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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    4

    Default Custodial Parent Drinks and is Abusive Toward Children

    My question involves child abuse or neglect in the State of: New York

    This situation has become a big problem for me and I'm trying to figure out how to resolve it. Bit of a long story, but I will keep it as short as I can. My ex has residential custody of our two children who are now 19 and 13. I realize the 19 year old doesn't figure into the equation much anymore, but for the last two plus years we have had a lot of problems, mostly tied to my daughter (the 19 year old), but now also my son on occasion. When my ex drinks she is a nasty drunk. Difficult to deal with when sober, impossible when she's had a few glasses of wine which is pretty much every night. Has on several occasions threatened to commit suicide. Told my son when he was 11 "I'll probably be dead before you get up tomorrow morning". He was so upset he called his sister at work in tears. Told my daughter one night she will just sit in garage with the door closed and the car running. Argues constantly with my daughter and if she's annoyed at her will prepare dinner for my son and herself, but not daughter. Hates me for reasons I truly don't know and bashes me at every single opportunity. Tells them I don't pay her when the truth is I've never missed a single child support or maintenance payment (when I was still paying maintenance) to the tune of about $500K over 13 years.

    She complains to everyone about my daughter who is a terrific girl. Works hard, goes to college and studies hard to be a radiologist, but her mother constantly complains she doesn't do enough around the house. Kids are kids and maybe she can do more, but her mother is never nice about what she says and how she says it, bashes her on Facebook and to patrons where she works to the point that the owner doesn't want her there any more. She took the insurance off my daughter's car while she was out driving it. Took the plates off it while they were on vacation with me, sent her pictures of the plates and said "the car is mine now. Figure out how to buy yourself a new one." Always harsh and nasty. She told my son "Your father beat your sister when she was young and left her with bruises, that's why she hates him". Nothing could be further from the truth. Notwithstanding my ex's efforts to drive me and the kids apart she has pushed us together. I have an amazing relationship with them. They trust me completely and don't trust their mother. My son is in Tae Kwon do and was going to his belt graduation ceremony and my ex texted not to come as they weren't going, saying he wasn't ready. The next day she texted me "By the way....we went to the graduation last night". She lied to make me miss it. The kids hear their mother on the phone complaining to people mostly about my daughter which is so demoralizing to both of them. My daughter and her mother argued over the coffee mug my daughter left in the sink telling her "You'll have to get your own cabinet for these, I don't have room". That's ridiculous because it's a big kitchen. My daughter said "Fine I'll move out and get my own place" and her mother responded "You can't because then I'll lose the child support". My daughter told me the story and said "Mom didn't say Don't go because I love you and I'll miss you, she doesn't want me to go because she won't get money. All I am is a pay check to her." It broke my heart.

    This week my daughter and ex argued and they actually put their hands on each other. My daughter says it was in self defense because her mother came at her. No injuries, but my ex threw her out of the house. My daughter called me hysterical crying saying "Mom threw me out"! While the argument did got out of hand, but daughter tried to leave the room and her mother blocked her and finally grabbed her to make her sit down. If she had let her leave and allowed things to cool, none of this would have happened.

    I'm barely scratching the surface and sorry if my story is a bit disjointed. I'm trying to convey that the atmosphere in that hose is constantly at a high stress level. The kids are afraid of which mother they will find when they get home.

    Here's the problem: I live 50 miles away in my mother's house because I can't afford to pay child support and get my own place. I visit for dinner every week and every other weekend I get my son as my daughter works. I have made the trip over 2400 times over the last 13 years to spend time with them and take every opportunity, sometimes 2-3 time in the same week. I'm heavily in debt because we battled for 3 1/2 years over custody as she wanted sole custody and I would agree to nothing less than joint. I ended up over $100K in debt and could afford nothing. Meanwhile, when she cried to me that she didn't have money to pay the electric bill, I gave her $200 unsolicited to help out. The next day she left on vacation with the kids and came back with a brand new $30K car. I felt like a fool, but the kids knew I tried to help. I have their respect and that's all I care about.

    The question: How do I file for custody of my son without spending $20K+ on legal and other expenses? Most of my evidence of her behavior concerns my daughter and to a much lesser extent my son. Those children are in a toxic environment and I need to get them out. Any advise is welcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
    1,386

    Default Re: Custodial Parentex-Wife Drinks, Abusive Toward Children

    Well, your daughter is 19. There is no real legal remedy that will alter this situation. Not really. Eventually she will have to shift for herself. Your daughter can leave whenever she chooses.

    Unless it's specifically stated in you CS order that you have to continue paying child support past 18 you can petition to have her removed from the order.

    If she and her mom are scrapping, physically, then she really should get out. This can have serious legal ramifications. Since she is no longer a child she may face some legal troubles.

    You will likely have to get an attorney to help you sort all of this out but it sounds like much of this is between your daughter and her mother. If there are similar issues that revolve around the 13 yo then how can you not get involved? I understand the debt issue but to leave things as they are raises many ethical issues. You can, of course, try to handle this pro se (by yourself) but it sounds like your ex has resources that you may not be aware of.

