What If You Suspect Your Ex Is a Threat to Your Children During Divorce?
Even under the best of circumstances, a divorce can be an ordeal for a family, especially when children are involved. But if you have reason to worry that your spouse poses a threat to your children, then you must promptly take action to protect your children and ensure that they are safe from harm.
The State of California has strict laws aimed at protecting children from abuse of any form, and that includes from a parent. But proving to a court of law that your spouse has already harmed or has the potential to harm your child can be quite tough.
What Is Abuse?
Divorce is a chaotic time for a family. Many changes are occurring and emotions run high. It’s possible that during this process, one parent, no matter how well-intentioned, may see signs of abuse that aren’t really there, or jump to conclusions without knowing the full story. This is why strict procedures are in place that must be followed before action can be taken.
Any of the following would qualify as abuse under California law:
- Actions that intentionally harm a child, whether physical or emotional in nature
- Neglecting to provide essentials to the child, such as food, medicine, or a safe residence
- Allowing a child unsupervised access to firearms
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Domestic violence to the child or in the child’s presence
- Sexual abuse
It should also be noted that the same rules apply if someone else is abusing your child because of negligence on the part of your spouse to intervene or provide protection.
What You Should Do
If any of the above situations are happening, you need to immediately request an emergency motion to end your current custody order. Because you cannot legally prevent the other parent from his or her scheduled visitations until a court has heard the motion, you will also need to petition for an injunction.
During your hearing, you will have the chance to ask for a protection order, and it is very important that you have evidence the abuse has been occurring. Once a protection order is granted, it will place restrictions on your spouse intended to protect you and your children. The order will bar any contact with you and the children, compel your spouse to move out of a shared residence, and make him or her pay for any costs associated with the abuse, including medical expenses and moving fees.
This process can be quite complicated and often doesn’t move as quickly as you would like. That’s why it’s imperative that you have a San Diego abuse attorney who can promptly assemble a case and petition the court on your behalf. At The Law Office of Thomas M. Huguenor, we have a proven track record of protecting families. Call (858) 458-9500 today for a free consultation.