My son is 8-years old...
My son is 8-years old. His father and I were never married and I am the primary, legal custodian. Last summer, my son reported to his therapist and myself that his father threatened to kill him and mom. This was after his stepmother was investigated for hitting my son. We were able to obtain a temporary protection order for most of the summer because his father failed to show up for the hearings because he went on vacation rather than appear in court. Finally after returning from a month long trip, we made it to court and the judge dismissed the temporary order
because "the threat was heresay from the child'. The temporary visitation
of every other week, Wednesday through Monday after school was reinstated. Since then his stepmother hit him on the face...the ER and two social workers reported this as physical abuse
. Nothing has been done so far. His attorney has managed to keep him out of court because he does not pay the temporary child maintenance (just half medical, school expenses, extracurricular acivities) and there is still no child support
set. At this time, he has 13+ contempt charges in child support court and my son has continued to report abuse from the stepmother and emotional/mental abuse from his father. Because I took out the PO on behalf of my son, his father has sued me for sole custody
stating I am unfit. I took a parental assessment and psychological exam (father and stepmother are supposed to as well) and my son took a psychological exam...his therapist and the exam showed my son is not lying and there is evidence of physical and emotional trauma. My son was ordered an ad litem, who is showing extreme bias toward the father. The father took me to court to make me allow my son to skip 6 days of school for a ski trip. The ad litem told the judge the trip would be good for my son and she had spoken with my son's teacher who gave permission to go until I "confronted" the teacher and now the teacher would not return her calls. I had a meeting with my son's teacher and she said it was against their attendance policy and TN truancy laws and she never gave permission. My son has already missed 12 days due to a broken arm that required surgery and a week due to a bronchial infection. The judge ruled in my favor and was extremely ticked off that this was actually brought into court in the first place and this would be in no way in the best interest of the child
. My son had visitation starting the afternoon of the hearing until the father left Saturday for the ski trip. Before this went to court, the ad litem called me to say she thought the trip would be good for my son and I was being "a vindicative bitch" because the father is not paying child support. At the exchange on Saturday, the father was visibly angry and my son was in tears when he got in the car. He reported to his therapist that his dad "came in to the den where I was playing Wii and was really mad and said I'm going to kill you". My son is also keepng a journal and his therapist got my son's permission to show me what he wrote and what he said. His therapist believes his father is capable of physical harm (the ad litem actually wrote my attorney that he had agreed to anger management classes if my son went on the ski trip). My attorney wrote the ad litem a letter with a copy of my son's journal page (the same page that the father found my son writing and ripped it up - my son had to re-create what had been written to the best of his ability) which showed the threat to kill him and about being physically hit by the stepmother...my attorney wrote that the threat should be taken seriously, reported and investgated. The letter was faxed to the ad litem on the 23rd and it is the 29th today. The ad litem never contacted my son, myself, the two therapists involved. My son is terrified because his father is supposed to return today and my son is supposed to go to his father's for visitation Wednesday. I have contacted my attorney with multiple recording's and papers begging for something to be done before Wednesday. Can anything be done to protect my son? Are we at the mercy of an ad litem that is obviously biased? The ad litem has not reported the threat and has the proof that the father has hacked into my son's phone - it is password XXXXX - we have phone company proof that the phone has been used while my son was in school or extremely late at night to numbers my son has never called. What can I do to protect my son? My attorney has told me she cannot tell me to go against a court order for visitation...so, does this mean I can't protect him and he will have to go because the ad litem is not doing her job? Please, I just want answers about how the law will protect my son and me. What can I do? I'm scared for him and for me.
Desparate mom in TN