This is to help get legal representation.
Wallace’s biological father abused us physically and mentally on a daily basis. Wallace would be hit, kicked, choked, scratched, hair pulled, flicked, whipped with belts, bitten, shoved, smacked, yelled at and threatened, etc… I gathered evidence and the abuse was recorded in the findings of facts stating a substantial history of domestic battery.
My ex was allowed supervised visit in-which he continued to be aggressive. I was advised to move away to alleviate Wallace and my PTSD.
I began the process of moving with a child out of state. My ex continued to break the rules of supervised visits. Wallace would come home sad and complaining of abuse. Sometimes my ex's mother would take Wallace alone. During one of those visits Wallace came home with no ---- on. ( I'm going to block some words and accounts.) When we asked Wallace why he had no ---- he said his grandma had taken them and got noticeably uncomfortable about the situation.
I went to CPS with this information, as well as my ex's verbal abuse towards Wallace during drop-offs such as: Threatening to get rid of Wallace's pets and toys, yelling to Wallace that I'm a bad mom, even telling Wallace he would be tased by a cop if he didn't go with. I also told that visitations were with people other than the ones approved. After asking our CPS worker what would she do in this situation as a parent, she replied she would not send him on the visits. She recommended we move.
The lawyers decided to try to mediate my move. Wallace’s GAL told us she knew that my ex was not rehabilitated, that he’s a completely irrational person. After two days of intense mediation my Lawyer and the GAL told us to hurry and sign the agreement, to not mess up our chance to move. We were told that once we got to SC we could work on changing the agreement. My ex's attorney walked back and forth in front of our door, peeking in, looking annoyed, asking if we had signed. I was balling, scared, and felt cornered. I needed to do what was right for Wallace. I signed an agreement so we could get to safety.Wallace started therapy in SC. After the therapist got to know Wallace, reviewed the finding of facts, my ex's criminal record (which includes a felony for nearly beating someone to death, and multiple arrest for domestic battery), and our entire case she found that the placement we had agreed to would be highly detrimental and disruptive to Wallace moving forward and progressing in a positive direction. In the following weeks Wallace disclosed ---- abuse that took place during his visits with my ex and his mother. Wallace’s therapist said Wallace shall absolutely not go on any visits with my ex or have any phone calls because of the physical, mental, and --- harm it would cause Wallace.
We took Wallace to a forensic interview. He was asked if anyone had---- and Wallace said “Maybe. My Grandma.” It didn’t meet the level in which they would take further action. It didn't mean it didn’t happen, but because it had happened months before they couldn’t gather physical evidence.
I had filled for modification of placement in March by myself because I could no longer afford an attorney. During the multiple court dates our Judge was verbally noting that he didn’t appreciate my ex's temper in court. In April our Judge spent the court time giving examples of what I could do to help with my filing of motions and a possible way to get legal help. The next court date was set for early June. Our Judge stated that due to me being pregnant he understood if court dates would need to be changed, he also stated that my ex not have contact with me at that time. My Ob/Gyn wrote a letter to the courthouse asking for a court date change because of the stress the situation causes me. I filed for a continuance that was granted.
On 6/12Wallace became a big brother, Clarey means the world to him. My father-in-law drove from WI to SC to be with us during this time. I brought Clarey home on June 13th and received a phone call from my brother telling me that my ex had approached him in a crowded setting and yelled that he wished I would die and then attempted to fight my brother. Three days latter, on my due date, my ex showed up at my home in SC which is against court order. Wallace ran to his closet and was shaking with fear. He was crying while begging me not to let my ex take him. The hormones of just giving birth and the situation at hand was overwhelming.
My husband called The sheriffs office and they promised my ex wouldn't be allowed back at our home, but the next day he was back. At that point my husband sent us from SC to WI to be with family for safety and in the county that has jurisdiction.
I went to the Courthouse and spent the day filing for a restraining order. I found out Our Judge had removed himself from the case because he was no longer a non-biased party. We had been reassigned to another judge. I wrote a letter to our new judge about the situation.Back in SC we were living in fear. I was not granted the restraining order in Polk County because I asked to appear telephonically too late.
A court date in August was set and my father-in-law took out some of his retirement funds to get me an attorney. That court hearing was in front of a court commissioner and newly appointed Guardian ad Litem. At the start of the hearing Wallace’s GAL came into the court room and said he had not even opened the file, that he had read non of it. The commissioner decided to proceed.During court I had two therapists testify that know Wallace greatly, one that was my ex's, Wallace’s, and my longterm therapist. They both stated Wallace Should not have contact with my ex. In our mediated agreement it states that Wallace will attend therapy and we are to follow the therapists recommendations.
My brother testified that my ex had said he wanted me to die. My ex also stated under oath that he had NEVER abused Wallace or myself physically or mentally, yet the abuse is in the findings of facts and he has been arrested several times because of it.At the end of court I was not found in contempt for not sending Wallace for visitations, but they also didn’t change the placement. The Court commissioner granted my ex a four hour visit that night to be spent at my parents house strictly supervised and not to allow the child to be near the paternal grandmother. My ex immediately broke what the commissioner had granted him. He took Wallace away from my parents house and did not have a supervisor. He brought him to his apartment in Saint Croix Falls WI where he allowed a visit with the paternal grandmother, then returned him alone and late.
I called Wallace’s appointed Guardian ad Litem and didn't receive a call back. I tried calling him a couple more times. His secretary took a message and told me he would call back within a few days. Again I did not receive a return call. This concerns me greatly. He is supposed to lookout for Wallace’s best interest.
A month later my ex once again saw my brother and started screaming and trying to fight. Again my ex yelled he wished I was dead.
1/26 is the next court date. Recently I received a motion from my ex's attorney trying to get full custody of Wallace. I couldn’t imagine what that would do to Wallace to be ordered to live with a feared and abusive parent, having to leave the one parent to whom he is securely attached, and the baby sister he adores.
My intentions are not to keep Wallace from his father,but rather to make sure when there are visits Wallace is safe physically and mentally.
Wallace is thriving in his new environment. He's an amazing big brother, in wrestling, boy scouts, a book club, art club, attends Sunday School, and has many friends. Wallace is progressing through First Grade wonderfully and has a great support system of teachers and faculty.
- Shari Hagen
- John Field
- Susan Caputo
- Louise Bavier
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