Hiring a Family Law Attorney When Adopting a Child

What Do You Need To Prove Child Abuse?

by Jamie Nichols

Emotional child abuse is a serious accusation that you shouldn't make without having the other parent can easily lose their custodial or visitation rights, which would be a disaster if based on false allegations. This is why the government will scrutinize your accusations thoroughly before making a decision. So how can you prove that a child is being emotionally abused? Your chances of success are high if these four factors support your claim

Medical Records

If the child has been treated for emotional issues, then the medical records will form your best evidence for the abuse. Treatment for emotional abuse takes different forms, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapy. The therapist or doctor who treated the child for the abuse may also provide relevant testimony for the same.    

History of Abuse

People do change, but it isn't such a long stretch to imagine that somebody with a history of abuse can revisit their injurious deeds. Therefore, if you suspect the other parent is abusing your kid, your suspicions should be strengthened. This isn't exactly evidence, but it shows that your spouse is capable of the allegations.

Even the courts will be more inclined to take you seriously if there is evidence for a history of abuse. After all, emotional abuse is addictive and makes the perpetrators feel entitled and powerful, which means mean some abusers may not change. A citation for child abuse, prior conviction, and protective orders may all form evidence for a history of abuse.

Behavioral Changes

The behaviors, both of the child and the parent, may also show an abusive pattern. For example, a child who is being emotionally abused may be depressed and socially withdrawn. Often, such kids experience a decline in academic performance and may even refuse to go to school. It is important to note that emotional abuse may also exhibit itself physically, for example, in the form of headaches.

Abusive parents often exhibit denials of their children's problems and symptoms; they may even lay the blame on the kids. You should also be suspicious of a parent who shows little concern for their kids or limits the kid's interaction with other people including relatives.  

Expert Testimony

Finally, you can invest in expert testimony to prove your case of emotional abuse. Such experts may include child psychologists, counselors, or even the child's school teachers to support your allegations of abuse. A child psychologist or counselor, for example, can coordinate all the various forms of evidence and suspicions and explain to the court how they all reveal a pattern of emotional abuse.  

Child abuse, in all its various forms, is a serious threat to a child's well-being. Call the authorities if you suspect a child is facing imminent danger or if you are certain a child is being abused. Contact a family lawyer (such as Thomas & Associates, PC) if you have general suspicions of child abuse.