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Placement of minor children


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#1 mommommom

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 10:13 PM

My ex and I recently divorced and he was granted placement of our three children "until such time as mother becomes established on her own" (as per the G.A.L.) I received a small settlement and 9 hours of visitation with my kids per week. It has been a difficult task to find a place to live, as I have not worked in over 12 years and therefore have no steady income.
Now, I also am extremely worried about the safety and emotional stability of my children. Their father, although he holds primary placement, dumps the kids off at his mothers' house so that I CAN'T see them except during my granted visitation times. Her name (his mother) however, was never mentioned in our settlement agreement.
Also, the G.A.L. never spoke to any of the children (ages 11, 9 and 7) and is currently not responding to any of my e-mails regarding my concerns for them.
Not only are the children miserable with her (grandma), but my youngest was dropped off for our 'visit' on Wednesday with a severe blistering sunburn. I took him to the ER and have since not allowed his father to take him out of the house. Those were the instructions given me by the ER doctors.
I was met with extreme rage and threats nearing violence, but there was no way I was going to let my baby be put back in harms way. Since then, both my ex and his mother have tried do downplay the situation, even going so far as to make jokes about it.
My daughter (the eldest) even asked me tonight "How old are you when you get depression?" She, more than her brothers, is seeing what is going on and I fear for her emotional well-being; especially given her tender age. She (my daughter) also has said they aren't eating well or being listened to, and if they try to stand up for themselves, they are ridiculed.
I have almost 200 texts between us on my phone from her complaining of her grandma's cruelty and her desire to come home (and my responses).
I feel helpless in our situation, the G.A.L. clearly is not doing his job, and I don't know where else to turn to help us out of this!
You can and you may, naturally assume that I am not perfect either, but I have never abused or neglected my kids.
I am desperate for advice.
Thank You for your time.

#2 Ted_from_Texas

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 03:44 AM

"Their father ... dumps the kids off at his mothers' house so that I CAN'T see them except during my granted visitation times."


There's technically nothing wrong with that. Whichever parent has possession can leave the children wherever they wish. You can do the same when the kids are with you. Any time your ex allows you to visit over and above your granted visitation time is at his discretion.

"Also, the G.A.L. never spoke to any of the children (ages 11, 9 and 7) and is currently not responding to any of my e-mails regarding my concerns for them."


It's not the GAL's job to referee your and our ex's issues regarding possession of the kids, but to make sure the kids' interests are protected in court. Whether the GAL is doing his or her job properly or not I can't say, but there's nothing in your message to indicate s/he isn't.

It's not clear from your message how leaving the kids with their grandmother is placing them in harm's way, one case of sunburn notwithstanding. However, if you have reason to believe the kids' health and or safety are at risk in the current situation, you are free to take the matter back to court for review. The kids' physician's report will be an important piece of evidence, and if you need more, you can contact Child Protective Services and voice your concerns to a caseworker. If anyone can get the matter before the court (assuming your concerns are valid) they can.

Meanwhile, you must abide by the terms in your divorce decree or be liable for sanctions for contempt of court. Consult local counsel.




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