Attorneys Discuss Child Abuse and Molestation in San Diego Child Custody Cases
In managing custody and visitation-related matters, the primary concern of the court is to determine what course of action is in the child’s best interest for health, safety, and welfare. In fact, when the court has several civil matters to resolve involving the same people, it assigns special preference to the child custody matter. Child custody can be addressed separately and in an expedited manner as the court deems necessary.
The court encourages regular, continuing contact between the child and both parents - assuming it is in the child’s best interest. Instances of abuse that occur in a household where a child is residing can be detrimental; therefore, if allegations of child abuse surface, the court will take reasonable steps to protect the child’s safety while conducting an investigation.
The family court may begin its investigation by assigning a local service agency to coordinate the allegations of child sexual abuse. When the court pursues allegations of abuse, it will look to independent sources for information. These sources may include law enforcement, protective services and agencies, previous court cases, medical providers, etc. The court may determine that the child is of sufficient age and mental capacity to provide his or her own input as well.
The state has both court-affiliated and private custody evaluators at its disposal, both of whom are trained regarding child sexual abuse. The following training is standard:
- Identifying ways that child sexual abuse is often hidden, and techniques for discovering it.
- The effects and nature of child sexual abuse.
- The legal protections of rights of child abuse victims.
A child custody evaluator must be one of the following:
- A physician who has completed a psychiatry residency.
- A licensed psychologist.
- A licensed marriage and family therapist.
- A licensed clinical social worker.
- A court-affiliated and certified custody evaluator.
Other related situations leading to custody changes or modifications are:
- The custodial parent incurred a felony where a minor was the victim, resulting in his or her registration as a sex offender.
- The custodial parent is also housing a felon who is registered as a sex offender.
No one wants to think the dreaded words "child abuse." But it’s better to be safe than sorry where children are concerned. Mattis Law, A.P.C. has an established track record of proven success in family law. You owe it to yourself to retain the best possible representation for your case in San Diego, Del Mar, or La Jolla. For a complimentary case evaluation call (858) 328-4400.
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