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.”
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.