If you suspect that your children are being abused and neglected by their other parent or a step-parent, it is your responsibility to do something about it. However, it is also possible that you may feel your hands are tied by the court system. Before you take matters into your own hands or give up hope, speak to an experienced family law attorney like those at Men’s Legal Center in San Diego. These attorneys have many years of experience in helping men stand up for their children’s rights and putting a stop to abuse or neglect on the part of former spouses.
What Is Abuse?
Before you take action against a former spouse for abuse or neglect, you should determine exactly what is happening and whether it constitutes abuse. California identifies child abuse as physical injury inflicted on a child by someone else, sexual abuse or emotional abuse. Neglect is defined as treatment that threatens a child’s health or welfare. In general, California courts recognize and investigate the following types of abuse:
- Sexual abuse. This is the performance of sexual activities on or around a child, including indecent exposure, molestation and rape. It can also include exposing a child to pornography.
- Physical abuse. Physically abusing a child means inflicting some type of bodily injury on the child, including actions performed as a method of punishment.
- Emotional abuse. Mental abuse is more difficult to prove than other types of abuse but it includes willfully causing a child to suffer mentally or emotionally.
- Neglect. General neglect is the failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing and supervision. California also recognizes severe neglect as the failure to provide basic needs to the point that the child’s health is endangered.
- Exploitation. Child abuse includes forcing a child to perform activities that are illegal or degrading.
Proving Abuse Can Be Difficult
While you may be justifiably concerned about information you receive about your former wife’s treatment of your children, your unsubstantiated word may not be enough to prove that there is abuse. If you suspect abuse, however, there are steps you can take to make your case stronger.
The attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center in San Diego are here to help you through this difficult process. Give us a call before you take any action so that we can help you decide the best way to handle your situation.