Family Court, sadly, sees many allegations of sexual abuse, often in conjunction with domestic violence cases. Sometimes a perpetrator will admit some of the domestic abuse charges, but may refrain from admitting any acts against the children. These cases are highly emotional and a perpetrator may be hard pressed to tell the truth of what happened. Some acts leave evidence but others do not and it can be difficult when the court must rely on witnesses and the victim.
Handling Sexual Abuse Allegations in Court
Typically the court will only allow supervised visits with the child during the beginning stages of the case. This can complicate family life because it can become complicated to coordinate visits and designate the proper adult to supervise. Usually grandparents or other close family members of the accused parent are willing to spend the time supervising, however, the candidate must be suitable to the court. If the court feels that someone is unable to protect the child, then the family may have to resort to a supervised contact center. Do not hesitate and contact an experienced family lawyers Tampa FL relies on to ensure you are taking all proper steps.
The court will conduct the trial based in these standards:
1. Family Court serves a different purpose than criminal court, so they won’t make findings about whether the abuse occurred unless the evidence is outstanding. If they do find the abuse occurred, then the parent will be greatly restricted or even prevented from having a relationship with the child.
2. The best interest of the child is always considered when making decisions in family court and the court may have to decide how to balance the risk of parental contact and the benefit it may have depending on the offense. However, the court will not make orders in favor of the perpetrator if it puts the child at high risk for abuse.
If You are the Parent Accused of Abuse
1. Don’t become reactive. Sending threatening texts and emails will paint you negatively. Reach out to friends and family during this difficult time.
2. Consult a family law attorney right away, they may also advise you to consult a criminal lawyer. Have representation with you when speaking to law enforcement.
3. Take precautions around the children, maybe have another adult present during visits or custody.
Seek Legal Assistance
If allegations have been made against you citing sexual abuse, you should seek legal representation immediately. Having a lawyer guiding you through the process is the best thing you can do for yourself in this situation. They can represent you in court, bargain for visitation and they know your parental rights. Do not make the situation worse by waiting. Hire a lawyer today.
Thank you to The McKinney Law Group for providing their insight and expertise on divorce and family law.