How to Deal with an Abusive Co-parent
Dealing With an Abusive of Difficult Co-parent
If your ex-spouse likes to downplay your son’s accomplishments and exaggerate his flaws, yell at him for every little imperfection, and pretend that you’re the root of all evil, you may not have enough evidence to change the child custody order, but you may still want to do something to counteract their negative effects on the children. When your child comes to your house dejected because of a difficult interaction with the other parent, be positive, try to help him learn how to rise above it and to rely more on you and his own accomplishments and self-worth and self-confidence.
Physical or Sexual Abuse
This being said, remember to carefully consider the actual behaviors. If the behavior is offensive but not harmful, or you just don’t like the way the other parent is “parenting” the children at their home, this is not abuse, and you could find yourself in hot water with the court if you restrict or deny the other parent’s visitations. If you are in danger but your children are safe with the other parent, as mentioned above, try to set up the exchanges at school, daycare, or maybe through a third party. If you are nervous about their safety, you may need to seek orders restricting the other parent’s contact with the children.
If you suspect or know that your children are being physically or sexually abused, as mentioned above, stop the visits with that parent immediately and call the police. You have an affirmative duty to protect your children, even from the other parent if they are harming the children. Gather all evidence, photographs, statements made by the children, witnesses who observed the abuse, and consult with a qualified attorney about obtaining a restraining order and sole custody orders.
At Pinkham & Associates, we know that your children are your top priority, and we want to help keep them, and you, safe from an abusive co-parent. If you or your children are being abused, or suspect they may be, contact us immediately for a free consultation.