For couples in Pennsylvania navigating divorce, one of the most difficult challenges to face involves child custody agreements. After a custody schedule has been established, a parent may become concerned about the child’s safety and well-being during regular visitations with the other parent.
If you have safety concerns about your child visiting your ex, you should definitely speak up. The court will take a threat to your child’s safety very seriously. You can expect the state to carefully investigate all allegations of threats and/or actual abuse to reach a child custody determination.
A judge will first investigate the incident to make sure the allegation isn’t being made up. In certain instances, Child Protective Services will also get involved to assist with the investigation. The judge or CPS may contact neighbors, family friends, relatives and the child’s teachers for additional information.
If your ex accuses you of making false allegations about your child’s safety, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself. First, supply any documentation you’ve obtained to the court. This could include police incident reports, testimonies from others who witnessed abuse to your or your child in the past or medical records. If your child exhibits symptoms of emotional trauma or physical abuse, consider consulting the help of a mental health professional or licensed therapist. After a professional makes an evaluation, he or she can present an opinion to the court on your child’s behalf.
If you fear for your child’s safety, don’t hesitate to take action. An experienced family law attorney who’s familiar with child custody arrangements may be able to provide you with helpful guidance.