What Should I Do if My Child is Making Allegations of Abuse During Divorce?
The world becomes a different place for most people once kids enter the picture. The natural instinct is to protect your children at all costs, and when the threat is coming from your child’s other parent, the stress may feel like more than you can bear. Unfortunately, child abuse is fairly common and in the heat and stress of divorce, child abuse may be even more prevalent. If your child is telling you that they are suffering at the hands of your co-parent, listen to them and take their allegations seriously. Then take action by meeting with a family law attorney who has experience handling matters of custody in Illinois.
Signs Your Child May Be Abused
Managing cases of abuse or neglect is easier when a child is able to speak up about their treatment, but sometimes this is not possible. You may need to keep a close eye out for signs that your child is being abused. These include, but are not limited to:
Sudden or unusual difficulty sitting, walking, or laying down
Never having the right clothes, the right homework, or enough food at school or after parenting time is over
Strange and unexplained injuries, such as bruises, welts, fractures, or cuts
Uncharacteristic quietness or withdrawal
Fear about making small mistakes
It can be difficult to get accurate information when you ask a child questions about abuse, and parents need to be very cautious not to accidentally give children false memories. A child psychologist can help you talk to your child if you are worried about abuse.
Will Illinois Courts Ever Give a Parent Full Custody?
While Illinois law prefers that both parents remain involved in a child’s life whenever possible, there are certain circumstances that could justify giving parenting responsibilities and parenting time to just one parent. However, the legal presumption is that a child’s best interests are served by having a relationship with both parents, and this presumption will need to be overcome with firm evidence.
To prove abuse is taking place, you may need to collect data and evidence, including:
Keeping a record of what your child tells you that the other parent is doing
Keeping a record of signs that may signify abuse
Photographs of injuries
Medical, educational, or police records
Testimony from witnesses
In the most serious cases, you may want to request an Emergency Order of Protection that requires your child’s other parent to stay away from you and the children while the parenting agreement case is resolved. Your attorney can help you collect evidence of abuse and file for necessary petitions to ask for full custody.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Divorce Attorney Right Away
If your child tells you that their other parent is abusing or neglecting them during his or her designated parenting time, take action right away by contacting an assertive Dupage County parenting time attorney with Andrew Cores Family Law Group. Abuse or neglect can have serious consequences for a child’s physical and mental health and bad behavior from your co-parent may escalate if left unaddressed. Contact our offices today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.