How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35312
Experience:  Attorney with 16 years experience
19958803
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I want to know how old my grandchild has to be in order for

Customer Question

I want to know how old my grandchild has to be in order for him to tell a judge that he would rather live with me other than his mother and the man she married after my grandchild was about 10 years old, and has told him that this step father was his dad. Which we all know that he is not my grandchilds biological father but he has always been told that so that is all he knows. This step father is not a nice man he is hateful and is mentally abusive to my grandchild. She has now had a boy who is 3 with this man and a little girl that is 2 with him . I have seen him jerk the little bitty girl up by one arm and spank her in the air by one arm and it has been witnessed by other family members. He has spanked her before so hard that her little back bows in and has fallen. I have seen him hit her in a spanking motion an hit her on her lower back. I promise I don't know how her little arm has stayed in the socket of her shoulder at times. And the little boy I have seen him do the same things to but he is not nearly as bad on him as he is showed more as the favorite or favoritism from him and the mom. Now I know that he has punished my grandchild by keeping him away from me to just torched me because he can. I know he has beat this oldest child with a belt cause I was told so. Now I don't know what to do. I know that God let's me continue to live daily cause my grandchildren need me. The mother used to take up for the oldest which is now 11 last January 2015. What do I do? What can I do? When I do make my move on this I know it has to be a sure thing in my favor for my grandchildren sake. Cause it will surely be very bad for them if it's not and he will surely keep them from me for spite then. I know the oldest is unhappy and he is very, very smart cause he doesn't tell me everything cause he knows I will say something and I know I can't cause it just makes it harder on him and the 2 little ones.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
.
Have you or anyone else filed any type of complaints with child protective services when you witness this type of physical abuse?
.
If not, why not?
.
Have the police ever been called due to him abusing the children?
.
If not, is there some reason why not?
.
.
thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I can not take a chance of them knowing that I have ask any advise especially legal, for fear of my grandchildren. You know I don't live in the same house so I can't protect them and their well being 24-7.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Sir are you there?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, if he is abusing the children, then law enforcement or child protective services need to be notified. You can report him anonymously and the child protective agency can send an investigator over to talk to the children and potentially take them into protective custody if they see signs of abuse. They can then take steps from making the parents comply with a parenting plan up to removing the children from the home and placing them with a relative if the situation warrants it.
.
But to answer your question directly, a child can't choose who they live with until they turn 18, but in any type of placement proceeding a judge will listen to a child's preferences typically once they reach the age of 10. The child's preferences are not determinative, but the judge can take them into consideration.
.
You can file an anonymous complaint by contacting the OK Child Welfare Services Abuse and Neglect hotline at 1-***-***-**** and get them to investigate.
.
.
thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is going to know that if investigating party's show up he will know that it's me or worse he will think it is the oldest one. I can not take that chance until I know for a fact I have them with me and can not be mentally abused or more. Now I'm so scared that I'm setting here crying thinking I shouldn't have asked. I don't know what to do now. I'm frightened and for sure frightened for them. And she (the mother) has always been on the man exspecially where the oldest one is concerned. But now it's like she has just gave him full rein of the oldest. And he is a wonderful child. He makes straight A's on the Principles Honor Roll, Superintendent Honor Roll. Very good at all sports he is in he always gives 150% without a doubt and he has a beautiful spirit.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Well, honestly only you can make the decision as to whether or not to take formal action. But without doing so, you don't have any legal leverage to potentially have the children come to live with you. You don't have the legal authority to simply take custody of them without any formal legal action to back up your claims..
.
I know it is a very difficult decision to make, so you have to do what you think is best for the children...
.
.
thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know the oldest one all he has to do is look at that man and I have seen it before, the look that man gives him will make the child say he is good to him and he is happy. I know. And then what will happen? I'm just so scared, and scared for them. Yes it is a very hard decision to make not knowing the turn out or the possible repercussion of it all.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
If a CPS complaint was filed, they don't talk to the children in the presence of the parents and they are trained to pick up on little cues that can give away a child who is scared of telling the truth. They may also request a doctor's examination to see if there are bruises or other marks that would indicate abuse has occurred. If he is physically abusing the children, there will be evidence, even if he hasn't done so recently.
.
The investigators are specially trained to deal with children and they don't harshly interrogate them or try to get them to repeat back allegations. They just try to build a friendly rapport with the children and try to get them to open up about what is going on in the home.
.
But yes, sometimes they do get it wrong, but even the fear that CPS is watching can sometimes get the adult to change their ways for fear of prosecution for child abuse.
.
.
thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about mental abuse?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
That is another ground that they can pursue, but to be honest, it is much harder to prove than physical abuse and normally requires a lot more investigation with the investigator making a recommendation to the court that the children see a psychologist to determine if they are suffering from mental abuse in addition to any physical abuse. If the children open up to the psychologist, then that can factor into any court order for the parents to complete parenting classes or anger management classes.
.
.
thanks
Barrister

Related Family Law Questions