One of the direct consequences of divorce or separation is usually child custody and visitation. Ideally, the family court will encourage the divorcing couple to work out parenting that allows both parties to be actively involved in the life of their child. However, if this is not possible, then the court may grant primary custody to one parent and visitation rights to another.
However, the custody ruling is never irreversible. One of the reasons why a parent may lose their custody or visitation rights is child abuse or maltreatment. Here are types of abuse that can cost a parent their custody or visitation rights.
Physical abuse happens when a parent willfully subjects a child to bodily injuries or the risk of harm. If the abuse is perpetrated by the custodial parent, then the repercussion may include the removal of the child from the home. And if abuse is perpetrated during visitation, then the parent in question may lose their visitation rights as well. Depending on the severity of the abuse, the court may allow for supervised visitations. Common forms of physical abuse may include hitting, punching or slapping the child.
Sexual abuse or child molestation is far more common than most people think. This form of abuse can be perpetrated by the child’s parent, relative or any adult who is in contact with the child courtesy of the parent’s permission. The court, upon establishing the facts of the case, will take drastic actions against the perpetrator including loss of custody or visitation rights as well as jail time.
Emotional abuse can be difficult to prove. However, it can still form the basis for loss of custody or visitation rights. Emotional abuse can come in the forms of verbal abuse, belittling the child, alienating the child from the other parent or continually harassing the child.
The court takes the child’s best interests very seriously during and after the divorce or separation. Find out how you can protect your child’s rights if the other parent is abusing your child.