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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.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer
Posted

IF YOU DO NOT DO SOMETHING NOW YOUR CHILDREN MAY BECOME PART OF THE JUVENILE COURT SYSTEM!
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.

Asker

Posted

Yes, I filed a report with CPS in both counties. I also went this morning and filed an ex-parte, but I wasn't aware that I had to notify him within 24 hours. The judge denied it only because I hadn't notified him. They did schedule a court date in March. My question is, what type of evidence can I tell the Judge if it all has been told to me by my children? His family will never testify on my behalf because they don't want to lose their son.

Asker

Posted

As for the question about my son, he did talk to the school counselor and an investigation was done but they closed it because there weren't any marks on his chest from where she placed the hot water. Thank you so much for your answer. It makes me feel more confident in knowing what I am doing is right.

Asker

Posted

Do you know of any pro bono lawyers that can assist me? I am doing my best for my children and he hasn't helped support his children in almost 8 months.

Steven Gary Hittelman

Steven Gary Hittelman

Posted

Contact the Public Law Center, or the Legal Aid Society

Posted

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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