Signs Your Child’s Other Parent Is Guilty of Abuse and Neglect
There are large differences of opinion when it comes to child-rearing. Your views on what children need in life and the way in which they should be treated may be dramatically different than the other parent. This is a common point of contention and not easy to resolve. However, there are certain types of actions and behaviors which are not appropriate and could rise to the level of child abuse or neglect. Our Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney highlights some of the warning signs you need to be aware of.
Warning Signs of Child Abuse and Neglect
While you may not agree with the other parent’s child-rearing practices or their methods of discipline, they may be well within their rights. How can you tell the severity of the situation and when it is time to alert the authorities or take them to court?
According to the Child Welfare Gateway, federal legislation lays the foundation for state laws regarding child abuse and neglect. It is defined as any act or inaction which causes serious harm to the child, exploits them in any way, or poses the risk of imminent danger. Warning signs include:
- Reluctance to talk about what goes on during visits.
- Sudden changes in the child’s behavior at home or in school.
- Fear of the other parent and reluctance to go visit them.
- An unkempt appearance on their return home, such as dirty clothes or obvious lack of personal hygiene.
- Loss of weight during visits and complaints that they are not being fed properly.
- An increase in accidental injuries at which the other parent was not present.
In addition to the above, be alert for signs of physical abuse, such as bumps, burns, welts, scratches, and bruises. Bleeding, bruising, swelling, or infections in their private parts are indicators that sexual abuse is taking place.
Ways to Protect Your Child
Document changes in your child’s behavior and any disturbing reports they give on visits to the other parent’s house. Based on the severity of the situation, you may be able to request a modification of your parenting plan arrangements. This could accomplish the following:
- Require the other parent to explain their behavior;
- Place limits on the amount of time your child spends at the other parent’s home;
- Require them to provide assurances to the court and practical evidence that the child is being cared for;
- Make supervised visitation a requirement until the issue is resolved.
If you have reason to suspect serious child neglect and physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, notify law enforcement immediately. This ensures a police report is filed and investigations are conducted. It could also lead to further legal actions, including the other parent’s arrest.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
Protecting the safety and wellbeing of you and your children is a top priority for Fort Lauderdale child time-sharing attorney Vanessa L. Prieto. To discuss your options and how she can help, call or contact our office online today and request a consultation.