Mom Details How She Has To 'Piece Her Daughter Back Together' After Visits With Her Dad Amid Their Custody Battle

She's doing everything she can to protect her child, but it doesn't seem to be enough.

A woman trying to protect her daughter during a custody battle Hailshadow / Getty Images via Canva, Rizar el pixel / Shutterstock

One mom on Reddit is experiencing firsthand a situation we hear about all too often — the brokenness of the family law and legal systems. She's deeply worried about how she and her ex's visitation and custody battle are impacting her child, and how the legal system is making it next to impossible for her to protect her daughter. 

The mom writes that she 'can't stand the effect' she and her ex's visitation and custody battle is having on her daughter.

The family courts that referee visitation and custody battle proceedings have long been called out as one of our country's most egregiously backward and often corrupt systems in our country.


As the video below explores, the harrowing recent story of Catherine Kassenoff, a mother who was repeatedly barred from seeing her children by a court system favoring her abusive ex-husband Allan Kassenoff, has become a shining example of how frequently these systems fail children.

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This mother seems to be yet another example of how these systems fall down on the job of protecting children.

In her Reddit post, the woman writes that she and her nine-year-old daughter's father once had "a peaceful co-parenting" arrangement for the first four years after they split. That all changed three years ago when he began dating the woman he's now married to.

"There is quite a bit of neglect, emotional, and verbal abuse in their household," she writes, "and I can’t stand the effect it’s having on my child."

custody battle effects on children reddit postPhoto: Reddit


She writes that she's worked hard to "create a stable and consistent home for her," that she "maintains a neutral attitude" toward her ex in front of her daughter, and that she's had the little girl in therapy for over a year, but the situation at her father's house has become dangerously volatile.

The things her child is seeing on her mandated visits during their custody proceedings are having a terrifying impact. I feel like I’m losing," she writes, "no matter what I do."

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Each time her daughter comes home from her father's, the mom has to 'piece her back together' from the abuse and neglect she endures and witnesses.

"This weekend, there was a [domestic violence] incident involving the cops, which [my daughter] witnessed," she writes. On top of that, her daughter "came down with a 104-degree fever and had a febrile seizure" because her father ignored her condition, which resulted in an emergency room visit.


Worse still, the child's father has been threatening her for telling her mother what's happening. "Two weeks ago, he threatened to break all of her electronics and throw them in the swimming pool if she continued to talk to me about the things that go on at his house," the mom says.

custody battle effects on children reddit postPhoto: Reddit

The experience of being essentially powerless to keep her daughter safe amid she and her ex's visitation and custody battle has brought the mom to a breaking point. "I can’t stand how shut down and withdrawn she was when she came home," she writes. "Piecing her back together after these visitation weekends is a battle... I’m just physically and emotionally exhausted - not to mention the strain that lawyer fees are putting on our budget. I can’t quit crying."


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The mom's experience with how her visitation and custody battle are devastating her child is shockingly common.

The statistics on cases like this mom's, as well as people like Catherine Kassenoff's, are infuriatingly grim. Family courts reject 81% of child sexual abuse allegations brought by mothers and 79% of child physical abuse allegations.

Alleging abuse by a father is a shockingly common way for a mom to lose custody altogether — especially if the father counter-accuses the mother of "parental alienation." As domestic violence and family court expert Barry Goldstein puts it, abusers often "need only deny their partners’ reports and allow the court to use the flawed practices that tilt decisions against protecting children" in order to win these cases.



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On Reddit, several people had personal experience to bear out the ways our shockingly inept family court systems so often make the exact wrong decisions when it comes to protecting kids.

After a Redditor urged this mom to file police reports and petition for emergency custody, other parents quickly came forward to explain how easily those moves could backfire — including a parent who did precisely that after her ex kidnapped her child and was nearly arrested for doing so.

comments on mom's story of struggling to protect her child during her visitation and custody battle Photo: Reddit


This mom's valiant efforts to fight for her kid give her daughter hope of one day overcoming the trauma she's enduring and thank goodness for that. As one Redditor put it, "no matter what happens you wont stop fighting for your daughter, and she will forever remember that." If only they didn't have to fight this hard in the first place.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.