There is nothing more important than your child’s safety and well-being. As a result, when allegations of child abuse are involved in a family law matter, this could make the situation all the more devastating and emotional. Allegations of abuse can arise in high conflict divorce and child custody cases. This is why it is extremely important to hire a Short Hills child abuse lawyer who could help protect your child’s best interests and your parental rights.
New Jersey courts and state agencies are vigilant about investigating these allegations. Our team of family lawyers understand what is at stake and are ready to advocate for you and your children.
In Short Hills, child abuse is a serious crime, and any witness to this mistreatment must report it to the Department of Children and Families. A wide range of acts or injuries may constitute abuse. An attorney in Short Hills could determine whether there is enough evidence to either support or argue against allegations of various types of child abuse.
Physical child abuse includes sexual violence and any other actions that may physically harm a minor. Physical abuse might manifest as bruises, broken bones, unexplained “accidents,” burns, cuts, or physical injury to a child. There are types of sexual abuse that do not result in bodily harm to a child, so these allegations can be difficult to prove.
Emotional injury can occur without physical scars. A child can suffer abuse through verbal attacks, deprivation of affection, or social isolation. Emotional abuse can be harmful to children in that it can impact them during important times of growth and development.
Child abuse includes all areas of neglect. A parent may be physically or emotionally absent, resulting in a lack of food, security, or stability. The law defines neglect as the failure to act. This form of mistreatment can result in psychological and emotional harm to a child.
While the protection of children is the preeminent concern, there may be instances where allegations are unfounded or raised during a highly-contested divorce or custody case. When a co-parent alleges child abuse, state agencies and courts may get involved quickly. Skilled legal advocacy can help protect children and parents in these cases.
If one parent suspects abuse, they must show that the other parent is “unfit” to have custody or visitation. The state law defines an “unfit parent” as one who cannot provide a safe, secure, and nurturing environment for the child. A court may deem a parent to be “unfit” if there is a risk of physical, emotional, or psychological harm. If one parent can prove that the other is “unfit”, this party may lose custody or visitation rights.
Grounds for finding a parent unfit include a history of violence or dangerous activities, problems with substance abuse or addiction, and previous findings of neglect or child endangerment. Given the severity of these allegations, and the potential loss of key parental rights, a parent who is facing these allegations, should contact an attorney immediately.
Additionally, the burden of proving unfitness can be a difficult one to fulfill. Fortunately, a caring lawyer in the community could help gather evidence to support allegations of child abuse or to prove them false and protect a parent’s rights.
If you suspect your co-parent is mistreating your child, or if you have been accused of this crime, our team of Short Hills child abuse lawyers could help you through this difficult time. All children deserve protection, especially during a contentious divorce or custody proceeding. For more information about how our firm could help, call today.