Phoenix, AZ asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona

Q: Stepmother emotional abuse what can be done?

Shared custody of 2 kids; stepmother verbally and emotionally abused daughter for 4 years, daughter turned 18 and went no contact with father and stepmother, a few days ago special need son came back with a bruise in his arm and said stepmother hit him and said “that’s what you get” since he is special need and can’t verbally explain why she hit him. I’m worried stepmother now will start abusing special need son since daughter moved out and now she needs a new target. Hard to prove they are emotionally abusers because they present to the rest of people like the perfect family. Daughter is in therapy and about to start antidepressants due to the ptsd they caused her. We are in Arizona and not sure what it can be done to hold stepmother accountable in case something happens to son. Father thinks the kids lies about stepmother, kids are always in fault and never believe kids. A regular kid is able to express what’s going on but a special need kid is absolutely different. Thank you

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: I am so sorry to hear what your children have been through.

That certainly seems like grounds to modify to me. You can file a Petition to Modify Legal Decision-making, Parenting Time, and Child Support. I recommend you consult with an attorney to decide if you also need to file for emergency or temporary orders.

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