[A]fter delays and weeks, if not months of frustration, your divorce proceedings are finally ready to begin. Lawyers are in place, the court date is set. You are nervous about the whole process, but one area in particular has you concerned.
You’re Ex wants visitation, which is to be expected, but she has a history of abusing Johnny.
And now you fear for his safety. You know her pattern. Maybe you have a record of it. You’ve seen it, and lived it for years. Now you fear a lack of protection as your child is scheduled to visit his mother.
What Do You Do About Child Abuse Court Reporting?
Like almost all aspects of your divorce, it is complicated.
First, bring the situation to the attention of your attorney and have her take it to the judge or CPS. But as with all accusations, you need concrete documentation. False accusations are an absolutely killer to your custody case and are fairly common in child custody proceedings. The evidence needs to come from police reports, doctor/therapist records, testimony from neighbors/teachers/family members. There might also be photos or other personal bits of evidence. Consider everything but certainly not solely the testimony of your child or your personal feeling about your Ex.
If you have not yet filed for sole custody, you can do that during the trial, and express to the judge your concern for your child’s safety and ask for limited and/or supervised visitation. Use any evidence you can, including text messages, voice mails and eye witness accounts.
Severe Child Abuse Court Issues
In severe cases, such as physical threats, or history of physical abuse with your kids, you can request a protective order or a restraining order. At that level, you want your Ex kept away from your children. The judge can then issue a temporary order if necessary. If your Ex violates the order, she can face serious consequences, including jail time.
If you truly fear for your child’s safety, please bring it to the attention of the judge and your attorney. Understand that physical abuse or threats to you, will not necessarily constitute a possible abusive situation to your kids. In my custody case, there was a moment when my Ex physically beat up my wife at a park. She was arrested and spent a night in jail. However, when the issue was brought before our custody judge, he felt my Ex was certainly a threat to my wife, but did not believe my Ex would do anything harmful to our daughter.
The judge will always rule in the child’s best interest. Usually taking abuse very seriously but will weigh all factors before removing access of child to either parent.
How did you bring your child abuse concerns to court?
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