My step-son is 3 yrs. old and recently
his mother filed for temporary full custody because she claims my
husband and I are abusing and neglecting him. Which is the furthest
thing from the truth. She claims since my husband has been released from
prison that our 3 yr. old is now hitting himself and other children.
That he has told her we pinch him on the back of the neck and flick his
fingers. She also claims he throws major tantrums when told he is coming
over to our home. That it breaks her heart to have to peel him off of
Sure for the first few times that he came over he cried and didn't
want her to leave, but that was almost a year ago, since then he is so
excited to see both me and his father. He runs up to the car or into the
house and practically knocks me over when greeting me. Tells us he
missed us and seems to have no problem staying with us. And it's the
same when it is time for him to go back to his mother's, he is happy to
do so. If we were harming him the way his mother claims, why then would
he be so ecstatic to see us and the rest of our family? Her answer to
this was he is my son, I'm his mother and I would know.
There was no
problem until it came time for court regarding child support due to her
own dependence on the state for assistance. She is on welfare and cash
aide and because it is my husband's son as well and he is working they
want someone to pay back the debt. Even though we support him fully with
the 50% custody we had. So we were told that the only option for us not
to have to pay would be to convince her to get off aide or file and try
to get 100% custody. As soon as my husband informed his son's mother
that he was not going to pay for her debt and was going to file for the
100% custody she became very hostile and didn't want to agree on
anything when it came to the care of our son. And now she has all of a
sudden seen changes in her son that have forced her to file abuse and
neglect charges on us and for us to lose custody until we go back to
court. If she thought that he was being harmed a long time ago wouldn't
any sane parent automatically do something the minute they thought
something was wrong? Now all of a sudden court is coming and now claim
something is happening.
We haven't seen our son since the day we went to
court for the child support hearing, where she claimed she had him for
more of the time, so another court date was set for mediation to
determine each of our time with him. That day she called after court
demanding that we meet her right away because she wanted to take him
shopping even though we hadn't had him 2 days. My husband told her she
would have to wait until we were done and she got an even worse attitude
because she had to wait a few hours. When she came and picked him up,
my husband said that he wanted him for as much as she has him and that
to be fair she needed to arrange dropping him off in 2 days. She became
really mad and was holding our son in her arms and began disagreeing
with my husband and belittling him right there in front of our 3 yr.
old. Since then it has been well over 3 weeks since we have seen him. We
have tried numerous times to contact her each day with no response
except one and she made up a bunch of excuses to why we couldn't have
him and she said she would call back and never did.
We filed papers at
the police station of violation of custody agreement and have not heard
anything from that and because in the custody agreement it says that it
is to be arranged between the two parties to work out days and times,
nothing is set the police can't do anything. So myself and sister-in law
went to our son's mother's house to find out why she is breaking the
arrangement and why she is keeping him from us. I was very respectful
and asked if we could talk, but she automatically started saying we were
abusing him and I denied it and was trying to explain the ways he is
disciplined at our home, but she didn't want to listen and we told her
she was violating the agreement and she claimed that she was granted
temporary full custody. Which we replied we had been served no papers,
she then said she would serve my husband the next day and shut the door
in our face. A few hours later my husband called to say he had been
served papers at work. Isn't that illegal for her to have been granted
temp. custody and have not served the papers when she was supposed to?
Apparently she had gotten these more than a week before and obviously
had no intention of giving us these documents until I confronted her. My
husband and I are concerned that she may now be coaching our son into
saying things that are not true for when it comes time for court. We
won't be able to see him until who knows when and his brother is going
to be born hopefully sometime tomorrow and now he has to miss out
because his mother is using him as a pond in her sick game. He knows he
has a brother on the way and constantly loved seeing my growing belly
and talking to it. He was at the baby shower and helped me get their
room ready for the coming baby. We are so upset by this and just really
need some guidance on what we can do to see him again. We already have
family members and friends who are willing to be character witnesses and
as well as my husband's bosses and parole officers. If we get all of
these people to write statements about us and our life as a family, do
you think that it will help prove our innocence in court? Our son's
mother has also been found to lie in court as to benefit herself, so
what else could we do to stop her from continuing this because this is
only harming our son and it is definitely not benefiting him to be with
her. She also has a problem with our son calling me mom. She claims we
force him to and that he is getting us confused. We have never made him
call me mom and I and my husband refer to me as Tessa when talking about
myself. We have explain that I am his step-mother since I married his
Daddy. We show him the pictures and he says I wanna go. We tell him wee
wish he could have been there. His mother didn't want him to go because
we got married out of state and it has to be agreed upon by both parties
when the child leaves the county. So he also missed that life changing
event. She is trying to keep the control completely to herself and not
letting us all parent together.
Do you think that she is jealous or
threatened by me playing such an important role in his life? How can I
deal with that? I thought that I had been as respectful as possible to
her and her as his biological mother, but I still feel like she hates
the idea of me. I never have butted in and asked her to give her son
proper hygiene, that is a big problem we have with her. Our son comes
over stinking of body odor and dirt caked under his long and broken
finger nails. His teeth are rotting away and she has never given him a
hair cut, only we have. The only thing I have done is ask my husband to
say something to her. It is just common courtesy to us and our son for
him to be clean and properly cared for. My husband often finds himself
afraid to say anything for fear that she will try and take our son away,
and now she has, over her own fear of losing her only source of income.
We have an appointment with a lawyer soon and really appreciate any
advice you have eon our situation.
My advice to you is to step aside and let these two parents work this out. STAY out of the line of fire.Either
side can request an assessment of the child to determine what is
happening with him and neither side should be afraid to do so of an
independent counselor who is qualified and trained to work with
In the meantime my concern is for the child because as
long as the posting and and as much information about who has done what
it seems the adults are more focused on each other than on what is best
for the child.
REALITY CHECK #1. You have no control over the
mother's behavior. I have not advice that is going to make her behave
like you want her to.
REALITY CHECK #2. Getting in the middle of
this war is only going to keep you from enjoying your relationship with
your step-son. Spend time with him when you can an focus totally on him
and building memories. You can become a stable figure to him while his
parents are fighting this out. You can provide unconditional love and
acceptance for him.
REALITY CHECK #3. No one really knows what
is best for another person, so let go of the need to be right about this
situation. My grandmother (a very wise woman) use to tell me you can be
right or you can be happy, you can't be both. Being right means others
are wrong and people do not enjoy being told they are wrong. It only
creates more conflict.
M Kay Keller
Mary Kay's Life Coaching
All human relationships present challenges. How we navigate these challenges makes us happy!
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