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Father of 14 month old concerned about child abuse, but gets no help from authorities or the court

Your Question:
I am the non-custodial parent of a 14month old baby. I have visitation every other weekend and 1 day a week. In the past 8 weeks, my child has had bruises on him. He has had a large bump on his head, a black eye...4days later a bruise on top of the black eye, scratches on his face, bruise in the center of his back etc. His mother is a known drug user and had had 4 children by 4 different men, she lsot custody of one of them after the father filed a protection from abuse order against her and the courts say well that was 9 years ago and my argument is there is a history here. There is no stablility at all in their lives, he has stayed at 4 diffentent places in the past 8months due to the unstable relationship she is in now. Her current boyfriend broke 2 car windows in while the baby was in the back seat, only she took him out of the car before the police got there. The police department in the county she lives in have been called out to the home numerous times for domestic disputes The courts have been no help at all. I live in Pennsylvania and when I contacted Children and Youth they seemed to be concerned at first and they contacted the mother who said I was the one the baby needed to be protected from and they pretty much told me that I should not use their office in a custody battle. I promise you that is not my intent, I am very concerned about the welfare of my son. I am filing a protection from abuse order on Monday, I have pictures of all the bruises and have everything documented but it does not seem to be enough for the courts to intercede. They just keep believing the mother when I have all the proof. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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My Answer:

Sorry for what you're going through. With a competent approach, you should be able to make a change in your situation, if everything you outline is true and if your own home is not equal or worse. As you acknowledge, your approach to date has failed you.

First, get the book "Win Your Child Custody War" by Hardwick, which will help you with strategies on how to build your case. There's a link to it on Amazon via my Resources page.

Second, you're going to need a good attorney. If you've been representing yourself in court, you're not successful in doing it. If you have an attorney, that attorney apparently sucks, if what you outline is true. Start asking around to locate a good family law attorney.

Here's what you need to read again, in your own words, "They just keep believing the mother when I have all the proof." If you keep doing the same thing the same way, you'll keep failing.

Learn about the family law process, build your case, and then file your custody modification. This is the winning formula, and you should be able to see some results within 6 months if you do everything right.

Educate yourself, never give up, and you'll likely effect a positive change for your child. Good luck.


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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