Some parents mistakenly believe that child abuse must be significant before the court will act against another parent. The reality is that the court's responsibility is ensuring the child's safety and any amount of abuse is intolerable. If your child is being abused by the other parent, here is what you need to know.
How Is Child Abuse Proven?
Abuse is not always easily proven. In a child abuse custody case, circumstantial evidence is often not enough. Unless your child has physical signs of abuse, proving that his or her other parent is abusive could be challenging. It is not impossible though.
There are several ways you can prove that your child is being abused. For instance, testimony from others who have witnessed the abuse can help prove the case. If your child is attending therapy for his or her emotional being, the records from those sessions can be turned over to the court.
Your own history of physical abuse from the other parent could also be helpful. This is especially true if you have documented evidence of the abuse, such as medical records, photos, and witness testimony.
Your child's own testimony could be used to prove the case. The court can assign a social worker or other expert in child welfare to interview your child. He or she will make an assessment based on the conversations with your child and provide a report to the court.
What Should You Do?
Your first thought might be to deny the other parent visitation. Although it is a logical move, it could hurt your case. If there is an existing court order, the other parent could take you to court and ask that you be held in contempt.
There is a better way to handle the situation. You need to request an emergency modification to the existing order. The petition can ask that the other parent be restricted from having unsupervised visits. The order is temporary and can remain in place until a hearing is held to determine whether permanent changes are needed.
Depending on the county in which you live, you might not have to appear in court. The judge can review the petition and make a temporary change based on the information contained within the filing.
To keep your child protected from the other parent, you need to act quickly. As soon as you are aware of the other parent's abusive acts, contact your family attorney to start the process of filing for an emergency order.
For more information on child abuse and the law, click here: http://www.kalkwarflaw.com.