    Children can grow up in nasty environments and come out the other side. It happens all the time. You may be forced to simply provide that limited refuge for your son and have your adult daughter come to you.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Custodial Parentex-Wife Drinks, Abusive Toward Children

    Thank you very much for your reply. It's along the lines of what I mostly knew, except for the possible legal ramifications of the "scrapping". As far as the child support, yes I pay until they graduate college or max of 22 years old, whichever occurs first. I do want to try to get my daughter out of the house, but coming to live with me, while fine with me, is a problem as there really isn't any room. What I would do is use the child support that I no longer would pay for her and put that toward an apartment we would get together. If I had enough money I would have moved up there years ago as there is nothing more I want that to be close to my children. I also think things would be better in general if I was that much closer.

    My concern regarding my son is if she starts treating him line she has my daughter. My ex was diagnosed years ago as being bipolar and while she says that was a misdiagnosis, I think it's correct. If I have to go down the road of attempting to represent myself I'll do it or if necessary I'll take funds out of my 401K and pay those costs. I just can't leave them with her as I'm very concerned for their well being.

    Thanks for the input.

    One thing I was wondering that maybe you can shed light on is can I use her behavior toward me daughter to establish a pattern of behavior that is destructive and detrimental toward my son? By the way, the first time she threatened suicide was New Year's Eve 2016 and she sent the message to my daughter who flipped and ran home calling the police on the way. Notwithstanding that she had been alone and drinking heavily, the police found it to be a credible suicide threat and had to take her to the hospital for evaluation. Since the children were both minors at the time, per protocol the hospital had to advise Child Protective Services. They investigated and had initially found her negligent, but then after further evaluation found there was no basis for that determination and the case was closed. She is clearly unstable...the problem is proving it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,431

    Default Re: Custodial Parentex-Wife Drinks, Abusive Toward Children

    my daughter and ex argued and they actually put their hands on each other. My daughter says it was in self defense because her mother came at her. No injuries, but my ex threw her out of the house. My daughter called me hysterical crying saying "Mom threw me out"! While the argument did got out of hand, but daughter tried to leave the room and her mother blocked her and finally grabbed her to make her sit down. If she had let her leave and allowed things to cool, none of this would have happened.
    And if your daughter had sat down instead of insisting on leaving the room none of this would have happened either. My point is, there are two sides to every story, particularly when speaking about parents and teenagers.

    CPS has already been involved and ultimately decided against any action against her.


    Mark forgot that child support in NY goes to age 21 so forgive him about the bad advice there, it was not intentional.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Custodial Parentex-Wife Drinks, Abusive Toward Children

    Thank you for the additional input and I had no issue at all regarding the child support requirements in NY, that was fine. I don't expect everyone to know everything, just a little guidance. I understand what you're saying, the problem was that my ex was trying to involve my daughter in issues that are between me and her mother here once again her mother would blame and badmouth me. The kids have been listening to this litany for years and apparently she wanted no part of it. Yes, she could sit and let her mother drone on and ultimately ignore it. I just think my daughter is stressed out to her absolute limit and doesn't want to deal with it anymore. I'm trying to figure out how to put together enough money to get a small place up there and she could just move in with me. Just creates a new set of problems, particularly with my commute which will become very long, but I'll do it to make sure the kids are safe. Touch situation all around.

    Thank you. I appreciate the input.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Custodial Parentex-Wife Drinks, Abusive Toward Children

    There are other options for your DD to get out of the house if she has graduated from HS which I believe is the case at this time.

    1. college where she would have to live on campus at a distance too far to commute home for the weekends

    2. military where she could be trained for a potential career and to get money for college

    3. community service organization which would place her at a distance with residential support

    Think outside the box with potential long term opportunities.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3,038

    Default Re: Custodial Parentex-Wife Drinks, Abusive Toward Children

    Quote Quoting OKisNotOK
    View Post
    There are other options for your DD to get out of the house if she has graduated from HS which I believe is the case at this time.

    1. college where she would have to live on campus at a distance too far to commute home for the weekends

    2. military where she could be trained for a potential career and to get money for college

    3. community service organization which would place her at a distance with residential support

    Think outside the box with potential long term opportunities.
    Your daughter could get a job. She could rent a room or an apartment with roommates. She could continue with college. It is not easy. But countless kids do it and earn their degrees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Custodial Parentex-Wife Drinks, Abusive Toward Children

    Thank you for all the input and suggestions. My daughter does have a job and makes decent enough money to probably get out on her own while she attends college, but I wouldn't want her to do it alone. A tiny, pretty young girl alone sounds like a recipe for trouble, but if she can find a roommate that's a potential solution.

    I'll continue to be there for her whenever she needs me and if can figure out a way to put together the money to move up there myself I'll do it in a heartbeat! This way my son will also have a place to go when he needs to.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Custodial Parentex-Wife Drinks, Abusive Toward Children

    I totally understand not wanting a young woman to be out on her own in today's unsafe world.

    Many colleges have residences on campus. One option if she is an upperclassman is to work in the residence hall as a student employee of the university. She should visit the job placement center on campus to see what options are available for the next school year.

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