How do I prove mental, emotional abuse. Of a child. By one parent against another that will stand up in court.

Asked about 2 years ago - Chiefland, FL

We will have to do this without an attorney as we are very limited on funds and all attorneys we have talked to want $ 4000 . 00 and up . Their dad has not complied with any aspects of the divorce or mediation agreement , we have filed contempt charges . This has increased the mental and verbal assault on the children . And him ring to ( win them over ) .

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Answered . It is possible but difficult. The first thing you would have to ask yourself is how you know that the child is being abused? You will need to present that evidence to a court. Of course, you will need witnesses and evidence. Witnesses can only testify to things they have personally seen or heard. Next, you will likely need to have an expert evaluate the child and testify in court. It may even be necessary to have the court appoint a guardian ad litem to determine what is in the best interests of the child.

    It is possible to prove abuse but you will need evidence.

    This is not to be considered legal advice nor does an attorney-client relationship exist.
  2. Answered . I am presuming here that "Dad" has some sort of time sharing in the divorce and that you are the majority time sharing parent correct? If this is so, then there are two ways to go. First you can file for contempt of court. That is generally cheaper, but you need to prove that a specific provision of the divorce decree is being violated. There is usually some boilerplate language in the decree that says something like one parent may not disparage the other and must act in the best interest of child etc.
    The more comprehensive way to deal with this is to file a Supplemental Petition to Modify the Final Judgment. This is a little more expensive in attorney fees, but gives a much more permanent cure to the problem. The Court may very well minimize or eliminate or otherwise curtail his visits if you can prove this.

    You must be cautious though. You need to prove mental and/or emotional abuse. Those things are found usually by experts presenting evidence to the Court, not just because you claim a particular conduct is abusive. You may very well be correct that his conduct is abusive, but first you need to prove the conduct is happening. The only witnesses may be the children themselves and there are rules for getting them to testify. Second you must prove (usually with an expert) that the conduct is truly abusive to the child.

    No answer posted is meant to be conclusive or to insinuate any outcome of any case. It is a generalized miniture... more
  3. Answered . This is not acceptable. You can take him back to court to enforce the court orders. Not all attorneys, including myself would require a $4000.00 retainer. You need to go back to court to protect your children.

    Lawrence J. Marraffino
    Gainesville Family Law Attorney

    This answer cannot be a substitute for legal advice which requires more information from the client than can be... more

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