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Is my ex-husband inflicting corporal punishment on my children?

Syracuse, NY |

I have a court order that states "neither party shall inflict or allow another person to inflict corporal punishment on the children." My children came home today after a weekend visit with their father and were both clearly upset about an incident that happened today. My daughter was repeatedly spanked by her father and then picked up and thrown onto a bed. My son (age 8) said he was "terrified," and my normally happy-go-lucky daughter(age 7) was withdrawn and crying. Is this corporal punishment and what can I do about this? I have sole custody and my ex gets visitation every other weekend.

Also, the order states the children, "shall sleep in a bed alone." My ex continues to allow them to sleep in bed with him.

Please tell me what my options are.

Thank you.

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Attorney answers 3


Yes, spanking is exactly what "corporal punishment" means. You should consider filing a proceeding for in Family Court violation of the custody order, as well as the provision concerning the co-sleeping. You may also want to file for an order of protection against the father and institute a Child Protective Services proceeding for abuse if the violation of the custody order was willful and knowing or the conditions or actions of the father could constitute child abuse. You may also want to seek supervised visitation.

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Spanking is coporal punishment and if what the children say is true then the father has violated. You need to file a motion with the court and also seek advice of an attorney as to whether you should involve child protective services. Contact your attorney.


First, you need to hire an attorney. Then you need to file an emergency order to show cause to suspend visitation until such time as the court can resolve these issues.

I am an attorney with over a decade of experience in Matrimonial and Family Law with offices in Brooklyn and Manhattan. I have experience in all five boroughs as well is Nassau and Suffolk County. I can be reached any time at 347-289-5886. The opinion expressed in this ad based upon the limited information provided and do not indicate an attorney-client relationship

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