While most cases of domestic violence occur between spouses or unmarried romantic partners, this doesn’t mean that children are not affected. Domestic violence can spill over and involve the children if the abuser begins to be violent toward the children or if domestic violence and abuse allegations come about during a separation or divorce. Any time domestic violence is an issue in a relationship that has resulted in children, it’s important to understand how Child Protective Services may become involved and what to do if this happens.
If the children show signs of physical abuse or relate stories of abuse to teachers or other child care providers, it’s very possible for Child Protective Services to step in. This is true even if it has already been documented that one parent is the source and the parties are divorced. Once Child Protective Services gets involved, it can seem like everything is suddenly beyond your control, and this is partially true.
Child Protective Services is extremely powerful, and while their intentions may be to protect children, its employees are not infallible. It’s common for mistakes to be made. It’s important to understand that no matter how intimidating it may seem, as the parent of a child you have rights. You can challenge Child Protective Services decisions and request a hearing. However, it’s very important to have appropriate legal counsel to help you during this time. At Scott M. Brown & Associates, we’d like to help.
Talking with a lawyer as soon as domestic violence becomes an issue in your relationship can help you understand what you can or should do to protect your children and your parental rights should Child Protective Services become involved later on.