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Author Topic: Help me---I am going to mediation and am torn!  (Read 10683 times)


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Help me---I am going to mediation and am torn!
« on: May 10, 2006, 05:09:17 PM »
I want to start out by saying that I have custody of my 7 year old daughter and have had it since 2003 from a Texas court.  She lives at my residence with me, my wife and kids.  I share joint custody with her maternal grandmother. The grandmother has EOW and holidy visitation and is in charge of supervising the relationship that my daughter has with her mother.  The mother has various felonies and can no be left alone with children unsupervised.  The courts allowed the GP's to supervise the relationship with the understanding that mom was not to be living there.  As you can already tell, mom is living there.  I am taking the grandmother back to court and the judge has sent us to mediation with a current TRO in place.  I know this will not work because we have been there and done this before.  

I am seeking full custody for the protection of my daughter.  While she has been visiting with her grandmother, it has been brought to my attnetion through school personel and child protective services that my daughter is being sexually abused by her cousin at their residence, being told by her grandmother not to tell her "secrets" or she will never see her mother again, and the gmother allowing the child to be left alone with her mother unsupervised.  The child is under the age of ten and Texas Law states that there is nothing that they can do legally to this child.  CPS just offers to have a saftey plan where the kids can not be left alone unsupervised and then strongly urge me to take the matter to court and have the order changed to no overnight stays and supervision for all partied involved.  Granmother has emotionally abused this child stated by her forensic psychologist, therapist, teachers, and others who have been in contact with the child.  We have all these people coming to help us and testify for us.  I am torn about what to ask for.  I know in my heart that these people should never be allowed bakci nto her life unsupervised, but at the same time I do not want this change to negatively affect my daughter by her felling guilty for telling what has happenend to her and now everything has to change.  

I want to have some opinions on: do you think the GP's can do damage to this child if they were allowed to take the child for 4-6 hours two days a month unsupervised for visition with brief time also allowed for holidays?  We are definately only allowing time with mom unsupervised by an ouside source but what do we do with grandmother and not look unreasonable with the judge or effect my daughter and make her fill like she is being punished for coming forward and telling the truth.  I am so confused ,angry, and upset.  Angry that this is happening to my daughter, angry that the GP and mother can not just do what the court order says, and angry that they have manipulated the situation with my daughter to make her eventually fill like she did something wrong.  Please help!  

Sorry if I have mistyped words or even spelt them wrong, I am so mad right now I could spit nails, if it was possible!  

Desperate AggieDad


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RE: Help me---I am going to mediation and am torn!
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2006, 06:12:59 PM »
What does her therapist suggest? I would tend to follow their lead. If grandma had all the info and did nothing about it then she is just as guilty in my opinion and should also be supervised. Good luck!


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RE: Help me---I am going to mediation and am torn!
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2006, 07:09:45 PM »
Therpist is still kinda taking everything in.  She has ordererd a psychological evaluation done on the child.  The problem is, is that we will have to go to mediation before we can have time to have this done.  Everyone off the records say grandma is guilty and should not see the child at all, but then they say well but she is the child's grandmother and their is a bond established.  Our laywer has asked us to come uo with a plan tha twecan live with to take to mediation nad that is what I am trying to do.  Any suggestions on what you would do?  


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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2006, 05:36:49 AM »
First I would inform the mediator in a caucus session (that means YOU and the mediator alone) about the "family secret" the child is being asked to keep.  

By telling her in caucus, you're laying it out on the table, AND the mediator is bound by confidentiality ethics to not share this fact with Grandma.

Don't know about your state, BUT if there is domestic violence involved you may not HAVE to mediate by law.

Your baby will be safer this way.

Then let the mediator know that you are willing to press full court as a result of this subject.

About the time, I think that a good middle position is to allow the time HOWEVER, don't allow any of Mom's family members to supervise the time.

Find some alternative supervisors -- like does your Department of Human Resources offer supervised sessions? (Ours has a room set aside for this).

Or does United Way or some other non-profit organization offer supervised sessions?

Or can you "hire" a babysitter for these sessions of your choice and then they pay the babysitter by reimbursing you?

Think outside the box.....and these alternatives don't cut off time with the Mom and the child -- BUT they will keep her safe.


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Don't get me started on Grandmas
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2006, 07:46:33 AM »
I too have a 7 year old who was raped by his older brother (age 15 now).

