What To Do If You Suspect Your Ex Of Child Abuse
One of the biggest fears any divorced parent has is their child being abused by their former spouse. Whether you and your ex-spouse share custody of your children or one of you have visitation privileges only, it’s essential to know your children are safe at all times. If you suspect that your ex is neglecting or abusing your child, there are several ways to remedy the situation.
In An Emergency, Call The Police
If you know your child is in imminent danger or is seriously injured, call 911 immediately. Keep in mind, however, that if your child is not in imminent danger and you call the police, it could harm future claims you make. If you are concerned about your child, but they appear to be otherwise okay, it’s better to speak with your attorney first.
Speak With Your Attorney
If you suspect your ex-spouse of child abuse or neglecting your children, but they aren’t clearly in imminent danger, you should contact your attorney. Your attorney can help you assess the situation and evaluate what the best legal options are.
If necessary, your attorney can present your concerns in court to a judge. If the judge decides that your concerns warrant a restraining order, they can issue one on the spot to protect you and your children. Finally, your attorney can request that your ex attend counseling and/or be investigated by child protective services to assess his or her potential threat.
Even if you’re one hundred percent certain that your ex is guilty of child abuse, you will still need to collect and present evidence in court. It is important to speak with your children if you suspect abuse, and write down any information which could support your claims. Record dates and times of any suspicious instances, and take photos of any injuries. This evidence can help your case both in civil court and in criminal court.
Your attorney can also help guide you about what types of evidence will be most useful to present to a judge. Be sure to provide all evidence (or copies) to your attorney to give them the best chance to help you protect your children.
Request To Modify Custody/Visitation Rights
If you have evidence that proves your children are being abused, your child custody or visitation order can be modified to keep your children away from your ex.
In the most extreme cases of child abuse, your ex’s parental rights can be terminated, which ensures that they will have no right to be alone with the child again. To request modification of custody or visitation rights, speak with your attorney first.
If you would like to speak with us about a legal matter regarding suspected child abuse by your ex or any other guardian, please contact our offices today.
REQUEST A FREE PHONE CONSULTATION
At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.
We provide representation in California State and Federal Courts. We accept most major credit cards for your convenience.