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Mom Asks For Advice After Ex Went Against Court Order And Spanked Their 5-Year-Old Son

Photo: Fiskez / Shutterstock
Mom hugging child

When couples get together and have kids, they typically discuss and agree on how to rear the children.

This includes topics like education, diet, recreation, and discipline.

But when parents split up and co-parent from separate households, how each person raises the child they have in common can become and endless debate, resulting in bitterness and division.

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The controversy over whether or not disciplining a child physically is okay will likely go on forever.

Some believe the biblical verse “spare the rod, spoil the child” means spanking should be used to correct behavior.

Others think that "whooping" kids is outdated, abusive, and downright barbaric — it’s unlikely that both sides will ever get on the same page.

One woman recently posted to the subreddit, r/coparenting, to ask for advice on how to deal with her child’s father’s disregard of a judge’s ruling on their child custody case.

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Her ex continues to spank their child despite a court order telling him not to.

She starts by explaining that the details of their shared child custody arrangement have been ironed out in court.

One of the stipulations set by the judge was that there be no "corporal punishment," otherwise known as spanking, of the former couple’s five-year-old child by anyone — including his parents.

She provides some history, noting that the decision on spanking the boy came about because according to her, “My son was terrified of going to his dad’s house because he doesn’t want to get hit.”

At the time the mother posted, she told readers that her son was scared to go over his father’s house for Christmas break.

Upon asking him why, she was told by her child, “Daddy said he doesn’t care what your mommy or the judge say.”

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The boy added that his father had spanked him the last time he visited.

The woman, astonished, especially since she had promised her son that “no one was allowed to spank him ever again,” called her lawyer immediately and is waiting to hear back.

Still, she is uncertain about what her response to the violation of their parental terms should be.

On one hand, she wants to hold her ex-partner accountable for going against court orders.

On the other hand, he didn’t leave any bruises on the child when he last hit him, so she lacks evidence.

The woman clarifies that her state, unidentified, does not have any laws against corporal punishment, as long as it is not deemed "excessive."

Now, she wants to know what her legal options are.

She is at a crossroads between advocating for her son and taking action that might be detrimental to his and his father’s relationship in the long run.

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She asks other Redditors if she should confront the boy’s dad or let it go.

"I'm so sorry you're having to go through this and bless you for protecting your son," one person wrote. "Your lawyer will be able to advise you much better than [random people] online. Please listen to them.”

"I'm not sure how you would establish proof here but if you are able to do that then at the very least, I think this might fall under contempt of court and the judge may order a fine. Again though, listen to your lawyer."

"First I’m so sorry. Unfortunately, what your child says can’t be admitted since it’s considered hearsay," another user revealed.

"In some counties, the judge will allow a child to testify in chambers. Otherwise, it will be hard to prove without physical evidence."

Many people were under the sad impression that agencies meant to protect kids from being victimized typically drop the ball.

But that shouldn’t stop a concerned mother from trying to use the system of justice to protect her child when she has concerns.

When it comes to little ones, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.