As a parent, it is always difficult to accept an unfavorable custody settlement, but that does not mean you should make concessions when it comes to your child's safety and well-being. There are a number of legitimate grounds on which to pursue a modification to your custody agreement, and chief among them is concern for your child's safety.
When a court determines a custody arrangement, it does so by examining the information at its disposal to decide which parent is able to provide the best life for the child. Often, however, this can occur on unfairly impersonal terms.
For instance, there are a number of mothers granted full or primary custody in large part because of their station as the mother, not because they are necessarily the most capable parent. In recent years, there has been a large pushback against this practice.
Unfortunately, many parents who receive primary custody go on to perpetrate harm and abuse against their children, or use the children as leverage against the other parent.
If you have reason to believe that your child is suffering abuse at the hands of their other parent, there are legal steps you can take to put an end to the abuse.
Gather information carefully and seek out professional guidance
In order to have your custody arrangement successfully modified, even on grounds of abuse by your child's other parent, you will need to provide sufficient evidence that abuse is occurring, or that the environment is otherwise unsafe. Because you are not physically present for much or any of your child's regular schedule, you must be very careful. To ensure that your efforts are admissible in court, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney about how to secure the information you need.
It is also important to note that you can petition for a modification if you suspect that your child's parent is abused by another party like a partner. Parents have a responsibility to create a safe environment for one's child, and that includes keeping themselves safe from abuse, too.
Creating an unsafe environment may not include direct abuse. It may simply mean that your child's other parent engages in unsafe behavior, like possessing or distributing illegal substances.
If you break the law in the course of investigating the safety of your child, you may sink your chances of having a court honor your request for a modification.
Once your legal counsel determines that you have collected sufficient evidence, you can file a petition for a modification of the custody agreement.
Ultimately, the divorce settlement derives from the facts that were available at the time. If the facts change, or if new information comes to light that changes the situation, it may justify a modification by the court.
Don't wait to get the help that you need
If you worry about your child's safety, then you certainly do not want to skimp on building a strong case for your custody modification. You deserve to have the guidance of an experienced, qualified attorney who can help you understand the nuances of your situation.
With proper legal guidance, you can rest assured that your case is carefully considered, and that your rights remain protected.