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Can I Get Custody if My Ex is Abusing Our Child?

Posted on in Family Law

Waukesha County Child Custody LawyerThe time following a divorce, separation, or other establishment of a court-ordered child custody order can be a time of high conflict between co-parents. Unfortunately, this results in many false accusations of child abuse that judges and courts must spend valuable time and resources investigating. 

For those parents who are dealing with real concerns of child abuse, the prevalence of false accusations may make them understandably worried about whether the court will take their concerns seriously. After all, proving child abuse is not always easy, and although your parental intuition may be absolutely sure that something is “off,” it can be difficult to collect evidence to prove it. If you are worried that your ex is abusing your child and you want to take action in the form of a modified custody arrangement, contact an experienced Wisconsin child custody attorney today for help. 

How Does Child Abuse Impact Child Custody Disputes in Wisconsin? 

Wisconsin family law judges are primarily concerned with implementing a custody order that is in the best interests of the child. When a court finds that a parent has committed a pattern or serious incident of child or spousal abuse, Wisconsin law requires the well-being of the child to be the first consideration when making custody decisions. This usually means removing joint or sole legal custody from the abusive parent or only allowing supervised visitation. In cases involving concerns of ongoing physical abuse, the child may be immediately removed from physical placement with the abusive parent. 

Parents making allegations of abuse or neglect will need to prove these concerns in court before a judge will amend a custody order accordingly. Simply stating your firm belief or your own eyewitness account will not be enough. Parents who suspect or know of a child can prove its existence in a number of ways, including: 

  • Medical records from therapists, doctors, and school nurses

  • Academic performance records, such as plummeting grades

  • Police reports 

  • Investigations by Child Protective Services 

  • Witness testimony from teachers, neighbors, police officers, dentists, or doctors 

  • Photos of bruises, welts, or cuts 

  • Broken or chipped teeth 

  • Consistent signs of hunger, inappropriate dress, or poor hygiene

  • Significant weight loss 

It is important not to resort to recording your ex or sneaking around their home. At best, this evidence might be deemed illegal and inadmissible. At worst, you could get in trouble for trespassing or stalking. Let a skilled attorney help you gather evidence and advise you as you bring allegations of abuse against your child’s other parent.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Brookfield, WI Child Custody Attorney

If you are worried that your ex is subjecting your child to physical or emotional abuse or neglect, take action right away. Contact the Waukesha County child custody attorneys with Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options for protecting your child. Call us today at 262-232-6699

Source:  

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/lc/issue_briefs/2019/courts_and_criminal_law/ib_domestic_abuse_ao_2019_10_01

 

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