What are some legal actions that can be taken to protect minor children from a parents boyfriends abuse, mental and physical?

Asked about 2 years ago - Norfolk, VA

I have 2 stepchildren that have either been mentally abuse and physically abused by their mothers boyfriend over the last several years. We had thought things has stopped when our new custody order went into effect but things were just hidden better. The 10 yearold has slipped in school and seems so agnry over simple task no matter who does the asking and the 8 year old has been having nightmares for about a month. WE have been trying since June 29th to have something done in regards to a situation that involved the 10 yearold and the boyfriend, and since the 10th of July for an incident that has happened with the 8 year old and the mothers boyfriend. Because of these incidents new information has come out to us as well as how the children feel. We are trying for a protective orders.

Additional information

Both kids say that their mom just either cries when the bf does something or she tells them that thye just need to listen to him. The kids have said they dont want to go back to their moms especially untill we can try for the protective orders. But we are worried because the CPS worker we had called because the police werent going to investigate said we probably wont get them. the boyfriend doesnt live at the house or have any kids with the mother. But we should file for full custody, the mother actually has primary now. But the kids especially the oldest says that he only wants to see his mom a few hours each week and doesnt want to have to go back to sleep there? she has faught with the neibours and wont allow them to play with their kids, she wont allow them to call their father.Their mom has been fired from her current job because she didnt follow company policy, and then threw a soda and a serving tray at her boss. to which she told the kids about

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Jon Kevin Wright

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . THis is a terrible situation to be, but right now, it would seem that you have done the best thing right now, as CPS is involved. You can certainly seek to amend custody based on what the children are telling you. One concern would be if CPS does not take action on the same evidence, it might be a pre-curser to what a judge would do with the same evidence.

    That said, I would almost always advocate that if you truly believe these children are being abused, you owe it to them to take whatever action might help them, even if it turns out to have been futile. For that reason, the one step that I can think of taking if CPS is not acting is to immediately contact a family law attorney and find out how to get an emergency motion to change custody on the docket as quickly as possible.

    In the end, you may have a hard time if CPS will not act, as whatever is preventing them from acting will likely hamper your ability to prevail with the court. But this issue is too important to make a decision based on the likely outcome. If you do not file, the children will certainly be left in that home, subjected to continued abuse. If you act and lose, that is on the courts and CPS and let them try to sleep at night. IF you act, even if it is likely that you will lose, it is still possible that you will prevail. That possibility, no matter how small, is worth it if it means stopping this child abuse.

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