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Can an exparte be granted if the children witness domestic violence with their father and stepmother?

Rialto, CA |

My children have witnessed quite a few times acts of violence when they are with their father during visitation. They have seen and heard and the father has told them that their stepmother has abused him. The last incident was a few weeks ago, she punched him in the face and neck area. He packed up and took the kids to his parents. He admitted it to the children and his family what has been going on for years. He says he is moving to his parents and he left the kids stay with his parents during his visitation because he knows it is unsafe for them. His wife has also committed abuse to my son, we went to custody mediation and he promised nothing else would happen. He said his wife has changed. Things were okay for a while but now they seem much worse.

He told the kids he doesn't want them to be traumatized if she ends up killing him in front of them. He says they are going to get counseling and live apart for a while but still asks the kids to go visit her. They do not want to be around her anymore so he takes them to his parents and drops them off and goes home to her and their son. When I try to talk to him about the situation he gets defensive and tells me its my fault. He bashes me to my children. I really don't know what to do.

Attorney Answers 2

  1. Best answer

    Since you've known about the abuse for weeks have you reported it to anyone? Has your son made any statements to doctors or teachers about the abuse? Have you taken your son to a counselor (with his father's permission)?
    You must seek ex parte relief to prevent the father from allowing the step-mother to be near the children. Since the court will not have any jurisdiction to make orders against step-mother they will have to use the father to "control" who the children spend time with.
    Any delay on your part may be viewed by the Department of Children and Family Services as neglectful in allowing your children to be victims of Domestic Violence.

  2. While the laws in California are much different than North Carolina, it appears that you should seek Ex Parte relief immediately. As their mother, you can file on behalf of your minor children. Make sure you consult with an experienced, local attorney with extensive experience in Domestic Violence and Family Law.

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