What If My Ex Is A Danger To Our Child?

child custodyQuestion:

I’m worried that my ex-wife is behaving in a way that could threaten my child’s safety. What can I do since she has custody?


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and cannot give you legal advice, I can give some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I do practice in Pennsylvania, the court makes a custody determination based on the best interests of the child. Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Section 5328, sets forth several factors the court must consider in doing a “best interests analysis.”

Pennsylvania divorce attorney William Phelan
Cordell & Cordell Pennsylvania divorce attorney William Phelan, IV

Weighted consideration is to be given to the factors that pertain to the safety of the child. In fact, in the best interest of a child, the court must consider all factors that legitimately affect, among other things, the child’s physical and mental well-being. See Clapper v. Harvey, 716 A.2d 1271 (Pa.Super. 1998).

Therefore, if an ex-spouse is a danger to the physical and emotional well-being of the child, a court has the ability to fashion a custody order that would restrict that individual’s time and contact with the child. Whether a court would take such action is a very fact-specific determination that would need to be made by the court. To get such a potential issue before the court, a parent needs to file the proper petition.

Due to the sensitive and extremely fact-specific nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction, such as Cordell & Cordell, to see how your state’s laws can specifically help you with this serious situation. This type of attorney should be helpful in providing you specific assistance for your matter.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they particularly impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer William J. Phelan, IV, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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