Non-custodial parents who have visitation rights through a Tennessee family court must care and provide for their children just as though they have full custody. If you suspect your ex-spouse is an unfit parent during your child’s visits, there are ways to search for evidence. According to Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services, there are two forms of abuse: physical and sexual.
To request a modification of an ex-spouse’s custody rights, you may need to document any noticeable changes in your child after a visit with their non-custodial parent. Injuries to your child’s body may indicate and prove to the court that your ex-spouse is acting in a harmful manner or is allowing another person to inflict harm.
Signs of physical abuse are not always apparent, but might include bruises, cuts or acting in fear. The warning signs of possible sexual abuse are children having trouble walking or sitting and possibly displaying self-loathing.
A parent who fails to provide adequate care for a child may lose their visitation rights if their actions promote severe harm or risk to the child’s health and well being. Signs that a parent is neglecting a child may include a lack of nutrition and medical treatment.
Emotional and psychological injury is also a form of serious harm that an unfit parent may inflict on their children. Calling a child names, shaming them in public and overly controlling their speech or movements may indicate abusive behavior.
When there is sufficient proof of child abuse or neglect, you may wish to ask a family court judge to modify a divorce decree to eliminate an unfit parent’s visitation rights.
This information is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.