What to expect from family court

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sunr, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. sunr

    sunr New Member


    After almost a year, I am back in the forum still looking for guidance and answers as the situation has only gotten worse.

    My difficult child who was diagnosed with ODD/Conduct disorder has been going down hill since 9th grade. Used to be bright, football/hockey/basketball player, outgoing. He was in IEP at school but truancy was a problem. At some point last year completely stopped going to school. Was violent at home and no respect or fear and caused lot of damage. Last summer I put him in wilderness program, TBS etc but to cut the story short nothing worked. Had to bring him back prematurely due to various reasons. He went back to his regular school last September but they won't take him as IEP did not work for him and instead he was put in a special school (which to my surprise was extremely good) but dropped out eventually. Sitting at home watching movies and ordering food from outside (my wife is scared and does what he wants and afraid of any confrontation) . Very violent inside the home but not outside. Doing pot (not sure how often), uses tobacco, drinks alcohol if I leave any at home. Not many friends any more. Refusing counseling, psychiatric help however we tried. Several 911 calls and cops have come several times home and now they are all fed up.

    Now finally Juvenile officers filed a complaint in the court (with my consent) and awaiting the court date. They are all sympathetic, understand the situation and agree that difficult child needs to be treated more than punished and time is running out before he becomes 18. I am not sure what exactly to expect in the court hearing but I am going to request psychiatric evaluation, physical exam, substance rehabilitation, anger management and finally a out of home school. Not sure whether all these can happen but praying for this. Clock is ticking.

    If anybody can guide me how this thing will work out when we go to the court and what we need to be prepared for that will be highly appreciated. While we are completely fed up with our difficult child and afraid to be home with him, we also do not want to punish him but give him proper treatment. My insurance may cover the treatment. I do not want him to be forcefully put in a home where he is treated harshly which may worsen his condition

    Thanks as always for any of your expert guidance/experience sharing.

  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi sunr -

    sorry you had to come back...

    I've no experience with the issues you are facing, but wanted to welcome you back and let you know that we've many members who have been in your shoes. I'm sure you will get some feedback as the day goes on.

  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome back Sunr!

    Have you done a parent report? It will outline the progression of your son's life and the struggles he has been through. I believe there is a sample one on the help page, although with the new changes I have not looked for it yet. When I am done here I will try to put a link in my post.

    I would get the report together as fast as you can - although I will warn you it is TRYING to do. So, take many breaks and do not expect to do it in a few sittings. Then provide the court and lawyers with a copy. Include all medical evaluations, communications from school, legal issues, etc.

    Once you get to court you are at their mercy, so the more you can lay it out for them the better. Maybe even do a summary of what you think the issues could be, along with what you have tried so far as a cover letter.
    I will go look for it now.
  4. sunr

    sunr New Member


    Many thanks. Please do give some direction if have any outlines. I will try to get prepared as much as I can. I have lot of info and background. How to put them together concisely in order to let the judge know quickly is going to be a challenge.

    Thanks again
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

  6. sunr

    sunr New Member

    Family Court Hearing was yesterday. difficult child refused to come to the court. I and wife went. Engaged a lawyer. Prosecutor saw my Parent input report with the intervention timeline. Though I did not see the judge myself, lawyer told me that the judge started reading the report as well as other assessment reports from various other sources. I was told that difficult child will be served a warrant and will be taken to a detention center. Psychological as well as substance assessments will be done. Not sure what next. I had requested in my report that difficult child is given a multi-disciplinary exam and proper schooling.

    difficult child doesn't know any of this. We were little bit scared to tell him. Cops might show up any time soon. Really concerned about his state of mind and what will happen.

    What should I expect from the detention center. I would like to move difficult child to a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) as soon as the assessments are done. Are there any guidelines on how long difficult child need to be there in the detention? Though we are happy that he may get some treatment and guidance as opposed to sitting at home, I am concerned about the environment and how difficult child will react and any negative impact on his psyche.
  7. KJsMama

    KJsMama New Member

    Good idea not telling difficult child. He would have run for it, I think. I'm so sorry you're going through this. My son is currently in a detention center. This time he has been in almost 3 weeks (so far), last time it was 2 months. Both times (in different cities) were OK experiences. He felt safe and didn't have any issues other than being hungry (he's a very picky eater). I know it's hard, but it's definitely worth a shot. Maybe it will be a wake-up call to him. I was beside myself with fear the first time he went in, but it ended up being ok. He's in again so maybe it wasn't quite hard enough - I don't know. If you have any specific questions, pm me and I'd be glad to discuss it further. You're in my prayers...
  8. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Please, please, please be proactive with this!

