Think Before You Act
One of the biggest mistakes that people make in family legal situations usually has to do with taking actions such as leaving the state with the child, withholding visitation from the other parent, moving without telling the mother or father of the child etc. There are a lot of situations in which there is a moment where you have to stop what you’re doing and ask yourself, should I be doing this? What are my rights as a mother, father, grandparent or sibling? Will it be considered illegal if I take off with my son or daughter? The answers to these kinds of questions depend heavily on the circumstances of each individual situation and may in fact require the assistance of a legal professional that can advise you on your choices. Here are some tips for parents who don’t know what to do but know that something needs to be done regardless.
You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should ignore the legal ramifications of a particular decision you can make concerning your child, i.e. leaving the state all together, but it does mean that one or another, you need to do something. You’ve arrived at a juncture in your relationship with the other parent, maybe you’ve been divorced for awhile and they’re breaking the agreement you guys have, or you might be contemplating a divorce due to a bad situation. Whatever the scenario is, the main thing is that something needs to change, that’s why you’re in this train of thought in the first place. Waiting for legal processes can be a long process and if you’re in an abusive situation, running might be where you’re mind is going. A lot of parents out there will tell you however, that this can be a mistake. The last thing you want to do is get arrested and have your child go back to the other parent, if that parent was being abusive in the first place, hence the running.
It’s easy to start the process to go to court over the issue, whether it’s custody, guardianship or visitation. The hard part of all this is being patient. There are things you can do in the meantime in to protect your, and your child’s, rights. If you’re a mother trying to get out of a relationship and you’re being met with threats from the father of your child to the effect of, “I’ll take the child away from you” or “I’ll leave the state with them and you won’t see them again”, these are serious threats that shouldn’t be taken lightly and in a lot of cases scare parents into staying in the relationship, which is probably the last thing that needs to happen. If you feel like you’re child’s safety is in danger, or even your own, establishing an order or protection or an emergency custody order might be something for you to explore with a professional who can either advise you to do so or get the process started to get everything in front of a judge. However, what a lot of parents across the country have found out, is that hearsay does not hold up in the court room. If you’re in an abusive situation, or your children’s well being is at risk, you need to have something to prove it. A little known fact of family court is the lack of background checks done on people who are in the court room. Unless they have a well established criminal background, there’s no way for the courts to know if what you say is actually true. The bottom line here is to present a solid case with solid evidence.
See more at –> www.AboutTheChildren.org
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