« on: May 25, 2007, 07:13:40 AM »
Rethorical question:

Scenario: Shared physical custody, on a week-to-week basis.
The child hates the arrangement, and has told one of the parents (A) so for the last 3 years, and wants to come live full-time with this parent A.
The child has told the other parent (B) only once. The response was: "If I hear you repeat that one more time, I'll kick your a$$ like never before."
In addition, the child reports frequent verbal and mental abuse by parent B, and infrequent physical abuse. Never any marks though, so nothing to report.

Note: Parent B believes that children in GA are allowed to choose at age 12, which in reality is the case in only few custody disputes.

Now the child is 11 (almost 12), and - during one of the following transfers from parent B to A - wants to tell parent B that he wants to live with parent A full time.
The child however is very scared about having to return to parent B a week later.

What would you do?

- Call for an emergency hearing? I don't believe there are enough grounds for that.

- Call the guardian, either before or after telling parent B? Guardian is not a favorable person, but has the duty to protect the child, and has failed to do so in the past.

- Do nothing, and hope parent B won't hurt the child, after having a week to "cool off"?

- Have parent A call parent B the next day, get a feel for the mood, and see how parent B wants to handle this?

Any other suggestions?
What would you do?


mistoffolees

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RE: What would you do?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2007, 07:19:45 AM »
Another option is for the child to tell a counselor at school about the verbal and physical abuse. The counselor is required to report it, but it would leave Parent A off the hook.

Confuccius

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RE: What would you do?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2007, 07:25:01 AM »
Thank you for your quick response.

This option was discussed with the child. However, same fear: after the counselor reports it, the child still has to go home to parent B.

In addition, school's out for summer vacation, so that option has passed.

But you're right, this would have been a better option. Unfortunately, the child was not ready to do this until that option passed.

CFC

mistoffolees

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RE: What would you do?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2007, 09:07:42 AM »
If the child ever gets over her fear, there are others who are also required to report abuse. It doesn't have to be a school counselor.

In the short run (until you can realistically expect the court to change custody - which is probably a few years away), you should also encourage her to call you any time she feels threatened. If you hear abusive behavior on the phone, you would be in a position to take action.

Along the same lines, I would make sure she has a cell phone she can safely use. Get hear one of those pay-as-you-go cell phones if you don't want your phone number to appear on the account statement of her personal phone (if she has one).

Good luck.

Kitty C.

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I agree, and............
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2007, 11:10:18 AM »
If, during that 'phone call', you hear anything in the background or your child says she's feeling threatened, you can call the local law enforcement and ask that a welfare check be made.  They will then go to the residence, speak with any adult there, speak to the child, and determine if the situation warrants removing the child or contacting DHS/CPS.  If the child tells the responding officer that they feel threatened, there might be a greater possibility that the child might be removed.

If or when that happens, that would be the time to file for an emergency hearing.  But if the child doesn't even feel comfortable telling someone in a trusted position what's going on in the home, then it's highly unlikely that any of this particular scenario could happen.  One other thing to think about, tho.  The time to 'tell someone' would be on the heals of the visitation of the parent the child is wanting to leave, that way they wouldn't be required to go directly back to that environment immediately and risk repercussions and there would be a week's time to start an investigation and take some action.

Just remember that ALL of this is highly hypothetical.........
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


wysiwyg

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RE: I agree, and............
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2007, 08:46:16 AM »
my SS is currently going thru this as well and we are also in same boat.  however he came up with this himself.  We bought him and MP3 player and it has a voice recorder on it.  He took the mps player out of the case and carries it in his pocket so when his BM gets crazed and comes after him to hit him again he is ready to record the situation for furure reference.  

Just a thought.

link16

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RE: What would you do?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2007, 11:21:34 PM »
Have you been documenting everything over years?  Has Parent (B) been consistent in exercising his/her share of the possession agreement?

You said that the child reports frequent verbal and mental abuse; To who? Is your definition of mental abuse consistent with the laws in your state?

Define "physical abuse".  If your definition is consistent with the legal definition, then you need to take action NOW (i.e. yesterday).  You can not sit back and wait for months/years to pass and expect it to be a valid argument in the courtroom.  In fact, it would probably work against you.  The reasoning? If you, being a concerned parent, knew that abuse was taking place then why didn't you intervene immediately?  Why are you bringing it up months/years later? Now YOU are the one that looks bad.

I would check with the laws in your state to determine the legality of recording conversations.  If both Parent (A) and Parent (B) are in Georgia, then all that is required is one party notification and so I would start recording EVERY conversation that you have with Parent (B).  Afterwards create transcripts of the conversation and the archive the source recording.  [Be smart and use a digital recorder so that you can save the files onto disk.]

If your child is really serious about what he/she feels is abuse, it may be prudent to have him/her do some recording as well.  

-Jeff

Confuccius

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It's not that black-and-white
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2007, 06:25:04 AM »
Jeff,

Throwing and pushing a child to the ground and then kick the child is physical abuse in every state. However, as long as there are no marks on the child, there is nothing I can do.
IF I report that, DEFACS will go to the parent B's house to investigate, parent B will put up the show of being the perfect parent, and the charges will be determined to be unfounded. I know how DEFACS works (or doesn't), as my new spouse worked closely together with DEFACS in another county.
After that, I will have lost all credibility.

Frequently yelling at the child, regularly calling him an a$$hole etc. qualifies as verbal abuse.

Continuously attempting to coach him into going to school in her district, comming to live with her, and not allowing him to disagree with her constitutes mental abuse. (my spouse is a counselor and knows).

If parent B would find the revorder, this parent would take it away, destroy it, and punish the child for it.

The GAL is, I expect, not going to be much help either. She believes in the status quo no matter what.

CFC

MixedBag

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Teach the child to dial 911
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2007, 06:47:37 AM »
if the child is ever really afraid, dial 911.

And in mediation class, I was taught age 14 just over a year ago when their new laws were passed.

But I have a friend where jurisdiction is GA and she says that even under the new law, 14 is not true.

Haven't done the research to know what the truth is because I know she knows her stuff as well as any attorney.

Confuccius

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RE: Teach the child to dial 911
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2007, 10:15:13 AM »
In GA, even though the law says 14, it is totally up to the discretion of the judge - as are most things. Some judges use 14, some 16, some 12.

Dailing 911 is useless.
By the time the police shows up, parent B will put up a magnificant show of how wonderful of a family they have, and the call was a mistake, or the child was just a little upset over nothing.
By then the child will also have been coerced to confirm parent B's story, by threat of severe corporal punishment.

The only way the child is willing to report the abuse to anybody, is with the assurance to receive full and complete protection from parent B, which will not happen.

As usual, nothing will change until something bad happens.

 

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