(WSVN) - A mother made an accusation against a 5-year-old. As a result, a restraining order was issued to keep the 5-year-old away from his 3-year-old step-brother. Is this legal? It’s why the child’s parents called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
The Delaneys love children.
Britney Delaney, upset by restraining order: “Yeah, blended ‘Brady Bunch!'”
Michael and Britney were single with their own kids when they met. After getting married, they had two more children, giving them five now.
Britney Delaney: “We’re very blessed to have them all.”
One child came from Michael’s previous relationship with a former girlfriend, and now an accusation from his ex has left the Delaneys stunned.
Michael Delaney, battling son’s mother: “I knew she was going to do something, but I just didn’t know it was going to be something like this.”
Michael says his ex is not happy that he has shared custody of their son … and called the Florida Department of Children and Families, claiming that when her 3-year-old son came for a visit at the Delaneys, he was being sexually abused by Britney’s 5-year-old son.
Britney Delaney: “You are saying that a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old are having a sexual situation.”
The police then showed up.
Britney Delaney: “They basically said they had a restraining order against my 5-year-old son. First I was in shock. I started crying, just to know my son is being attacked. I felt many things.”
The temporary restraining order has been extended and in effect now for eight months.
Britney Delaney: “I’m hurt. I’m disappointed in the legal system. It’s just preposterous that a 5-year-old could have a restraining order.”
DCF did come in to determine if the ex’s claims were true.
Britney Delaney: “They came in, they investigated all of our kids. There was nothing to hide. We were fine with it. The report turned out great.”
In addition to the accusations against the 5-year-old, Michael’s ex also accused him of slamming their 3-year-old against a tree.
Michael Delaney: “All the allegations are all lies.”
But Michael and Britney say the accusations had the effect the ex wanted. Michael’s 3-year-old son cannot come to be with the rest of their family anymore.
Britney Delaney: “She is using the restraining order to keep my husband and my family apart.”
A 5-year-old, of course, has no idea what a restraining order is about. All he knows is that he can’t see his stepbrother.
Five-year-old: “I miss you, and I wish you can come back.”
Well, Howard, can a 5-year-old be involved in a restraining order?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Yes, you can issue a restraining to keep a 5-year-old away from a 3-year-old. But a 5-year-old cannot be held accountable for their actions, so the order is issued against the parent on behalf of the minor to keep the 5-year-old away from the 3-year-old. If the order is violated, the 5-year-old would not be blamed. It would be the parent.”
We contacted Michael’s ex. She told us she was dismissing the restraining order after her attorney told her to do it, but she was not happy about it.
She is also allowing her 3-year-old to visit Michael again for day visits at the Delaney house while they continue to battle in court over custody.
When we told her the Delaneys said she made up the claims about the 5-year-old to get full custody of the 3-year-old, she said, “That’s absolutely not true. No one would do that to their children.”
Britney Delaney: “My son is left with this on his record, and so am I, because he is a minor, so this was filed under my name as well.”
Fighting to defend a 5-year-old has cost the Delaneys emotionally and financially.
Britney Delaney: “We refinanced our home because we cannot even afford to pay for the attorney’s fees, but we have no choice because we have to fight for our kids.”
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a parent to make accusations in a child custody battle, but they better be careful, because a false claim of sexual abuse to DCF is a felony, and you could get five years in prison.
Childish behavior by someone left you in a mess? Don’t restrain yourself. Contact us. ‘Cause we are one big happy family … of helpers.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org
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