What to Do if You Are Worried About Your Child’s Safety During Visitation

There is perhaps nothing scarier than worrying harm will be caused to your child. If you divorcing from your spouse with the help of a divorce lawyer in Fairfax, VA and endured domestic violence within the marriage, you may be worried that they will hurt your child during a visit. Maybe you are currently going through a grueling child custody battle to prevent your ex from even getting to see their child, but it’s looking like the court will grant visitation rights anyway. Now, you may be living in a state of anxiety and stress because you just don’t know if violence will fall upon your child once again. 

Here we talk about what to do if you are deeply concerned about your child’s well being when visiting with their other parent: 

Investigations of Accusations By the Court

If you are experiencing fear that your ex will hurt your children, you can rest assured that the court is likely to take these accusations very seriously. The judge will want to carefully investigate these claims of abuse and impending threats of violence before making a decision about child custody.

Because many people have sadly made false allegations about their spouses in the past as a way to win child custody, the judge will seek validity for these accusations. Child protective services and/or the court may speak with your neighbors, family members, and teachers of your children to see if there is supporting evidence to your story.

As the investigation moves forward, the other parent may still be allowed to spend time with your kids. Depending on the nature of the domestic abuse claims, the judge may require that visitation happens in a neutral, public place and with supervision by a court-appointed social worker.

How to Prove Your Allegations

Chances are, your ex is going to say and do whatever possible to minimize your claims or act like they have never harmed you or your children. If your ex has emotionally or physically abused you in past years, you need to have documents that detail these incidents. Helpful ways to support your allegations include bringing forward the following:

  • Police reports for an incident in which you called the police out of fear of harm, or being actually hurt due to your ex spouse. 
  • Medical records that depict injuries which are consistent with your stories about the mistreatment. 
  • Written or verbal testimony from people in your life that have seen the abuse, whether that be the incident itself or signs that abuse has occurred. These people could be a therapist, doctor, child’s teachers, family members, friends, and coworkers. 

If your child is showing signs that they have endured trauma because of your ex, you may want to take them to a mental health professional immediately so an evaluation can be performed. It’s important to start the healing process for your child if they have been on the receiving end of abuse or witnessed domestic violence incidents. The therapist’s conclusions can also be used as an element of proof in your domestic violence claims. 

Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into family law and your child’s safety during visitation.