Parents in North Carolina are given custody or visitation rights only if it is in the best interest of the children to do so. If there are concerns about a child’s safety while with a parent, that person may lose custody or other rights. In some cases, parents may be restricted to supervised visitation after being accused of emotionally or physically abusing a child. Parents who believe that their children are in danger should collect evidence to back their assertions.
The results of a mental health exam may reveal that a parent is emotionally abusing a child. Medical records could reveal that cuts, bruises or other injuries were the result of being hit or otherwise physically assaulted by an adult. Parents should detail any past instances of physical or mental abuse that they or their children experienced. A judge may ask a child to talk with a therapist or take other steps to determine if he or she has been abused.
During the course of an abuse investigation, the court may talk with a child’s teachers or neighbors. Other family members may also be interviewed to determine the veracity of the allegation. In some cases, a temporary protective order will be issued until the matter can be resolved. If the abuse allegation is true, a permanent restraining order might be issued.
The best interests of the child are a top priority for a family law court. Therefore, a judge will take allegations of abuse seriously. A judge will also likely frown upon any false allegations made against a parent in an effort to deny that person of his or her parental rights. An attorney may help a parent gather evidence to show that a child was subject to abuse or saw someone else being abused at home.