Are Your Kids Unsafe With Your Ex?
You’ve survived a tough divorce, but the hard times are not behind you. That’s because the court order specifies that you share your children with their other parent—someone you deeply believe is unfit for the demands of the job. Every time your kids head over there, you worry until you’re completely frayed. What can you do to keep your children safe?
If you are truly convinced that the kids are at risk, you are obliged to do something. An initial consultation with your local, proficient family law attorney about how to proceed will be informative and beneficial. Then it may be time to get the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) involved. You can expect DCF to investigate any reports made, with an eye toward verifying the claims and ensuring children are safe. They generally work alongside local police and other agencies as they deem necessary. A proper report that can be investigated must meet the following criteria:
- Children must be under the age of 18;
- The alleged perpetrator of the abuse or neglect must have some custody or care of your children;
- Legal definitions of abuse/neglect must be adhered to.
Abuse and Neglect of a Child
Simply not liking your ex, or being unhappy that they handle certain situations differently than you might, doesn’t make them guilty of abuse or neglect. Claims must meet certain legal definitions in order to initiate a DCF intervention:
- Abuse is defined as emotional, sexual, or physical harm intentionally inflicted on the children, or even the threat of such harm. It could be outright actions, or simply omissions, that result in damage to the physical, mental, or emotional well-being of the children.
- Neglect is the deprivation of support, shelter, clothing, medical, or nutritional care to the children, leading to physical, mental, or emotional impairment in the children.
Reporting Can Remain Anonymous
You need not share your name when you call in a report, and even if you do, the information will be considered confidential, so the alleged perpetrator will not know who reported a concern.
DCF will conduct an official assessment of the family environment in hopes of providing assistance that will ensure the children have access to the nurturing and care they deserve. Reports made to the abuse hotline will be dealt with urgency, and will be turned over to the appropriate investigative office within just one hour. At that point the investigator has 24 hours to make contact with the alleged perpetrator and initiate the investigation.
Protecting Children is Job One
If the safety of your children is at risk, there is no time to lose. Contact the Boca Raton family law attorneys at the office of WiseLieberman for immediate action. Ultimately, court proceedings could lead to significant changes in visitation and/or custody.