I am beyond confused and my husband feels stymied. We both feel we should - need - to do something, but are unsure what to do or how to proceed. I'm hoping some one here might be able to give suggestions.
My husband's son is 12 yrs old, and has lived primarily with his mother. My husband's ex is a woman who has a volatile personality, who has a past history of physical and emotional abuse against a previous child. That is NOT the ramblings of a subsequent wife, but factual. My husband's ex is a woman who has little control of her temper, who engages in calling her children (she has 3 who she "acknowledges") names, and uses belts, hairbrushes, and plastic coat hangers to beat at least one of her children when angered. We know that she engages in calling my husband's son names when she is angered at him.
My husband's ex, when she was angered at my SS, kicked him out of her house, locked the door, and refused to allow him back in. He had some money on him, so he walked to a nearby convenience to buy himself something to drink. When his mother noticed he was no longer in the front yard, she phoned the police, who came to the home. My husband and I aren't sure what she told them, but when my SS came home, a police officer alledgedly talked to him about disrespecting his mother and not keeping his room clean. When I talked to Social Services about my SS being locked out of his home, I was told the boy was 12 years old, which is old enough for him to either call his father or go to a neighbor for assistance. No need for them to get involved. (And I work for CPS, btw)
Earlier this year, my husband's ex told my husband she "couldn't take it any more," and wanted my husband to take his son. We did, but there was no formal agreement. My SS was very resistant to living with us. My husband's ex has always held up my husband as the "punisher," and I've seen this in action. When my SS is misbehaving, she calls my husband and tells him to "do something." If my SS misbehaves, her threat is that she is going to have him "go live with his dad." When my SS lives with his mother, he doesn't have a bedtime, and it's up to him to get himself up - which means he's often late to school. (Which his mom then gets angry about) He has xbox, PS3, and Wii, and if he doesn't get to play his video games, he gets "ornery." At his mother's house, there is plenty of junk food, and he can always get out of doing his chores and he can bamboozle his way out of doing his homework. When he lived with us, he had rules to follow, a bedtime, he had to be up at a certain time, there is very little junk food in our home, and I will not buy any. (The kid is 5'7" and last I knew weighed 242 lbs) He was responsible for chores, and we actually made him do them - and I'm talking taking the trash out, picking up after himself, and making his bed. His father and I also monitored his homework, and kept in touch with both his teacher and his principal and kept on him to complete his school work on time. We only have a Wii, and he could only play on that when we were with him, at limited times. My SS had the ability to earn points that he could use toward obtaining rewards, but he was ambiguous to that.
My husband and his ex had originally agreed, when my SS came to live with us, that the CS taken from my husband's check would continue. My husband's ex would then give that amount to my husband, and we would not involve child support services. No, I was not sold on the idea. In March, my husband's ex gave us a check for $300.00. (My husband pays $680/mo) In April and May, my husband had to ask for money, and his ex would complain she didn't always have it available when he asked for it. However, she eventually gave him checks for $300 for both April and May. She kept the remaining money from CS.
My husband and his ex had agreed in May that my SS would stay with us at least through his 7th grade school year, due to his behavior and attitude. My SS did NOT like this, as originally, in order to get him to go with his father, his mother had promised my SS he would only have to stay until the end of his 6th grad school year. In June, my husband and I decided we would put my SS in the YMCA Day Camp (my SS cannot be left home alone, as he is untrustworthy), and this costs $160/wk. With CS still coming out of my husband's check and going to his ex, money for this was going to be tight, since she wasn't returning the full amount to us. My husband contacted child support services, and notified them that his son was now living with us, and requested his cs to be stopped. CSS contacted my SS's mother, and she confirmed this. CSS then told her and my husband the cs would be stopped - and that made my husband's ex mad. When my husband went to pick up his son from his mother's after her weekend visitation, she told my husband he had "broken their agreement" by going to CSS, and he could not take his son. She ordered him out of her house.
The following Thursday, my husband received a voice message from his son stating my husband was not to pick him up as he "had things to do on the weekends." However, he "needed his stuff." (My SS had his clothes, personal items, etc still at our home) My husband was, understandably, very hurt by this entire event; however, my husband refused to attempt to contact his son in anyway, something I did not agree with. On the flip side, my ss did not attempt contact with his dad, nor did my husband's ex.
My husband contacted CSS to tell them what had happened, so they could re-instate the cs. But they told him the case was closed, and my husband's ex would need to open a new case. I'm not sure why it matters who needs to open a case! There is a kid whose father needs to pay support and it needs to be recorded by the court that he is doing so! Anyway, my husband and I kept expecting to hear from CSS or the court or...some one...about child support, because neither of us could imagine his ex keeping his son and not getting any money for him. Yet...nothing.
Until now. My husband and I knew if my ss moved back with mom at this time he and his mother would be at each other's throats within a month. It seems it took less time than that. It seems for the last 3 weeks, they've been arguing and not getting alone, and she actually told my husband she should have listened to him. She made the statement that she wants to call Social Services and have them take her son and put him in foster care. She stated she "knows [my husband] has washed his hands of him." Say WHAT!?!?! My husband told her he has not, and that he would take him. Of course, my husband's ex is in the middle of an argument with my ss, and the call is occurring on a speaker phone, with my ss present. Yeah, she's like that. My husband told her any conversation between them regarding their son needed to happen when their son was not present because he becomes agitated, and to call him later. She never did.
And now my husband and I are left wondering....what do we do???? My husband deeply feels the need to get his son away from his mother and her influence; however, his son will lie and never honestly disclose anything bad about his mother. He will do ANYTHING to stay living in that house, and living with looser rules. If we do go to court, and my ss is asked anything, he is likely to do one of two things: 1. either lie outright and deny entire conversations that have occurred, or 2. he will completely shut up and not say a word either way.
I don't want to force the kid to do anything. But it truly hurts to think where his life might end up. I'm not sure if mediation would be an option? I have no idea what my husband's divorce decree states, and I don't know if he really does, either. I'm not even certain if his ex is all that willing, either. What would be a first step? Just continue as we are? This just hurts both of us so much!