Often, the most difficult part of ending a marriage is realizing you will now have to share parenting time with your minor child with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Once the divorce decree is entered, and the parenting plan approved, most parents adjust to the shared parenting time schedule. What happens though, if at some point down the road you begin to suspect that your ex is neglecting your child? This can be particularly troubling if your ex has your child the majority of the time. Before you do something rash that could land you in jail or that could prevent you from being awarded sole managing conservatorship of your child in the future, you need to consult with an experienced attorney. A Plano Father’s Rights Lawyer can explain the legal options available to you if you suspect your ex-wife is neglecting your child. For now, it is in your best interest to read through the following advice to ensure that you are in the best possible position to remedy the situation.
What Rights Were You Both Granted in the Divorce Decree?
This may seem like an easy question to answer; however, you would be surprised at how many parents either don’t know what their legal status is post-divorce or are mistaken about it. If you do not have an approved, and signed, copy of the divorce decree, make a point of requesting one from the court. In the decree, the issue of conservatorship as well as possession and access will be addressed unless they were dealt with in a Parenting Plan. In that case, the Parenting Plan should be referenced in the Decree.
Read though the decree and/or Parenting Plan carefully to determine who was granted conservatorship of your child. Conservatorship refers to your right to make important decisions regarding your child, such at what medical treatment your child will undergo or what school your child will attend. It is common for parents to be joint managing conservators unless there is a compelling reason to appoint one parent as sole managing conservator. Possession and access refers to the time your child will physically be leaving with you are that you will be exercising parenting time with your child.
If you are concerned that your child is being neglected, your conservatorship rights are what are important at the moment because as joint managing conservator you have the right to have your child examined by a physician, for example.
Document Your Concerns
Start keeping a journal that documents your concerns. Each time something happens that you believe supports your belief that your child is being neglected, or mistreated, write down the incident along with a detailed explanation. If your child is showing up at your home with bruises, or other injuries, take photos.
Do Not Pressure Your Child
There is a fine line between encouraging your child to open up and talk to you and pressuring your child to effectively “tell” on a parent. Your child’s age will dictate, to a large extent, how to handle any attempts at gathering information from your child. If possible, consult with a child psychologist or similar expert before talking in depth with your child.
There Is a Right Way, and a Wrong Way, to Handle Your Concerns
Your emotional impulse may be to rush in and take your child from your ex-wife. While that may work in the short run, it could backfire on a grand scale in the long run because a court will not look favorably on your actions. You do, however, have rights to your child and you can do something about your concerns.
How Can a Plano Father’s Rights Lawyer Help?
If you believe your ex is neglecting or harming your child, consult with a Plano father’s rights lawyer immediately. In the long run, your attorney can help you fight to become your child’s sole managing conservator. For the immediate future, you may be able to request an emergency hearing in court to obtain a court order to have the child evaluated for physical and/or emotional injuries that will either confirm your suspicions or alleviate your concerns. The key to protecting your child, and enforcing your parental rights, is to work closely with an experienced Plano father’s rights lawyer.
If you have additional questions or concerns about how to handle suspicions that your ex is neglecting your child in Texas, contact an experienced Plano father’s rights lawyer at The Law Office of Jon R. Boyd by calling 972-332-0104 to schedule your appointment today.
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