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What Can I Do if My Ex is Abusing Our Child?

Posted on in Child Custody

IL family lawyerIt is every parent’s worst nightmare: The person you hoped would share your responsibility in caring and providing for your child may actually be abusing them. It is far easier to recognize and prevent abuse from strangers than from an ex-spouse who has custody of a child, but all the more important to do so because of the important role a parent plays in a child’s development. If you believe your former spouse is abusing or neglecting your child, there are steps you can take to protect your child and ensure the abuse does not carry forward into the future. The strategy you use will depend on your living situation, your custody rights, and how urgent the need is for intervention.

In an Emergency, Call the Police

If you suspect your child of being in imminent harm or subject to immediate physical abuse, call the police and report the situation immediately. Likewise, if you are the custodial parent of the child and your former spouse has just committed an act of domestic violence against you, call the police and file a report right away.

Request an Order of Protection

In Illinois, an order of protection can serve the purpose of removing a child from the custody of an abusive parent while requiring that same parent to stay away from you, your home, and your children. An order of protection can require that an abusive parent may not leave the state with a child or hide that child from you.

The court may order supervised visitation with the abusive parent in order to ensure a child’s safety during visitation time. The abuser may also be required by an order of protection to attend counseling, surrender firearms, or do anything else which would enhance the safety of the victimized party.

Document Incidents of Possible Abuse

When you file for a protective order or a modification in a custody order due to parental abuse, you will need to prove that the alleged abuse did, in fact, occur. While this may seem difficult or unfair, keep in mind that some spouses use false allegations of abuse in order to manipulate or control a custody evaluation.

You can document abuse by compiling police reports, photos of bruises, medical records, or by writing down what the child says happened immediately after he or she tells you about the abuse. It can be difficult for children to discuss abuse because they often have feelings of guilt or fear about what may happen to the abusive parent. Be sensitive, but be thorough about keeping track of abuse allegations from a child.

Contact an Arlington Heights Family Law Attorney

Concerns about abuse towards your children can be frightening and difficult to manage. Here at A. Traub & Associates, we have experience with domestic violence cases and have successfully filed many orders of protection. Having an Illinois family law attorney on your side can help you navigate your options under the law and keep your family safe. Contact A. Traub & Associates today by calling us at 847-749-4182 for a confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/women/victims.html

https://www.thehotline.org/stakeholders/domestic-violence-statistics/

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2100&ChapterID=59

 

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