Accusations of child abuse are always serious, but when they come up during a divorce, they can be especially detrimental. During a divorce, one of the biggest issues a couple will face is deciding on child custody and child support. When one parent makes allegations of child abuse it can drastically alter the way in which the child’s custody will be handled. The courts take abuse claims very seriously, especially when they concern the physical and emotional health of minor children. Whether you or your spouse has a history of child abuse or if either of you are currently facing accusations of abuse, it is important to understand how these allegations could impact child custody in a divorce.
Child abuse is defined as verbal, emotional, or physical harm against a minor. If the abuser is a family member, the child abuse would also be considered a type of domestic violence. It is required by law for certain adults who care for children professionally, such as doctors or teachers, to report any allegations of abuse. Whether you and your spouse were accused of child abuse during your divorce, or your spouse is making accusations against you, the implications on both parents may be severe.
Even if one parent committed the abuse, the other parent may still face penalties if he or she allowed the abuse to continue. By not immediately removing the child from an abusive situation, that parent may be considered negligent and could face charges as well. Anyone facing child abuse charges would likely lose some parental rights unless the accused was proven innocent. Parents accused of child abuse may lose primary custody or their share of joint custody, and would likely have to attend supervised visits in order to see their child.
It is important to note that the court system is not blind to the fact that some parents may attempt to claim the other parent was abusive in order to gain full custody of their child during a divorce. However, those who are caught making false claims will face serious legal repercussions for lying in court.
In the state of New Jersey, child abuse may result in serious penalties, including time in state prison, hefty fines, and court-mandated treatments. Those convicted of abuse would also be required to register on the Sex Offender Registry. If you are facing accusations of child abuse, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced lawyer to defend your freedom and protect your child custody rights in your divorce.
Contact the Law Offices of Ryan E. Gilbert, LLC for further help regarding child abuse accusations and child custody in a divorce.