If you are going through a difficult divorce or trying to survive an emotional child custody battle, it can often seem like there is no end in sight. But the situation can be far worse if your spouse is abusive to your child. Signs of abuse may not be clear when you are married and together as a family, perhaps because you are always around to keep an eye on improper behavior, but once your co-parent is alone with your child after the divorce, it may be important to stay alert for signs that different forms of child abuse might be occurring. From there, you can take the appropriate actions to protect your child.
Be Aware of Different Kinds of Child Abuse
Child abuse occurs when a child’s physical or emotional health, development, or well-being are put into jeopardy. It can take many different forms, and the signs are not always immediately obvious. Some types of abuse that you should be aware of include:
Physical Abuse—This includes various forms of physical assault, restraint, and other behavior that puts the child in serious danger of physical injury to their body.
Sexual Abuse—This includes any kind of sexual activity with a child, such as sexual assault, indecent exposure, and inappropriate communication of a sexual nature.
Emotional Abuse—This is a set of behaviors that adversely affects the child’s emotional health and development, such as threatening, shaming, belittling, manipulating, yelling at, or withholding love from a child, as well as abusing other family members or pets.
Neglect—This type of abuse occurs when a parent does not give the child basic care and protection, including food, clothing, shelter and security, supervision, and necessary medical care.
What to Do If Your Co-Parent Is Abusing Your Child
If you need to take action to protect your child from abuse by their other parent, you should keep the following in mind:
Be aware of the seriousness of your allegations. Child abuse is a very serious concern and, if proven to be accurate, it will not only possibly award you with sole custody of your child but also result in your co-parent potentially going to jail with family protective services getting involved to determine the safety of the child in every environment.
Maintain evidence of all examples supporting your allegations. This means you should save receipts and bills from medical treatments caused by abuse; any analyses collected by psychologists and social workers who you might want to have interview your child; notes of any personal observations, including time and date; and any other evidence that will strengthen your case.
Make the right legal moves. This could mean anything from requesting an order of protection or a post-divorce modification to filing for sole custody. If you are suspicious of abuse even before the divorce or custody battle, be sure to bring it to the attention of the authorities as soon as possible.
Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney
No matter your family situation, abuse or no abuse, you will need a knowledgeable St. Charles IL child custody lawyer on your side if you want to make sure your divorce or child custody case gets the care and consideration it needs to help you and your family. Contact the talented team at Goostree Law Group by calling 630-584-4800 for a free consultation.