Right To Protect My Child From Step Child - Long Post, but advice needed!
Hello everyone, I am new to this forum. I was trying to research step-parent's rights, and all I could find was info about the step-children. My question is regarding my biological child and my own rights to protect against the step-child. I will try and give a quick background: I am married with one toddler. My husband has 2 kids from a previous marriage ages 9 and almost 12. Both kids have a lot of problems physically and mentally. Both kids have been exposed to physical abuse and possible sexual abuse by ex's, now, ex-husband and his family. Both kids are very unclean and are not able to properly bathe and take care of their hygiene. This has been a major cause for concern because when we do their laundry we find feces and urine in the underclothes and clothing.
Both kids act out tremendously. 12 year-old is severely depressed and eats her sorrows away. She is obese and complains constantly about everything. She is basically a sweet girl, but just has so many problems. She also has a problem with not telling the truth. I believe this comes from the ex and all the lying and keeping things from us. The 9 year-old is the one I have the real issues with. She is honestly scary. She is the type of child who could be profiled as a child killer. She has serious issues with violence and inappropriate touching. I am very scared when she comes for the visits because I have a 2 year-old. The younger child is very abusive towards my toddler. This started when my toddler was just a few months old. I learned very quickly never to leave my baby in a room alone with my step-daughters even for a second.
We have consistently tried to get them help. In the past, they would take the girls to a counselor and then the second the counselor would document anything or ask that my husband and I be involved, the ex and her husband would pull them from the counselor. We were involved in a very horrible and lengthy custody battle. The outcome was not what we had hoped or expected. Several months before the hearing, the ex got scared and actually divorced the abusive alcoholic. However, after just a month or two, she couldn't stand things on her "own" so she moved him back in. During this time, she allowed him to drive the kids around and made some very poor decisions. At one point, the ex-husband was involved in a DUI crash with injuries. (Not to the children, thank God.) The courts ruled that if the ex kicked out the ex-husband and abided by a court-ruled restraining order, that the girls could remain with her and she would be awarded sole custody. We were STUNNED!
My question is if I have any rights to protect my toddler from my step-daughters? How would I even go about changing the visitations or requesting supervised visits with the 9 year-old? I do not worry about the 12 year-old hurting my toddler. Although, a few times she did hurt my toddler in the past. I do not believe that she really meant to hurt her. She is just extremely clumsy and careless. The 9 year-old has physically hurt my toddler, as recent as this last visit, and has extreme emotional issues. A few months ago, she had an "imaginary friend" that she would yell at and swear at. This alarmed us tremendously. She would have fits of rage and lash out. She is very underweight and refuses to eat much of the time, but she is very strong when she wants to be. She fights constantly with my toddler and takes her toys away, hits her, pushes her, and yells at her.
In the past, I have caught the 9 year-old touching my toddler inappropriately. When my toddler was an infant, an incident happens which still haunts me. My husband and mother in-law were talking while my husband was changing our infant. The 9 year-old came over and got down on her knees to lean over our baby. My husband took off her diaper and started to put another diaper under her. The 9 year-old reached out and touched our baby on her private area. My husband and mother in-law immediately told the 9 year-old that it as not okay to touch her there and never to do it again. More recently, I was folding laundry while also watching the kids. I turned for a second, and when I turned back, I saw the 9 year-old touching my toddler inappropriately. The 9 year-old has also tried to touch me inappropriately. On several occasions, we will be sitting watching a movie, and the 9 year-old will reach over and pull my shirt down and try and put a toy down my shirt. At the same time, brushing her hand against my breast or other things of that nature. I have talked with her numerous times about it and explained to her that it is inappropriate and it is NEVER okay to do that to anyone. The 9 year-old just laughs and thinks it is funny.
I am now unwilling to "babysit" the 9 year-old and I am completely freaked out by her actions. She constantly talks about sex and makes up stories. The 12 year-old can't stand her and is also freaked out by her behavior. Of course the ex is unwilling to do anything about it and I am just not sure what I can do about it. My biggest fear is that the 9 year-old may turn it around on me or that the ex will someday get angry about something and try and make up lies. I am seriously petrified. My husband has to work about half of the time the girls are here. That leaves me to watch them by myself. I honestly feel that I have to protect my toddler and myself. What should I do? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. I am newer to this whole step-parenting thing and I have never been a step-parent before this. I am also a newer mom and my instincts are really kicking in. My husband doesn't really know what to do either. It causes a lot of fighting in our marriage because he feels obligated to take them for the visits and, of course, he wants to see his kids. At the same time, he also feels that he has to protect our toddler and me from all of this. Please help!