Finding family law solutions when there are child abuse concerns

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute LLP posted in Family Law on Tuesday, December 24, 2019.

Child abuse is a very challenging issue to navigate. Finding family law solutions in a situation where a parent or someone in the household is suspected of abusive behaviour can be particularly unsettling and legally contentious for all involved. Those who are accused of abuse, or those who suspect abuse of another party in a custody dispute, should be familiar with the legal system that exists to protect children and resolve these serious issues in Alberta.

When an abuse accusation is raised, the justice system will need to render a verdict about whether this accusation is founded. In many cases, there is ample reason for alarm to be raised. Unfortunately, false claims have been made in the past so investigations do need to consider both sides of the story and seek the truth about the situation at hand.

There are serious consequences for false allegations in Ontario, and those who make untrue claims can put their parental rights at risk by lying. Similarly, those who are found to be covering up child abuse can face legal consequences. Those who suspect child abuse from a parent should be careful to keep specific notes about behaviour, instances and observations that may support the allegation.

Asking children about potential abuse is something that should be done very subtly. The other party can claim parental alienation or object to leading questions if it is done too explicitly. Involving an Alberta lawyer early on and exploring the family law solutions with this legal counsel can help people avoid missteps in these very critical circumstances.

Tags: Family Law

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