Read these 10 Abuse Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Divorce tips and hundreds of other topics.
If there are any issues of substance abuse, ask the
Court to order a hair test. This test can show
substance abuse over the last five years. Be aware
that the Court may order that both parties are to
take the test. If it proves negative for your spouse
you will lose credibility with the Court.
Get out! If there is violence in the house,
there's only one thing you can do for yourself.
Afraid you're over-reacting?
Get yourself to safety immediately. Nothing else matters.
You can always file for divorce later. Your Safety comes first. This is also true for men too.
If you have used drugs or are using drugs, tell the truth. Know that if you want child custody or visitation you will have to face your problem. The Court will find out about your substance abuse, so you have a choice to walk away or own up to it. You will need to go into a program and work on your problem. If the Court has to order this they will most likely only grant supervised contact and it will be professionally supervised. If you admit to your problem and enter a program voluntarily, you stand a better chance of unsupervised contact or supervised contact using a family member as the supervisor. You must make a choice: your children, or your addiction.
More and more the Courts are finding that when people are involved in litigation of the custody of the children, an allegation is made of sexual abuse. This is a double-edged sword as some children have been sexually abused by a family member and only come forward when the family separates. More often, one spouse will make this allegation in an effort to get a leg up on custody. Be very careful when making this charge as it will set off an uncontrollable series of events. The children will go through various life changing evaluations, physical as well as psychological. The person accused may be incarcerated, and have life-long damage done to their reputation. The person making the charges may find themselves having supervised contact with the children if the Courts determine there was no abuse and that this was a manipulation of the children.
Often when you go to Court for an order of protection, the Court will order an investigation by the Child Welfare Services. The reason for this investigation is to determine the effects of the alleged domestic violence on the children. The Court may suspend all contact between the alleged perpetrator of the violence. If the Court finds that there was abuse the children may become subjects of a child abuse report. Do not avoid contact with the Child Welfare Services as this will have an impact on your child custody and contact with your children.
If your ex alledges that your new partner is a threat to the children, the Court may issue an order of protection barring any contact between your children and your new partner. Do not disregard this order as violating the order may cost you child custody or contact with your children.
When you are charged with sexual abuse, do not lose control. Get a lawyer who specializes in this area, as the charges are very serious. Do not be naive and believe if you did not do anything, everything will be ok. This is today's witch hunt, it is packed with emotions, not facts. Do not become angry with your child or attempt to question your child. If you are not guilty then your child is being made to believe that some ordinary act was abuse, and both you and your child are suffering. Do not accept any time alone with your child once you are charged. Attempt to keep your relationship with your child and ask for supervised visitation by a professional rather than allow for no contact until the Court finishes its evaluation and investigation. These evaluations and investigations can take up to one year and your child will become distant and afraid, a professional can attest to your child's relationship with you and prevent any further allegations from being made.
If you believe that your child is being abused by your ex, do not take action outside of the Court. It is difficult when you believe that your child is being abused, not to stop visits or not return your child from a visit. You must file in Court immediately, call the local child welfare services, and the police. You must use your legal rights to keep your ex from your child or you will find that the Courts spend all their time and energy looking at you and not assisting your child.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|