The grandparents refused to "accept" that SS did such a horrible thing until they heard it from his lips in court as he pled guilty. Still, they are more concerned with SS than with DS1 and DS2 (the 7 yo) who were SS's victims. I have cut ties with Gma (my MIL) as I cannot trust her. My husband takes the kids to his parents, but they are supervised by him the whole time and they do not spend the night any more.

DS1 and DS1 no longer see SS.  That should be your first request: A no contact order for cousin.

If the cousin lives with G'ma, then the restriction on cousin seeing DD is non-negotiable. G'ma also will need to be supervised at this point. Do not back down. The supervisor is not doing her job with BM and the child was hurt while in her care... now g'ma is protecting the child who is doing this to YOUR child. There is something very wrong in that house.

If I were the judge on this case, I would be saying why are you waffling about this? You honestly believe the child, so you need to act accordingly.

Socrateaser has said time and time again that the one absolute defense to contempt is that you are defending against emminent harm to your child by controlling access to the child.

You need to find a reputable firm that does supervision of visitation. It will cost money for this to happen, but since it is unliekly that BM is paying support, she can pay for her time  and you will make the child available as can be arranged.

Take a hard line stance. This grandmother has affirmitively acted against the child's best interests and it is harming the child. You have grounds for a modification.

I would ask for a waiver of mediation on the grounds that there was abuse and G'ma failed to act... instead covering it up.... did not try to get the child any counseling, anything to help her... Inflexibility will be better in your case. If you do not, the judge will think you do not believe the abuse happened.
A true soldier fights, not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves whats behind him...dear parents, please remember not to continue to fight because you hate your ex, but because you love your children.


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RE: Don't get me started on Grandmas
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2006, 10:02:58 AM »
I want to thank you for giving me such GREAT advice.  I had the same thoughts as you do in my mind, but I wanted to make sure that I was letting my head make the decision and not my emotions.  I have talked with my attorney and have expressed to her about your thoughts on mediation.  Because she is new to this town, she is going to talk with her Senior advisor (who is also our attonry who happens to be handeling a major CPS case right now and ectrmemly busy) about this decision.  I think that i am going to allow mom only supervised visitation at a Supervision center in the town where the child resides and take the maternal GP's out of the picture at this point.  Mom really has done nothing wrong at this point,  Grandma has broken the court order and abused her right as an adult to intimidate my child.  Would you agree with this decision?


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RE: Don't get me started on Grandmas
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2006, 11:00:48 PM »
First of all let me say that I feel your pain.  My situation wasn't exactly the same but similiar.  I hope the abuse was proven and that justice was done for your daughter.

What happened to the cousin?  

Someone should also be asking the question where did the cousin learn this from?  My guess is someone has abused this person.  Maybe GM or BM.

Did DSS do an invesitgation, if so was abuse ever substantiated?  

What is the history with BM and DD?

Have you thought about no contact?

Did you file for contempt on GM?

Did the therapist report this to DSS and the police?  If not they SHOULD and by law they HAVE too.

Did your attorney fill for an emergency hearing?

Get to know your victims rights law.  I wish I would have known back then what I know now.

If there is an investigation going all then all visits should be stopped pending the investigation.  If this hasn't been done then someone other than you should report this to DSS and the police.  Consult your attorney about you also reporting this.  When you call DSS they will question your motives and will probably figure your lashing out.

GM should be removed from supervising because she is not looking out for the best interest of your daughter; she violated the court order which resulted in your DD to be sexually abused, emotional abuse, allowed her DD to move in (another court order violation).  The other thing that REALLY concerns me is GM telling DD not to tell.  That is so typical of someone that abuses a child.  I'm not saying the GM abused your DD sexually but it is very possible that GM has abused another child in this way and out of protecting herself she wants your DD to be quiet.  They try to scare them, give them many presents, guilt them, manipulate them etc.  What the @-!! is wrong with people.  She should be in jail for failing to protect your DD while in her care and knowing that this heinous act was taking place.  I hope the police are involved with this and she rots in ****.

Since the BM moved in with GM knowing that she wasn't allowed and visted with DD unsupervised, did BM violate the court order in some way?  It sounds to me that there has been a change in circumstances which should be grounds for a change in custody.

Your attorney should be well versed with respect to child abuse and custody. That is also really important.  It's a good idea to document everything of importance that occurs with GM and BM.  When you talk to anyone in the legal system (police, DSS etc) involved document that to; always include date, time, who you spoke with, conversation etc.  Sending yourself an email is a good way of getting the date and time stamp.  This has been very helpful to me.  It may not be submitted as evidence but it helps refresh your memory which will help in your testimony.

