What to Do If Your Spouse Is Physically Abusing Your Child

Posted on: 24 October 2018

Violence against children in the home set-up is more common than you would think. Violence can be physical, emotional or psychological, and when it happens, it deprives a child of their right to enjoy a peaceful and emotionally healthy environment. If you suspect that a parent, a guardian or another caretaker could be subjecting their child to domestic violence, you are allowed to get help for them and to remove the child from that environment. When your spouse is the one perpetrating the violence, the best thing you can do is revisit the custody agreement and see if you can convince the family law court to change the terms.

Collecting and verifying information

If you want to help your child get out of an abusive environment, you cannot rush into launching a legal complaint before the family law court. At times, this could be frustrating, especially when a child is involved, because you want them to leave the abusive environment as soon as possible. Have the child examined physically for bruises and also have a mental health expert assess the child to find out if they elicit characteristics of emotional abuse. If you have access to your spouse's house, you could even try and document video evidence of the violence. A professional psychologist and family lawyer will guide you on how to work with state agencies to get help as fast as possible.

Contacting law enforcement

The best way to start a child abuse case is by calling in law enforcement the moment it happens. For instance, if you pick up your child and find that they have bruises, go to the police and record a statement. If the injuries need treatment, make sure that you store all the relevant health records. 

Modify the custody agreement

If you have supporting documents showing that the custodial spouse is indeed abusing your child, you should get the family law court to change the custodial agreement. It is important to note that child abuse cases lead to criminal charges. As you decide on the way to proceed, make sure that you understand how profound the implication might be on your former spouse.

Removing a child from an abusive environment is one of the most emotive and challenging processes to handle. However, the process can be simplified when you enlist the help of a family law solicitor. The lawyer helps with evidence collection and guidance on the procedures to follow to ensure that the child is taken to a safe place in time.