“My husband’s 7 year old daughter lives with his ex-wife and her new husband and kids. It was recently brought to everyone’s attention that her 11-year old step-brother may have sexually assaulted her. We are not able to get a hold of the mother to find out what is going on. We are very worried about his daughter. We want to know what we can do to get her to keep us informed and what we need to do to get custody or if we even have a case.”
It sounds like your concerns are for the safety of your husband’s daughter while she is in her mother’s care. In situations like these, there is the possibility of criminal charges, if the mother or her husband knew what was going on, as well as to modify or dispute the standing custody arrangement, and as such, you should consider hiring an attorney to guide you through one or both of these processes. The Court will not totally remove custody from the mother unless there are very serious issues with her ability to parent, however, if contact with one of her other children is the issue, then there may be the option to have the standing custody order modified in light of these circumstances.
It is very important to be keenly aware that an allegation of sexual abuse of a child necessarily involves the child being subjected to uncomfortable and embarrassing exams which can be as traumatic as the abuse itself, so it is critical that you be *certain* of the facts before embarking on such an allegation.
It is also important to realize that once such an allegation is made, the state gets involved to such a degree that it is often nearly impossible to get the state out of the family’s business, and the state has the power to remove the child or children not only from the allegedly-abusing
household, but from both parents altogether.
This is not to say that you should not pursue this if you truly believe the abuse is going on, just
to be very careful of waking that sleeping giant.