Signs of Child Abuse After Divorce
Divorces that involve children are some of the most difficult, and the challenges do not always end once your divorce case is over. Once your child starts spending time at the other parent’s house, you will have no way of knowing what is happening while they are there. In the best of situations, children do not always want to talk about time spent with the other parent. When child abuse or neglect is occurring though, they are typically even more reluctant to come forward about it. As a parent, it is essential that you know the signs to look for, and the action to take when you suspect it is happening.
Common Signs of Child Abuse
Children often do not want to talk about what they do at another parent’s house because they do not want to make the other parent feel bad. However, it is incredibly difficult for anyone to come forward about child abuse at any age. Some common signs to look for include:
- A sudden unwillingness to visit the other parent
- Refusal to talk about what happened at the other parent’s house
- Changes in behavior that are sudden and do not have an explanation
- Becoming withdrawn or isolated suddenly and unexpectedly
- A sudden unwillingness to attend school
- Injuries they will not explain such as burns, scratches, or bruises
- Sudden and unexpected weight loss or weight gain
- Anxiety or depression
- Difficulty sitting or walking
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Suicidal behaviors
No one should ever become the victim of child abuse and for parents, it is incredibly difficult to suspect that your child is going through it. Although you cannot undo the actions your spouse has already taken, there are things you can do to stop the abuse.
Protecting Your Child from Abuse
If you notice any of the common signs of child abuse or neglect, it is important to take action right away. The first thing to do is to contact law enforcement and tell them of your suspicions. This could result in criminal charges which will likely terminate your former spouse’s visitation rights, at least temporarily.
The family courts in Florida will not tolerate any type of abuse and so, you should also seek a modification of any current child custody order. If you can prove abuse is occurring, the court will likely modify the child custody order and perhaps even terminate your former spouse’s parental rights.
Speak to a Florida Family Lawyer Today
Child abuse is a very serious offense and if you suspect it is occurring at the other parent’s home, you must take action immediately. At O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando family lawyers can help you through the process of seeking a child custody modification and if necessary, even help terminate your former spouse’s parental rights. We know how emotional the process is, and will guide you through it to avoid unnecessary delays and give you the best chance possible of success. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online to schedule a consultation so we can get started on your case right away.