Child Abuse and Custody Keeping Your Child Safe
Our Little Falls Family Lawyers Define Abuse vs Neglect and How to Protect the Child
One of the most horrific images a parent can imagine is their child being abused. Unfortunately, in Passaic County and the state of New Jersey every day there are children who are forced to live in abusive and neglectful domestic situations. Sadly, in many cases, a current or estranged spouse may not recognize the presence of abuse or neglect when it comes to their child. Furthermore, a parent often does not fully understand the legal ramifications the presence of child abuse can have on divorce proceedings. Below we will define some of the different types of abuse and neglect, what warning signs to look for and some actions to take if you do indeed feel your child is the victim of its presence.
What is the difference between Abuse and Neglect?
The New Jersey Department of Children and Families defines the difference between abuse and neglect as the following:
- Abuse is the physical, sexual or emotional harm or risk of harm to a child under the age of 18 caused by a parent or other person who acts as a caregiver for the child.
- Neglect occurs when a parent or caregiver fails to provide proper supervision for a child or adequate food, clothing, shelter, education or medical care although financially able or assisted to do so.
Is my child a victim of abuse or neglect? What to look for.
Although defining the terms of abuse and neglect may seem simple, recognizing its presence is often much more difficult. Below are some of the more prevalent warning signs to be mindful of if you think your current or former spouse is abusing or neglecting your child.
- Physical Signs of Abuse: Unexplained Bruises to the face, torso or general body. Unexplained burns to the aforementioned areas. The presence of unexplained fractures to the child. The presence of unexplained abrasions and lacerations on the child.
- Behavioral Signs of Abuse: Child is frighted of their parent or parents. The child is acting abnormal aggressive or withdrawn.
- Physical Signs of Neglect: The child is constantly hungry. The child exhibits signs of poor hygiene. Child is often left unattended or unsupervised for extended periods of time. The child has health concerns that have gone unattended or been neglected.
The presence of Child abuse or neglect in your NJ divorce and custody case.
The presence of Child abuse or neglect can have a serious impact on the divorce and custody process. If you do feel as though your child is being victimized it is important to take the necessary steps to insure that your argument is heard in the courts to its fullest capacity. Often when it comes to abuse cases the courts will need to see more than just circumstantial evidence. One of the most helpful things a parent can do is to document its occurrence. A parent will need to provide support for their claim of abuse from a third party. Examples of this could be medical records documenting a child’s injuries or school reports that also reflect the presence of abuse. Often it is also helpful to have the testimony of family members, neighbors, or friends who have also witnessed its occurrence.
When abuse is involved in a divorce or custody battle court proceedings can become complex and difficult to litigate and it is extremely important to have a qualified law firm to protect the rights of you and your children. If you live in Passaic County and suspect that your child is being abused and are contemplating divorce it is of the utmost importance to seek legal counsel.
Consult with an Experienced Team of Attorneys
Our qualified attorneys at The Montanari Law Group have handled divorce and custody cases across Northern New Jersey, including Passaic County, Clinton, Little Falls, and Wayne. They have the experience, knowledge, and compassion to guide you through this difficult process. Call today for a free legal consultation, 973.233.4396.