When a couple makes that life-changing decision to part ways, the effects will inevitably trickle down and affect the children of the marriage. The family court is not just there to decide on divorces, though. They are there to advocate for children who could be left in a vulnerable position because of their parent's decisions. Read on and find out how the court views children involved in divorce issues.
The Court Is Watching
It's difficult to imagine an innocent child being put in danger because of the actions of a parent. However, divorce can produce the perfect storm of emotions that can result in just that. When parents separate or file for divorce, the family court begins to take a special interest in the welfare of a minor child. They may become aware of the child through orders for support, custody, or other issues.
Once aware, the court has the power to step in and issue a variety of court orders about a minor child if they are either petitioned by a parent or other interested parties. For instance, if a concerned grandparent can prove that a child is being mistreated, neglected, or the like, the judge may order the temporary removal of the child while further investigations can be completed,
What to Do
If you believe a child to be in danger, you can take action even if you are not a parent. However, you cannot expect the judge to take action without any proof of wrongdoing. Other witnesses, photographs, video footage, a police report, and other proof should be ready before the date of the hearing. Speak to a family law attorney and ask for a hearing where you can bring your concerns before a judge. The judge has a variety of options when an issue arises. They can change orders about custody and visitation, ask an appropriate government agency to investigate things, and they might also order the family to undergo a study conducted by a child mental health specialist.
Things to Watch Out For
Abuse of a child can run the gamut from subtle psychological abuse to outright physical abuse. Along with that, parents, grandparents, and anyone else concerned about the welfare of a minor child should watch out for these issues:
- Drug abuse, substance use, alcoholism.
- Physical and mental abuse.
- Parental kidnapping.
- The child is exposed to criminal activity, inappropriate people, etc.
- The child is not being properly fed, clothed, educated, or disciplined.
- Failing to provide medical care for a child.
Don't wait until a divorce is final to speak to a family law attorney about the above issues. You can help protect a child of divorce by turning your attention to doing the right thing. For more information about divorce law, contact a local lawyer.