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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    137

    Default Abusive Partner Threats and Child

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: FL/ AL


    I am posting this trying to find answers for a friend. She is in an abusive relationship. She claims she is finally done cant take it anymore etc. This relationship has always been this way and she is done goes back, and the cycle continues. Quick background she was with him left him when she was about 4 months pregnant. Moved in with us we took her and her other children in (not his). We got her on her feet and moved away from here. She broke down a while after and he went where she was. They got back together (still not married) and moved to AL. While there she had the baby and then he was arrested for domestic violence and put on probation. She got BACK with him after. Then a few months later (Aug of this year) he gets her to marry him. They were not married when baby was born, baby was 9 mos old when they married (she says it was forced pretty much). Then they have more problems and move back to FL last month. They are living with his mother. He has kicked her and her other children out then let them back. He is telling her she cant leave with the baby, she is unfit he will take the baby from her blah blah the normal DV stuff. She called me hubby wont let her come back after last time. We put alot of time money into helping her just for her to go back again and again. Anyway I told her he cant and the law wont stop her for leaving with the baby. To go on Monday and get a DV order. My question is what is the fathers legal rights to the child? I know as unmarried the father has no rights till they petition the court. As married when the child is born the father has as much right as the mother does. If the father were to take off with the baby today. Does the fact that they are married now, regardless of not being married at birth. Give him the same legal rights as he is on the BC?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    403

    Default Re: Abusive Partner Threats and Child

    Why isn't she leaving with the baby again?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Abusive Partner Threats and Child

    Yes, if she's married to him and he's the father on the birth certificate, he has equal legal rights to the child. She needs to be working with a local domestic violence advocate to get paperwork filed for divorce, custody, and restraining orders as may be appropriate. Otherwise, she can expect that dad will use the child as a tool to continue to control her.

    He is telling her she cant leave with the baby, she is unfit he will take the baby from her blah blah the normal DV stuff.
    Remind her that HE doesn't get to decide these things. A JUDGE does. Without there being court orders to the contrary, she can pick that child up and leave right now. Dad can then ATTEMPT to file for custody and ask the court to order the child to be returned - which is why SHE needs to do the filing and get a court order in her favor BEFORE dad can do this.

    If he's been kicking her out WITH the child, that alone will tell the court that he considers perfectly fit to care for the child, no matter what he wants to claim later. If mom has been the child's primary care giver, the court will need SUBSTANTIAL reason to change that, not just dad's opinion.

    She needs to be aware that if there have been repeat instances of domestic violence, and she chooses to stay with or return to the abusive relationship, she risks child protective services getting involved and taking the child away from BOTH of them. The courts understand that ultimately adults are going to associate with whoever they want to, regardless of court orders - but the state won't knowingly stand by while mom returns the child to such an environment. The pattern of leaving and returning in abusive relationships is a common one - especially where there have been a lot of control issues where she may have difficulty in many areas, from securing housing, to getting and keeping a job in the midst of abuser antics, to money or credit problems - in short, LOTS of reasons why even women strongly determined to leave may end up returning. And of course "love". In order for leaving to be successful for the long term, these and other challenges need to be met, else returns will continue to happen - and each time it gives the abuser the ability to say "I told you that you couldn't survive without me". Nails in the coffin yanno.

    Get her in touch with her local DV program.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Abusive Partner Threats and Child

    Quote Quoting shortie
    View Post
    Why isn't she leaving with the baby again?
    Guess he wont let her and threatens to call the law on her. Saying it would be kidnapping etc. She only called me for a few yesterday and will probably call me at another chance.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Quoting aardvarc
    View Post
    Yes, if she's married to him and he's the father on the birth certificate, he has equal legal rights to the child. She needs to be working with a local domestic violence advocate to get paperwork filed for divorce, custody, and restraining orders as may be appropriate. Otherwise, she can expect that dad will use the child as a tool to continue to control her.



    Remind her that HE doesn't get to decide these things. A JUDGE does. Without there being court orders to the contrary, she can pick that child up and leave right now. Dad can then ATTEMPT to file for custody and ask the court to order the child to be returned - which is why SHE needs to do the filing and get a court order in her favor BEFORE dad can do this.

    If he's been kicking her out WITH the child, that alone will tell the court that he considers perfectly fit to care for the child, no matter what he wants to claim later. If mom has been the child's primary care giver, the court will need SUBSTANTIAL reason to change that, not just dad's opinion.

