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My bf’s ex has full custody and is being neglectful with the kids

Girlfriend32's picture

I’m 32 and my boyfriend has three kids 6, 9, & 10. I adore them. We live in California. They live in Phoenix.  Lately she has been leaving the kids alone to go on dates and go the gym sometimes for 2-4 hours and sometimes for 8-12 hours. Last Saturday night we are 90% sure they were alone overnight. They woke up alone and she came back a couple of hours later. His oldest calls us everyday because she is so lonely. His other two are becoming destructive and acting out. We are not sure what to think of his ex’s new behavior. I understand her needing to date and do her own thing, but shouldn’t the kids come first? Is this child endangerment? At what point do we need to step in? My bf only has visitation rights. She fought so hard and lied about him in court to get full custody and now it’s as if she doesn’t even want to be a mom. We aren’t in a place where we can take the kids right now. I love these kids and I want to help, but I don’t know what I can do being a state away. My bf won’t move to Phoenix to be with his kids and I’m not sure that’s the best option either. She leaves them alone every day. Has anyone else experienced anything like this before? 

Curious Georgetta's picture

Your boyfriend is 90% sure that his kids are being neglected, but he is 100% sure he would not move back to get them.

The poor kids have not one but 2 negligent parents. They do not need pity; they need proactive parents.




Curious Georgetta's picture

Your boyfriend is 90% sure that his kids are being neglected, but he is 100% sure he would not move back to get them.

The poor kids have not one but 2 negligent parents. They do not need pity; they need proactive parents.




twoviewpoints's picture

This is the guideline of the laws on leaving kids alone in Arizona:  

 "Arizona's statutes (laws) do not designate an age when a child can be left alone. A parent is responsible for the decisions he or she makes about their children being left alone. The law does require, however, that the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Child Protective Services, investigate reports of neglect which include failure to provide supervision that places a child at unreasonable risk of harm. Leaving children alone is included in the category of supervision."

While my own state does indeed have a law against leaving children alone under a specific age, only three states actually do. That's not to say , as shown in the quote above [quote from AZCentral] , your BF's children's mother wouldn't be off the hook if anything happens to these unsupervised small children.

Wanting an adult night out or even an escape to the gym, it's necessarily wrong for the mother to want. But what ever happened to hiring a babysitter?  What this other is doing is dangerous. 

I am just as concerned though, on the father's attitude towards what is happening. So you're not in a position to take the kids and he refuses to move to the children's area? So what's up with that? If the mother had a serious accident and died while in her outings, your BF realizes, right, that he would be given the children or they would go to the state and a foster home. 

Is your BF military and currently deployed? He chose to have three children (while one might perhaps been an oops baby, surely not the second two additional). Making babies and paying child support are not the only responsibilities your BF has to these three children.

If he doesn't want his children to be a part of his life, I would at least hope he cares enough to call for welfare checks and report any hazardous activities to your version of child protective services. 


Girlfriend32's picture

Yes it’s tough for me to swallow that my boyfriend is not running to his children. His ex has made it clear that he has no say in any decisions with the children. If we visit them, she lets us see them and that’s about it.  Him and his ex do not have open communication and even if he did move to see the kids, there is no guarantee he would be able to have anything more than the visitation the court ordered. We can’t afford a place in LA to take them. We are looking at property in Phoenix, but money is an issue. We’ve recently been talking them on the phone daily. I don’t think she has any idea that what she is doing is wrong. I’m sure she feels like she can’t afford a baby sitter. I guess I was just looking for someone who was dealing with neglectful exes and how they handled that. Because right now, we’re not in a place to take them due to court order and finances. 

Winterglow's picture

If she can't afford a babysitter then she can't afford a night out ...

justmakingthebest's picture

Some steps that you can take:

1 Next time she is out late and the kids have called him- call the local police to do a welfare check. Let the kids know what is happening so they aren't scared. Do this every single time. Start having those police records. This will more than likely make sure that she starts getting a babysitter or stop going out.

2 Start documenting every time you are aware that they are left alone for more than 2 hours. Keep a journal or just mark it on a calendar. 

3 Start getting in a place where the kids can live with you. You need a 3 bedroom home.

The reality is these kids are in danger. If she has stepped up her game to leaving them overnight Dad needs to step up NOW. Moving to BM not being an option for you guys isn't a big deal, not doing something to protect kids IS. The kids can live with y'all in CA.