When parents’ divorce or separate sometimes one parent does not trust the other parent to protect their child or may worry that the other parent may even abuse their child. While courts generally seek to keep child-parent relationships intact, in cases of child neglect or abuse, it may be necessary to limit or prohibit custody for the safety and well-being of a child.
Child abuse is not just physical harm but may include emotional or mental abuse which are more difficult to detect. If a parent suspects abuse, it is not only important to look for physical manifestations of abuse such as bruising or abrasions, but also uncharacteristic behaviors such as withdrawal or depression which might indicate there is a problem. Unfortunately, children cannot always articulate what is happening so it is important to be alert to the signs of abuse if a parent has concerns.
If a parent suspects that their child is being abused by the other parent or a member of the other parent’s household, it is important to work with an attorney who can petition the court to limit or eliminate custody rights of the other parent if evidence is found. Sometimes this results in supervised visitation, where another adult is present during visits, or can even lead to termination of an abusive parent’s rights. Often times if abuse is found, a parent may be ordered to undergo treatment or counseling before reunification is possible or supervised visits are ceased.
When you have questions regarding preventing child abuse in a child custody matter, it is important seek help as for the safety and well-being of your child. Contact the Wisconsin county child custody and visitation attorneys of Probst Law Offices for immediate assistance today at 414-210-3135.