    My GFG17 sounds a lot like yours. He finally went to detention a year ago, March 1, for hitting me. I didn't care that he hit me, because with all the issues and police calls, etc., I could get NO ONE to believe there was something wrong. He was in detention for 3 weeks, there were 3 days each week I could visit. He didn't want me to at first, I went anyway; he was verbally abusive, I sat there and took it. He was home for 9 days and then accused my husband of abuse, so went to foster care for 6 months. Part of the reason he was in the system for so long was that judge was giving US a break after all the hearings were done and the truth came out.

    While he was in detention, they did psychiatric evaluations, etc. Told me there was "nothing" wrong with him. He was 16 1/2. Six months later, when the judge ordered him back home, the court therapist re-checked the reports and lo and behold, the psychologist HAD indicated that SOMEthing was probably wrong with him. We lost SIX months of treatment, and they would NOT send him to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) at 17 because treatment typically takes more than one year. I am beyond livid.

    So he came home, I took him to a psychiatrist and he started Risperdone. MUCH less violent, major difference. No affect on his other issues tho, but he has a diagnosis of CD. I fully expect it to change to ASPD when he turns 18. I often wonder how things would be different now if they had freakin LISTENED to me. Guess I didn't do enough. Mom guilt and all, ya know?

    I don't know where he is right now...he took off, came back, took off. Court is March 16. So far the judge has done nothing re his taking off, or his breaking into our home. We'll see.
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! You might want to check on the Substance Abuse Forum as well. A lot of the parents on there have dealt with a lot of these issues.

    Just a thought - I am truly sorry that you're going through this,

  10. sunr

    sunr New Member

    Just an update

    Local sheriff office came and picked my difficult child and took him to the detention center. difficult child put up a fight as expected and got another charge for resisting. We have another court hearing tomorrow and don't know what to expect. Meanwhile my wife is going crazy and threatening to bring back difficult child. She is too anxious and has done that every time there was an intervention and then regrets every time. Can't put logic into her. I would like to take this opportunity to get difficult child evaluated and keep out of home for some time as I can't control him at home.

    Keeping fingers crossed and blinking
  11. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    I am sorry to hear about the problems with your difficult child. I hope that the courts will send your difficult child to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for treatment and therapy. Sometimes the best thing that you can do for a kid is to send him away for help. Please encourage your wife to stay strong and not to give in to your difficult child. This has got to be very stressful for her, and it will probaby help her to have a break from your difficult child for awhile. I am hoping that you will find a good solution that will help your difficult child and bring peace to your family.
  12. KJsMama

    KJsMama New Member

    In my experience, the first court date is usually just to see if they're going to hold him until the next court date (usually 2 weeks). wife, at this point, can't just go pick him up, I don't think. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I have court tomorrow with my difficult child, too. I feel for your wife - it's hard to know what to wish for. I hope that everything turns out for what's best for your difficult child and that he gets the help he needs and your family gets the peace it deserves.
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Fingers crossed that your wife can get a grip on her anxiety. Many of the CD family suffer from anxiety and the parental fears sabotage intervention efforts. They depth of their love is not the question, of course. Parenting troubled teens is stressful and frustrating....even when anxiety isn't part of the equation. Even when it is obvious that parental interventions aren't working, sharing control with the system is difficult. I hope your wife will be able to see this as an opportunity for supplemental parenting. difficult child needs more than you guys can provide no matter how much you love him. DDD
  14. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Can wife get is to see her doctor? Maybe a boost of her medications can help her get through this.
  15. sunr

    sunr New Member

    Yeah. She is taking her medication. But that is not helping much. She goes on cursing and yelling at me and whoever she sees (may be could have been worse if she is not taking any medication). I am OK with that as long as she doesn't bring difficult child back. Looks like it may not be possible for her to do that now, but I am worried she may do that in the near future. Keeping fingers crossed.
  16. KJsMama

    KJsMama New Member

    Did you go to court today? How did it go?
  17. sunr

    sunr New Member

    Yes. We went to the court. But pretty much the conversation was between the lawyer and the prosecutor with the conf. call with the judge. They have decided to keep difficult child in the detention for few more days as he was cursing and exploding in rage and they didn't want us to see him as he was very angry. That didn't go well with my wife and she was adamant that she has to see the judge and talk to him, but was rejected and was told to communicate through the lawyer. Plan is do an assessment (psychological and substance) over next few days and then take the next step. I am ok but my wife is freaking out. Lawyer said that there may be another hearing mid week next week after the assessment to decide on the options.
  18. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    It sounds like very good news that your difficult child will get a psch evaluation while he is in the detention center. I really hope that your son can get the help that he needs, and that your family can get some peace from this very stressful situation. Just remember that you are doing everything that you possible can to help your difficult child right now. I know how difficult it is to be a parent of a difficult child, and the problems can really take a toll on everyone in your family. I hope that your wife can talk to a doctor about her worries for her difficult child, because she might really listen to someone else who is more detached from the situation. Stay strong, and good luck with this your difficult child.