Can You Prove Neglect in a Child Custody Case?

Deciding how much time each parent gets with their child after a divorce is complicated when both parties disagree.

If one parent strongly believes that the other parent is incompetent and can’t care for their child, they can hire a child custody lawyer to present their case in family court.

Working with a child custody lawyer is especially important when one parent believes their former spouse is a threat to their child’s wellbeing. If you think your child is at risk, it’s best to lawyer up and take your case to court.

Proving Neglect in a Child Custody Case

What counts as Neglect?

Generally, courts try to offer shared custody, so the child gets to spend time with both parents; however, if one parent considers their ex unfit for the job, they will have to prove it in court.

The court will consider various factors before determining whether joint or sole custody is best for the child; they keep their best interests in mind.

So what counts as negligence when it comes to parenting?

Parents have certain obligations toward their child; they must ensure their child’s educational, physical, and emotional needs are met.

If a parent fails to feed their child on time, provide sufficient living conditions, or cause them physical harm in any way, it will be considered negligence. Not making sure your kids get to school on time and missing parent-teacher meetings are all signs of neglect.

Gather Evidence

Proving your ex-spouse is an unfit parent can be a challenge since children aren’t allowed to speak for themselves in court—as a parent, you probably don’t want them to put them through court proceedings either.

To help build your case, you can get audio, video, and photographic evidence to prove neglect. Get videos of your child in unclean clothes, show photographs to show that they’ve lost weight or have been injured as a result of neglect.

In California, you should avoid recording private conversations without all party’s consent because it’s illegal.

Documenting Vital Information

If you suspect your child isn’t being fed properly, has been missing school, is ill, etc., write down all the details.

Make a note of your child’s weight decline (or gain), and keep track of their absences, test scores, homework assignments from school.

Any sort of concrete evidence you may have could be used against your former spouse in court.

Gather Witnesses

Several other people in your child’s life are looking out for them. If you know teachers, friends, family, neighbors, and nannies who have witnessed neglect, ask them to testify.

Prepare Your Child For Court

In some complex cases, the judge may ask your child to describe encounters with your spouse. As a concerned parent who is worried about their child’s safety, prepare your child in advance so they can give accurate descriptions of their encounters in court.

If you’re looking for a family law attorney in Chico, CA, to prove neglect in a child custody case, get in touch with Marquez Law Offices. We can help your child custody and visitation case, and help you secure spousal support.

Contact us for more information.

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