The most heartbreaking news to a parent is knowing or suspecting that their child is being abused, neglected, or mistreated. It is even worse knowing that this abuse is from a current or former spouse. Whether you are separated or divorced and have visitation privileges or share custody, it’s often peaceful knowing that your child is safe.
When you suspect child abuse in your child, you should know what steps to take. A Fresno family lawyer will advise you to take certain measures to shed more light and remedy the situation. Learn what you can do if you suspect child abuse in Fresno.
Should I Call the Police Over Child Abuse?
You should call 911 immediately if you suspect your child is in imminent danger or is already seriously hurt. Remember, the injury could be physical or emotional. You should also note that if your child is not in any impending danger, but you go ahead and call the police, it may hurt any claims you make in the future.
If you suspect child abuse in Fresno, CA, it’s best to first speak to a child abuse attorney in Fresno. That way, you will make informed decisions that won’t harm future decisions concerning the child’s welfare.
Do I Need to Gather Child Abuse Evidence?
You will definitely need evidence of abuse if you want to protect your child. But remember that statements from your child without corroborating evidence aren’t enough. Even if you are sure your spouse is abusing your child, you will evidence that can be presented in court.
Other than statements from your child, you also need photos and videos of the injuries that support the claims. If the injury is more psychological, you may need the help of a therapist to avail such information.
If your goal is to prove this abuse in court, you shouldn’t rely solely on your child’s statements because they could also be hearsay. To avoid self-sabotage, talk to a Fresno domestic violence defense attorney who can guide you on what type of evidence to collect that will be most beneficial. Present copies of all the evidence gathered to your family attorney for the best chance to help stop any future abuse of your child.
Should I Talk to My Child Concerning the Abuse?
It may be wrong to question your child about abuse because you may not know how best to do it. You risk jumping into assumptions and facts the child didn’t say. For instance, your child may say, “I was hit in the back.” And you may follow this statement with “when did mom hit you?” You just interrupted a fact that the child never said, and that makes the child’s entire statement twisted.
You ought to allow professionals to get a correct statement from your child. It’s in the best interests of the child to avoid inaccurate statements.
What Steps Should I Take If I Suspect Child Abuse On My Child?
You may notice your child with unusual marks on their body, or they may start behaving unusually. You may not immediately know what exactly happened. You should first talk to your child and assure them they can trust you with the truth concerning the situation.
Once there are undertones of abuse in the child’s statements, you should now escalate it and talk to a Fresno domestic violence defense attorney. Abuse accusations are serious, no matter how small, and can turn the lives of everyone upside down. That’s why you need the advice and guidance of an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer in Fresno.
If you have a visitation order in place, you should not think of withholding parenting time as that will land you in more complicated problems. You should strive to get a different order and not violate the already existing parenting agreement.
What Legal Steps to Take?
Once you have confirmed the existence of child abuse, you can now notify the police, who will conduct an arrest if necessary. Your attorney can also pursue a court modification of your custody and visitation rights.
In extreme cases, our law firm has seen, the abusive parent’s parental rights can be terminated. But if not serious, the court may order visitation to happen in designated places or public areas or areas designed to address such situations.
Can A Protective Order Help the Situation?
Your situation may sometime demand a protective order against the other parent. You may seek an emergency or temporary protective order until you can get a more permanent one. The permanent order will last for a couple of years and will prevent any further contact between the child and the abusive parent. It may last until the child reaches a certain age or is terminated in court. Your lawyer can also help you get an enforceable protective order in California.
What Other Ways Can I Protect My Child from an Abusive Spouse?
Child abuse and any form of domestic violence is unjustifiable. Even if the abuse is emotional, you should still seek intervention from the courts. You may get court orders that forbid the other parent against angry outbursts toward the child, decrees that regulate discipline, and even supervised visits.
You shouldn’t allow your child to learn that staying in abusive relationships is the normal state of life. Take action today and let a skilled Fresno domestic violence defense attorney protect your child’s welfare.
Compassionate Family Lawyers Fighting for Your Child’s Best Interests
Child abuse is traumatic and tragic. If your child is a victim of abuse at the hands of your spouse, you should take necessary action to remedy the situation. You, however, need to make the right moves and avoid ruining everything.
Our family law attorneys understand the intricacies of such cases and are willing and ready to help you. We will use our experience to protect your child. Talk to us today to discuss your situation in detail.