If you don't have independent corroboration of the d.v. event, then the issue will ultimately be whether the children report the events to their assigned attorney. If they do not & there were no police reports of the incident - and the mother denies the incident - then it may go nowhere. That said, I highly encourage you to schedule a follow-up consultation with a Dutchess/Westchester Co. Domestic Violence attorney.
* If you found my answer to be helpful, or the "best answer," please feel free to mark it accordingly.
You have a tough one. By now, everyone who has a family knows the magic that happens when domestic violence is alleged. Child support disappears as kids are flipped around and around between parents. The parent with the more "linear" allegations wins. "Linear" means those that come close to the statute but don't go overboard. I guess you are asking how to most closely make your allegations as to domestic violence (as suffered by minors) so that they match the language of the law so as to score a direct hit in court.
The answer to that depends upon several factors. One of these is the court. You may need a well experienced lawyer to guide your allegations to the bench in such a way that the judge takes notice and issues orders. Without an attorney it will be difficult. You'll have to allege that the children are afraid but are threatened to remain silent about their fear. The judge may not buy that. Another factor is how good a conveyor of information you are. If you hesitate or flinch, you'll be less believable than a parent who can stare one in the eye and articulately convey the story. Another factor may be how fast you are on your feet to turn an accident into a credible sounding allegation of domestic violence.
You'll then have to turn to the wishes of the children which at their ages probably will carry the weight of the case. However, kids can be unpredictable and if they are aligned with the kissing cousin, then you'll make the situation worse by being not at all credible.
It's a tough road ahead with domestic violence. Everyone is using it to a high art and one parent's allegation will trump another's if the story flows evenly and steadily. If the allegation raises eyebrows and wrinkles the cheeks just enough, then it will pass. Otherwise, it will not. Parents are being taught very well the ins and outs of crafting domestic violence allegations and if you are out of the loop, you'll go nowhere.
If the children are afraid they or you can call CPS concerning the allegation of violence. You should not call unless you know that the kids are finally ready to tell someone about the violence. The finding may be enough to either change custody or keep it with her conditioned upon no contact between the boyfriend and the children or the household.Consult an attorney in Dutchess or Orange County for particularized advice.
If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.
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