Don't know where to go from here with my stepson

During the last 3 months, my stepson has started refusing to come to our house. He won't tell my husband why, but when his mother calls she says it's because he says he doesn't like me.

My husband and I have been married for three years. I have always treated my stepson like my two other kids. The ex tells my husband that he needs to spend time with his son and daughter (which is mine and my husband's) but to not bring me along.

I feel like the mother is making the son resent me because she is angry that her ex has moved on and started a family which does include my stepson. What can or should I do?

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Oct 04, 2009
Good Advice For Step Parents with Custody Issues
by: melinda

I am in the same situation. It began 3 years ago when my husband's ex-wife began to call his youngest son on his cell phone multiple times per day. She would take just the youngest for her weekend visits, not both children, telling us that he needed to spend one-on-one time with her because he was feeling left out.

This has now turned into her making accusations that have hurt my stepson and she has been able to get an emergency court order that prevents me from being around when he comes for visits. (Emergency orders are easy to get and they do not need the facts to allow for a safety measure to be put into place, they are meant to be temporary but can be drawn out for years as I found out.)

There is no documentation of child abuse and child protective services refuses to investigate and we have ended up in the middle of a child custody case.

We have proof of attempts to contact that therapist which was done in front of the GAL and our attorney. We had a full evaluation completed which cost over $3000.00 that states that there is no need for concern, that my stepson can return for visits.

There have been 4 therapists involved between myself, my husband and the other children and each feel that I have not harmed my stepson in any manner. Yet we still do not get our son for visits because my husband's ex continues to refuse and she also gets her son to make statements on the phone that he does not want to visit. Law enforcement can not remove a child unless it is in an order.

Get a therapist NOW, pay what you need to and make sure that they are willing to testify in court if need be. Many therapist are bound to confidentiality and are unwilling or unable due to agency policy to testify.

Get an emergency order that very clearly outlines that both parents and step parents are to participate in therapy sessions, that the child must participate also at the discretion of the therapist. Outline who and how the child will be transported to the sessions, when sessions are allowed and be very specific.

My husband's ex was able to avoid having his son in therapy for over a year because our order was not specific enough. Get an attorney on retainer. Keep a calendar of dates, phone calls and statements. Keep every email which is a good way to communicate with ex's because then you have a timeline and proof.

Beyond all of this, be supportive of each other. I wish I had this advice when all of my problems started. We attempted to just work things out ourselves thinking that it was best to keep things out of court but, wow, were we wrong.

Keep your love for your spouse strong and centered

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