    She needs to be aware that if there have been repeat instances of domestic violence, and she chooses to stay with or return to the abusive relationship, she risks child protective services getting involved and taking the child away from BOTH of them. The courts understand that ultimately adults are going to associate with whoever they want to, regardless of court orders - but the state won't knowingly stand by while mom returns the child to such an environment. The pattern of leaving and returning in abusive relationships is a common one - especially where there have been a lot of control issues where she may have difficulty in many areas, from securing housing, to getting and keeping a job in the midst of abuser antics, to money or credit problems - in short, LOTS of reasons why even women strongly determined to leave may end up returning. And of course "love". In order for leaving to be successful for the long term, these and other challenges need to be met, else returns will continue to happen - and each time it gives the abuser the ability to say "I told you that you couldn't survive without me". Nails in the coffin yanno.

    Get her in touch with her local DV program.

    I never thought about the CPS getting involved tho I should have. He kicks her out with her other children but not the one they have in common. I told her she can go where ever she wanted with the child it wasnt considered kidnapping. I was unsure as to his legal role, esp with them not getting married until the child was 8 months old.

    I told her the name and was going to google the number for the local DV place but she was in a hurry on the phone and didnt want to write the number down or have me text it to her. She was afraid he would find it. Hope she gets with them. I can only help as much as I am. We have already opened our house and check books to help her once. We moved her hours away and she went back. I would help more again as I understand the cycle. Hubby on the other hand, not in agreement.

    Thanks I will let her know whenever she calls again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Abusive Partner Threats and Child

    Please give her the following phone numbers:

    To find advice, a shelter and counseling: Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence 1-800-500-1119 Of course, she needs to get out ASAP but it has to be planned to reduce danger.

    Also, suggest she collect and bring with her any evidence she has of abuse--emails, letters, photos, voicemails, texts, medical records. The more, the better. Anything she leaves behind may be destroyed.

    LEGAL:

    Legal Resource Center on Interstate Custody 1-800-556-4053 This is a free service just for interstate custody issues for families in domestic violence situations. I can't say enough good about them. If she has been moving between states it could effect which state has jurisdiction, which sadly could change the outcome of the custody.

    Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection & Custody 800-527-3223 A program of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Ask for a package to be sent to a safe address. Its full of really important legal information for anyone involved or about to be involved in custody issues with an abuser.

    Once he can't abuse with his hands, he will begin with the legal system. She needs to be ready for that.

    If she's really ready to leave forever, she can file a protective order. Once she does that, she can't go back to him or risk having the children removed by CPS for unsafe environment. Its a double edged sword but can help a dedicated mother to stay away from the abuser she still loves. I wish you both the best.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: Abusive Partner Threats and Child

    [QUOTE=horseyjess;667277]Guess he wont let her and threatens to call the law on her. Saying it would be kidnapping etc. She only called me for a few yesterday and will probably call me at another chance.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The above is completely untrue. She has equal legal rights to the child and is free to leave WITH the child. Have her call the phone numbers listed in the previous post.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Abusive Partner Threats and Child

    Quote Quoting RyanP
    View Post
    Please give her the following phone numbers:

    To find advice, a shelter and counseling: Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence 1-800-500-1119 Of course, she needs to get out ASAP but it has to be planned to reduce danger.

    Also, suggest she collect and bring with her any evidence she has of abuse--emails, letters, photos, voicemails, texts, medical records. The more, the better. Anything she leaves behind may be destroyed.

    LEGAL:

    Legal Resource Center on Interstate Custody 1-800-556-4053 This is a free service just for interstate custody issues for families in domestic violence situations. I can't say enough good about them. If she has been moving between states it could effect which state has jurisdiction, which sadly could change the outcome of the custody.

    Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection & Custody 800-527-3223 A program of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Ask for a package to be sent to a safe address. Its full of really important legal information for anyone involved or about to be involved in custody issues with an abuser.

    Once he can't abuse with his hands, he will begin with the legal system. She needs to be ready for that.

    If she's really ready to leave forever, she can file a protective order. Once she does that, she can't go back to him or risk having the children removed by CPS for unsafe environment. Its a double edged sword but can help a dedicated mother to stay away from the abuser she still loves. I wish you both the best.
    Thanks for the numbers she hasnt called me back yet :/. Will just wait I know when he leaves her alone she will.

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