Ensuring the safety from further sexual abuse, domestic violence, and exposure to illegal substance abuse for these 3 siblings
Kids’ Voice was appointed as Guardian ad Litem for Jennifer, Jessica, and Brady, ages 14, 12, and 10. Mother and Father both had a history of substance abuse, domestic violence, and housing instability. As part of a CHINS proceeding that ended in 2009, Father had obtained custody of all three children. Father then moved out of state, had a new fiancée, and refused to let Mother see the children from 2009 until 2013, when the court ordered him to permit Mother to see the children in a supervised setting. The court also ordered Father to move back to Indiana with the children, since he had moved without notifying Mother or the court, and in contradiction to a previous court order. Father’s new fiancée had a history of substance abuse and domestic violence, and Father’s fiancée often allowed her brother, who also had a criminal record which included battery, to stay at the house with her, Father, and the Father’s children. However, between 2009 and the time of the new custody hearing, Mother attended counseling, had been clean of all narcotics, including alcohol, for almost three years, remarried, and was parenting a new child with her husband. While the parties were in the midst of litigating custody of the children, the 14 year old child reported to both Mother and the GAL that Father’s fiancée’s brother had recently raped her, and that she was worried that he would do the same to her younger siblings. The Kids’ Voice Guardian ad Litem was able to complete her extensive investigation and submit a report to the court, and after several days of testimony the court issued an order placing all three children in the custody of Mother, where they would be safe from further sexual abuse, domestic violence, and exposure to illegal substance abuse.
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* identifying information has been changed or omitted to protect the privacy of the individuals involved