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22 Jul 2005

Custody of non biological child (Help me please!!)
I've been living with this woman for 41/2 years, we both have kids from previous relationships. Our problems started when I realised that she hated my kid and was treating her bad as compared to the way she was treating her child. Eg. when preparing lunch box, she'd give her child decent and nice things, whereas my child will just get bread thats it. Mind me I buy everything, she's not working, I provide for everyone. There are a number of things that she did and I eventually confronted her. She admitted that she hated my child. I thought we could resolve this, but there was no way I could compromise my child. It kept on being fight after fights. This woman would hit me, spit on me, lock me up in the house and do all sorts of horrendous things. She called me and my daughter names and would insult us. I dont want to get physical with her becoz I once did after similar episodes and I hurt her very bad.

The history of this woman is that she had a very abusive childhood after her parents passed away. She was raised by relatives who were abusive towards her. She decided to cut out all her family from her life with exception of a few, which she doesnt really get along with although she is still in contact with them. I think this has affected her being, but she is taking it out on the wrong person. I have accomodated her after her fall out with her family, provided for her and her child, basically I did everything for them. I have tried to get her a job, but she refused, I offered to take her for councelling (she's on my medical aid) but she refused saying that I am assuming she is mad. I've asked her family and my family to intervene but she is so stubborn and doesnt listen to anyone.

I have decided to terminate the relationship and move out of the house. I've sold the house and trying to move to a new place. I told her to move out she is refusing and promised me that she'll teach me a lesson. I am scared of what she is planning as she sounds so bitter. I did not want to traumatise the kids so I took them away for the holidays and after the holidays I took my child to my mother, but she demanded her child to come back. She is back and witnessing all the abuse and fights. She is also scared of her mommy and is always expressing love for me and that I should not leave her. I eventualy managed to get the police to kick this woman out last nite, but I begged for the child to stay. Whats going to happen to her??? This woman is fighting with basically everyone in her family and I doubt if they'll accomodate them for a very long time. She is refusing for her child to stay with me until she sorts her self out, and I am thinking of fighting for custody for this child. I was paying for all her needs, and I can still continue without her staying with me, but I know she is going to be severely affected by the whole thing, thats why its best that she stays with me.

I am not the bioligical father, but I've known this child for 4 years now, I took her when she was 3, and she knows me as the father, and my daughter as her sister. I dont want to see her on the streets as the mother has vowed that if it comes to that she will take her and the child to hillbrow. I offered to get her a temporary accomodation until she is ok but she refused. I dont care about her anymore but I want custody of her child, as my consciense wont let me sleep knowing what might happen to the poor child. Both her and my child have been severely damaged by this, and I am the only person that can help them. She has even threatened to kill herself and the child.

What are my chances of succeeding with custody. Can they give me custody despite me not being the father of the child? Sorry for the long story. But I need advice!
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

This sounds like a very unpleasant woman, especially if she'd take out her own neuroses on a helpless and innocent child. Take your child back to the grandmother --- this woman has absolutely no auithority whatsoever to insist on where the child is, especially as she neglect the kid. Don't take any risks that she'll somehoe harm your child as a form of revenge, as she sounds horribly spiteful.
It's sad if she herself had an abusive childhood, but that is never any excuse for her to cause further pain to any other child, or indeed to anyone else. If you've sold the house, arrange to move out youtrself, and give her notice --- and make it clear that she is not entitled to squat there, and that you'll call the police to have her removed if she refuses to move.
I'm not sure that you'd have any authority with regard to her own child ; except to call in the Child Welfare authorities, explain the recent relationship you have had with the child, and the basis for your concerns. If they think she is an unfit mother, they might consider removing the child from her care, and might even consider you as a foster-parent, because the child is used to you. Tell the Welfare authorities about the mother's threats towards her own child. The Courts could make an order for the child to be removed to a place of safety, and even restraining the mother from approaching her child, or you, or your child, on pain of going to jail if she breaks the court order.
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