Your daughter will forever be affected by this abuse.  In my humble opinion you have every right to want to stop all visitation.  Your DD may not understand it now but she will when she is older and she will appreciate it.  You are doing the right thing by taking her to therapy and hopefully it is continued even after this is over.

During court your main focus should be in the best interest of your daughter, as sch says.

I understand how frustrating it is to go through this.  I've been coping with a situation for 2.6 years and as you can probably tell it disgust me that people are able to hurt children and get away with it.  

I hope I didn't duplicate to many questions or ask you something that has already been said.  Please keep us posted and remember you are protecting your most valued treasure.

PM if needed



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my opinion
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2006, 12:24:18 AM »

If you continue to allow the grandmonster unsupervised access to your daughter, grandmonster may influence your daughter enough that her earlier statements about the molestation will be recanted. You CANNOT let this happen.

Since you Know your chikd was molested while in grandmosters care you cannot allow your daughter to continue to be in her care. It's that simple.

Knowing what you know about how your child is supervised (actually not supervised) while in the care of her grandmonster, and continuing to allow this person to provide care for your child might leave the door open enough for child protective services to remove the child from your care also.

As far as mediation with grandmonster. I would explain to the mediater, if you must go that route, she will no longer be permitted to see the child unsupervised. The mother can excersize visits at a visitation center eow and grandmonster, after being evaluated may accompany her daughter possibly monthly. However, until and unless grandmonster admits to attempting to cover up the molestation and understands fully the ramifications of her actions she will not be permitted to see or speak with your child. ANd you will be seeking a restaining order baring her from contact.

I would hope if cps is involved, they have already advised you to stop all unsupervised visits until their investigation is completed. If they have not, I would contact the caseworker and ask how you should handle the visitation schedule.  

A good theripast will help our daughter understand that grandmonster was wrong for allowing this abuse and she was right to tell you what happened at grandmonsters house.

Good luck,
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My two cents
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2006, 07:45:43 AM »
You have to keep your daughter safe.  What treatment plan is in place for her to cope with the trauma of being sexually and emotionally assaulted?   A counselor will help her to see that she is not to blame for consequences having to be laid down and her protection to be put at the forefront.  Your poor child!

I would not allow the GP 4-6 hours alone with her - even if it is in the middle of the day.  Supervised by a third party (read: NON-family) - that would be okay.   Same with mom.

Do what you have to do to keep your little girl safe.  Don't give even a second of opportunity for more harm to be done to her psyche or physical being.

Get the secret out - it needs to be dealt with appropriately.

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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2006, 11:54:49 AM »
We have since filed a motion with the court for full cusody and supervised visitation for BM only with a TRO for all their family. The TRO is in place until we can get eveything worked out and they are allowed no contact with any one in my family (they started to harass my mom when they could no longer contact me so the judge extenended it to my family as well).  I have prayed very hard on this and kept all your advice in mind.

We have been ordered to mediation TOMORROW.  My attorney, wife and I agree, that we will not settle this time.  We are seeking full sole custody of my child, allowing BM one two hour visitation a week  at a supervision center of my choice at her expense and GM, GD, and their family are out of luck.

Now of course they are not going to  agree to this.  They said we have made the child say this by brain washing her and are trying to get full custody. But little do they know that the child has said over and over again to every adult that she has been interviewed by (DFPS, police, psychologist, teacher, counselor, principal, etc)  and talked to that all I have ever told her is to tell the truth no matter even if it hurts or someone else gets in trouble.  

I hope that eveything works out well.  With all the poeple we have on our side, I find it very hard to believe that something will not be done. but you never know.  

We have her in therapy at a local agency who also believes the abuse has occured.  My daughter is doing better in school now that she has told her secrets and we are working with her as a family to get everything better.  My wife and I are also getting help on how to help her.  She is missing her BM like crazy right now and is a little confused.  I am helping her to work through this the best that I can.  She got to get a new haircut last night (girly stuff) and she loved it.  So maybe we can provide her with stuff that will keep her mind busy until all the adults can get something worked out..

Thanks to eveyone for their great advice, support, and prayers.  They are greatly appreciated  I will post again after mediation tomorrow and let you know what happens.  Aggiedad  


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