People often marry someone and, too late, they find out the person they married is not who they thought. Sometimes this happens early in the marriage, and the individual is able to get out of the relationship before children are involved, but often this is not the case.
In these situations, working with a child custody attorney will be particularly important for the safety and well-being of the child or children. Sometimes, a parent may not realize the other parent is negligent or unsuited in caring for the children until the kids report back that these types of issues are occurring in the other parent’s home.
When this happens, contacting an attorney as quickly as possible should be a priority. It is important to understand what you can do to protect the children without creating legal issues by breaching the visitation order or being seen as trying to alienate the children from the other parent.
Meet the Attorney
The first step in the process is to meet with the child custody attorney. When there are issues of potential negligence and parenting problems, calling in CPS or legal services may not be helpful. In cases of abuse, the authorities should be the first phone call.
A child custody attorney can review the information you provide and also review the co-parenting plan. He or she will provide you with the next steps that can be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of the children.
In some cases, there may be the option for supervised visitation. This will provide a trained professional, typically a counselor, therapist or a trained social worker to monitor the interactions with the other parent. It is also common to have a family member, often someone that both parents can trust, to provide that additional level of monitoring.
It is critical not to simply act on your own or withhold the children from the other parent. Talking to an attorney before the next scheduled visit is essential to understand your options.