What to Do if you Suspect your Child is Being Abused by your Former Spouse
If your child comes back to you from time with his or her other parent upset or injured, take anything your child says seriously. Listen carefully to what your child says and does not say – if your child is being abused by his or her other parent, be proactive and take steps to modify his or her parenting plan.
Suspicion of Abuse is a Legitimate Reason to Break your Parenting Plan
Under normal circumstances, refusing to send your child to his or her other parent for their court-ordered parenting time is an act of contempt of court. When a parenting plan is in place, you are required to comply with it.
When you suspect your child is in danger with his or her other parent, you have a good reason to disregard your parenting plan. When you choose to keep your child from his or her other parent under suspicion of abuse, report your choice and the dates of your noncompliance with the plan to your lawyer.
Take your Child to the Doctor and Document All the Evidence to Support your Suspicion
The first of the steps you will need to take to modify your parenting plan is to listen to your child and examine him or her for signs of abuse. If you suspect physical or sexual abuse is occurring, take your child to the doctor for an examination. In cases of psychological or emotional abuse, it can be more difficult to pinpoint the cause of your child’s distress. Talk to your child’s teacher and other adults in his or her life about the abuse you suspect and have them report any behavioral changes they see in your child back to you.
Document all the evidence you have that supports and confirms your suspicions. This can be commentary from your child’s teacher or guidance counselor, your own observations of your child, notes from a child psychologist who has spoken with your child, and your knowledge of your former partner’s past behavior.
Talk with a Family Lawyer About Modifying your Parenting Plan
Bring your evidence to an experienced family lawyer to discuss modifying your parenting plan. To have the plan modified, you will need to demonstrate that maintaining the current parenting plan is not safe for your child. Once your lawyer files a motion to modify your parenting plan, a hearing will be scheduled for you to present your case. During this hearing, you must use the evidence you collected to show the court how the current parenting plan is not in your child’s best interest.
Work with Draper Law Office to Keep your Children Safe
As a parent, one of your primary jobs is to keep your children safe from harm. If you suspect they are being harmed by your former spouse, keep them away from their other parent and discuss your concern with an experienced family lawyer. Our team at Draper Law Office can help you seek a modification to your current parenting plan. To start working with a member of our team, contact our firm online or call us at 866-767-4711 to schedule your initial consultation in one of our two offices.