When a marriage ends in a separation or divorce, one of the decisions the court will have to make is who gets primary custody of the child and who gets visitation rights. This is known as a child custody decree, and both parties are required by law to abide by its terms.
However, it is important to note that child custody may require changing. One of the reasons the court may be open to modifying an existing custody order is abuse by the other parent. But, how do you prove it?
Here are three signs that can help you prove abuse during your child custody modification case.
Proving physical abuse
Physical abuse is, perhaps, the most straightforward form of abuse you can cite during a custody modification case. Unexplained injuries such as cuts, bruises or welts could be signs of physical abuse. It is important that you document these injuries as you will need to table them in court as evidence. Be sure to take photos and videos of the injuries as well.
Proving emotional abuse
Emotional abuse can take multiple forms. These include extreme parenting styles, verbal abuse, abandonment and neglect. If your child has suddenly developed strange behaviors, you may want to seek professional help in the form of a psychiatric assessment to establish the root of the problem. A psychiatric report will be crucial for proving emotional abuse in court.
Proving sexual abuse
Sexual abuse is, without a doubt, the most heinous form of abuse a child can be subjected to. If your child suddenly loses an attachment to the other parent, becomes suicidal or reports experiencing nightmares, then these could be signs of sexual abuse. If you suspect the other parent could be sexually abusing your child, be sure to take the child for medical examination as soon as possible.
Abuse of any form can impact the child’s long-term development. If you believe the other parent is abusing your child, it is important that you put your evidence together to petition the court for custody modification in the best interest of the child.