In Ohio and across the United States, divorced parents need to have concerns about what constitutes the best interests of their child. Courts have legal obligations to make sure children are safe. Any divorced parent who thinks their ex-spouse is a threat to their child should petition the court. A judge will typically conduct a thorough investigation when a parent states that the ex-spouse is abusing or threatening the child. If appropriate, the court may decide to remove a parent’s visitation rights.
A suspicious parent should never ignore a situation involving their child’s safety. Whether the abusive parent has visitation rights or maintains legal custody of the child, the court needs to know if the child is in danger. A parent with legitimate concerns should inform a judge during the divorce proceedings if the child is being threatened. The judge can then study the accusations to ascertain if they are legitimate concerns. A judge may also ask Child Protective Services to conduct an investigation.
During the investigative process, the court and Child Protective Services may contact relatives, friends, neighbors and teachers to decide whether the allegations are true or false. During the investigative process, a judge may allow supervised child visitation rights until a determination is made. Grave concerns about the child’s safety may influence the court as to which parent receives custody of the child.
Visitation rights are not written in stone: A court has the right to make changes if a child is in danger. Sometimes, it is necessary to contact a family law attorney for legal assistance. A parent who suspects child abuse should gather together evidence before making an appointment with a family law attorney. Evidence might include copies of police reports, medical tests and testimonials from people who are aware of the situation.