Angry man yelling at his ex-wife and upsetting his child

What to Do if You Suspect Your Ex is Putting Your Child at Risk

The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer Dec. 6, 2023

We understand that co-parenting after a divorce can be a challenging journey. One of the most distressing situations we encounter is when one parent suspects their ex is putting their child at risk. This is a complex and emotionally charged issue, but it's crucial to act promptly to protect your child's well-being. At The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer, we can guide you through identifying risky behaviors, gathering evidence against an unsafe environment, and taking steps to protect your child. Our divorce attorneys provide professional legal assistance to families throughout San Jose, California, and the surrounding areas. 

What Behaviors Put Children At Risk?

When co-parenting, it's essential to be aware of behaviors that put children at risk. Neglect is one of the most common forms of child maltreatment; it's when a parent fails to provide necessary care, supervision, or support. This neglect can manifest in various ways, such as not meeting your child's basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing. 

Another behavior that can put children at risk is exposure to unsafe conditions. Such conditions may include a home environment where drug or alcohol abuse is present, domestic violence occurs, or living conditions are unsanitary. Lastly, any form of abuse—physical, emotional, or sexual—inflicted by a parent is a direct threat to a child's safety. 

Proving an Unsafe Environment for a Child

If you suspect your child is being exposed to an unsafe environment, it's critical to gather evidence. Documentation is key here. Keep a detailed record of incidents or behaviors that raise your concern, including dates, times, and descriptions. If possible, collect physical evidence such as photographs or videos that demonstrate unsafe conditions or abusive behavior. Witnesses who can corroborate your claims will also be helpful. 

Obtaining copies of any reports made to Child Protective Services (CPS) or law enforcement agencies can strengthen your case. Remember, it's not about accusing your ex-spouse unjustly; it's about ensuring your child's safety. 

How to Protect Your Child's Well-Being

When it comes to protecting your child's well-being, there are several steps you can take. For immediate protection, you may seek a protection order (also known as a restraining order) against the other parent. This order can prohibit them from having contact with your child or coming near them while you work through the legal process. 

Involving Child Protective Services (CPS) is another crucial step. CPS has the authority to investigate allegations of child abuse or neglect and can take necessary actions to ensure your child's safety. You may also need to consider modifying your parenting plan to restrict the other parent's access to your child or establish supervised visitation, if necessary. 

Retaining an Attorney Can Make All the Difference

Navigating through such a situation can be overwhelming, which is why seeking the guidance of an experienced family law attorney can be invaluable. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options, guide you through the process of gathering evidence, and advocate for your child's best interests in court. 

They can assist you in filing for a protection order, navigating the CPS process, and seeking modifications to your parenting plan, if needed. With their knowledge and counsel, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have a strong advocate fighting for your child's safety. 

Protect Your Family by Contacting Us Today

If you suspect your ex is putting your child at risk, it's vital to act promptly to protect their well-being. By understanding the behaviors that put children at risk, collecting evidence to prove an unsafe environment, and seeking legal assistance, you can ensure your child's safety is prioritized. 

You're not alone in this journey. There are resources available to help you navigate this challenging situation. By taking the necessary steps, you can provide a safe and secure environment for your child, even amidst a difficult co-parenting relationship. At The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer, our attorneys are here to guide you through every step of this process. We're committed to serving families throughout San Jose, Fremont, Hayworth, Alameda County, Santa Clara County, and Pleasanton, California.