If Your Ex-Spouse Might Be Abusing Your Child, Make Sure You Know What To Do

When you share custody of your child with their other parent, there are a lot of things that you worry about. One of them is how well your child is being taken care of when they are visiting their other parent. You can't see what's happening there, and all you have is what your child says. Your child may not want to tell you what's going on at your former partner's house. If you suspect your child is being hurt at their other parent's house, you may not know what to do, and may make choices that aren't appropriate. 

Do Not Deny Visitation/Custody

Your first instinct may be to make sure that your child doesn't go over to your former partner's house anymore. After all, if your child isn't put into that situation, they can't be hurt. If you have a court order, you cannot deny the other parent their access to your child. It is illegal, and the other parent can file a case against you because of it. Denying them access can help the other parent in a custody case. If all you have is a verbal agreement with the other parent, you have more leeway. It's better to not give the other parent any grist for a custody case.


If you think that your child is being hurt, you need to document everything. Take pictures of any marks they may have. You want for those pictures to be taken from more than one angle and taken under good light. That will make sure that you have the best possible view of the injuries. You should also write down everything your child says happened, and if they are old enough, have them write it too. Do not put words in your child's mouth, let their account sound authentic to your child. 


Call your local child protection agency. You should report your concerns to the caseworker as well as your documentation. The state agency can take legal steps to block access to your child by your former partner. Do be careful when you report your concerns. If you cry wolf then you run the risk of the agency not listening to you later if there really is a problem. Filing a false report could also potentially lose your custody. 

Go to Court

You should also contact your divorce lawyer. You want to be able to sue for full custody or changes in visitation. Your lawyer can do that. They will be able to tell you what is reasonable to ask for and what any other options you have are. The judge will look at the reports from the child protection agency, your documentation, and any doctor's reports. If your child is old enough, the judge should also talk to your child. 

Your first instinct as a parent is to make sure that your child is safe. However, you can't always protect them. If you think that your child is being abused at their other parent's house, you have to make sure that you follow the right steps. 

For professional legal help, contact a law firm such as Law Office Of Ernest A Buche Jr.