How can I protect my children from an alcoholic father?

Asked over 5 years ago - Weehawken, NJ

Last Thursday my ex husband who was insanely drunk, told my son (12) to get down on his knees and told him that now that he is turning into a teenager, if he parties, he will rip his head off. He then grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and pulled it together and choked him for a few seconds and he couldn't breathe. My daughter (10) was next to him and didn't realize what was going on until she heard that my son could not breathe! I went ot the police to make a report, they said that since there are no marks, it's my son's word against my ex's. It doesn't make sense to me because if someone knows how to not leave a mark, they are allowed to abuse? Unreal!!! Well from a legal standpoint, I would like to know how I can stop him from abusing my son. Please help!

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Carl G. Archer


    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . Please understand that the people on this forum can only provide you with information, and that if you really feel that you have a legal issue it's best that you see an attorney licensed in your state.

    Your first step is to figure out exactly what it is that you want. Do you want custody? Do you want some sort of restraints against your husband? Feel free to think about and brainstorm your ideas. Next, find yourself a lawyer and talk the issues through with that person. They should be able to narrow your ideas and focus them into some sort of plan of action. From there, the lawyer will be able to file whatever motions are necessary to address your situation. Your best option here is through the Court and not to do something on your own- you can get into a lot more trouble that way.

  2. Amanda L. Best

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Archer that you should consider all the possible options and ramifications, and it is generally best to consult with an attorney.

    Generally, if a parent is concerned about the other parent's treatment of a child, they may file a motion with the court to change custody and parenting time based on the other parent's treatment of the child. The court may order the other parent to seek treatment or counseling, give the other parent supervised parenting time, or may do nothing at all depending on the facts and circumstances.

    DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that this is general information for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. It is strongly advised that you contact a local attorney to obtain legal advice specific to your case.

  3. Marianne Rebel Brown

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . You should contact the local domestic violence program. The phone numbers for the Hudson Couty program are (908) 788-4044 or 1-888-988-4033. It sound like you may be able to get a restraining order against your husband. You need to discuss your specific circumstances with a family law attorney with a background in domestic violence.

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