If you believe that your spouse (or ex-spouse) is abusing or neglecting your child, it is imperative that you take immediate action. If you and the other parent are already divorced and you do not have full custody, you should contact our legal team to assist you with seeking a modification of your custody order.
Although the laws vary between states regarding the reporting and investigation of child abuse, below are a few general guidelines to consider:
- Make sure the information you are relying upon is trustworthy. In other words, make sure the motivation of the person providing you with suspicions of child abuse or neglect are appropriate. Making allegations of abuse or neglect should be taken very seriously because making false allegations could subject you to liability for defamation or slander. You must conclude that a reasonable person with no bias would determine that your child has been abused or neglected.
- If you are going to claim that your child has been abused or neglected, you should gather as much evidence as possible to support your accusations. This may include pictures, physician’s records, testimony from teachers or counselors, and any other proof that your child is being abused or neglected.
- If necessary, seek help from local law enforcement. If your child is with the abusive or neglectful party, call the police and explain your concerns and why your child should be removed from the other party’s care immediately. Failure to do so indicates you do not consider the situation to be dire.
- You should also contact the appropriate state department that handles child abuse and neglect. The various agencies typically have a hotline and you can even report your suspicions anonymously. You should take notes regarding this conversation, including the date, time and person you talked with.
- As quickly as possible, you should meet with one of our child custody attorneys. We can assist you with any of the above matters as well as asking the court for a custody arrangement that takes the suspected abuse or neglect into account.
We understand that it is not easy to deal with child abuse or neglect. Let us help. Contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm to schedule a consultation with a caring professional, and aggressive advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child timesharing (custody), and paternity matters.