|Domestic Violence Dealing with abuse and violence. Getting support and help.|
How to deal with Child Abuse
I'm seeing a lot of people coming on here and ranting on about child abuse or about how the other parent is abusive to the child, etc. A lot of times I'm finding these allegations to be subjective opinions and not fact driven allegations.
I am writing this to help parents understand what really is child abuse in family law and when you can make such allegations and what you should do if there are allegations of abuse. I'm hoping this will be made into a sticky. This is mostly based on first hand personal experience but also contains information I have obtained from lawyers and personal research. It is all in my own words and is NOT copy/pasted. This is also not legal advise. I'm not a lawyer and can't give LEGAL Advice. You should seek independent legal advice from an attorney before making any decisions or choices. Any decisions or choices you make is at your own discretion and you are solely responsible for your decisions and choices.
What is child abuse?
This can be anything in the form of verbal or physical abusve. Verbal abuse would be anything said to the child that would have negative effect on the child's well being and emotions. For example, a parent disparaging the other parent, i.e., your dad was never in your life! Daddy is a terrible word! Your dad threw a chair at me! You're a worthless kid!
Physical abuse could be any type of contact that would injure the child, i.e., leaving marks and bruises. Not all injuries leave marks.
How do you report and prove child abuse?
If you're a parent in a custody dispute and call CAS, this can be seen as just a tactic to disadvantage the other parent if you're allegations are not proven or if the other parent denies them. It is to the case workers discretion whether you are to be believed and whether the allegations are substantiated or not. Often, parents will coach their child to make an abuse allegation about the other parent.
If your child disclosed the incident to a teacher, then you are in good hands. This is because you're not there and it is hard for the other party to say that you influenced or coached the child to make that allegation. If you do coach the child to make a false allegation to the teacher, this can be figured out as when CAS get's involved, they'll want to talk to the child independently, they are experienced and they have dealt with this many times and can tell when a child is liying or telling the truth.
Keep in mind that if your child is young, i.e., 5 or 6 years old, they will generally take the statement with a grain of salt. Children at that age will say something and then something completely opposite and are really easily coached by parents and are really good liars at times.
Police VS CAS
If you call the police, it should only be if your child's life is in immediate danger. If you are contacted by the police and accused of abuse, do not speak to them. You don't know what the other parent had said and you don't want to say something that may incriminate you or make it appear to the officer that what the other parent has said is true. If you make an allegations and the officer finds that an allegation is false, or believe it to be, you could be charged.
If you call the CAS or are contacted by CAS, treat them as family and be very cooperative with them. If you be difficult with them and withhold information or don't answer their questions, that can be seen as you having something to hide and will give them suspicion and can be used against you.
The cas and police work hand in hand and will involve each other when necessary. The police will most always contact CAS whenever there is a dispute between parents and there is children involved.
If the CAS is concerned, they will place restrictions against the other parent, or ask the parent to take parenting classes or go through counselling. It is the CAS decisions to take court against or not against the other parent. Generally they won't get involved in custody disputes. If they do an investigation during a custody dispute and the allegations are closed off as ubsubstantied, then that is the end of the allegations. The family court won't care. They will say if there was any concerns of the child's well being then CAS would have taken appropriate steps. They are trained professionals that work with children and know when a child is in need of protection or is being exposed to abuse.
Making allegations of abuse without evidence will hurt your case.
Taking pictures and recording your children are not evidence. Judges frown on this and this will also hurt your case. What is a child to think when they are consistently being exposed or photographed for the purposes of evidence for family court proceedings?
Abuse against another parent, i.e., domestic violence, is a different story and can be covered in another sticky. Sometimes, if there is domestic violence (proven with evidence) that can be used against the other parent to limit time with their child.
Feel free to add anything that I may have missed, and hopefully, before you make allegations of child abuse, you have something to back it up
Last edited by trinton; 11-07-2016 at 01:08 PM.
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