Visitation When There Has Been Previous Abuse Pre-divorce

During the divorce process, there are two attorneys and possibly an interim child psychologist looking over the parents’ shoulders during visitation. They are checking to make sure that a parent is not trying to alienate the other one and that the children are having smooth transitions. In the majority of cases visitation goes well with children benefiting with the presence of both parents in their lives. When there has been some past abuse or the children feel threatened, or unsafe, then measures can be taken. These tips help children feel more comfortable.

Get a track phone for your child with an x amount of prepaid minutes. Some of these phones will let you program a few important numbers in them. I taped that track phone’s number and my son’s therapist one on the back for any emergency. Just carrying the phone discreetly in a pocket can help a youngster feel more secure. Bach Flower Rescue Remedy comes in a dose for children This is for an acute, stressful situation, if one should arise. I would only send this with an older child who understands how to correctly take this stress remedy.

Another helpful hint is letting the child take a small object that helps her feel more powerful. It may be a saint’s medal or a special natural stone with certain perceived protective properties. My younger son got a Chinese character with a specific meaning from a compassionate shopkeeper. He still wears it around his neck for ongoing protection. My older son also included a smooth gemstone in his pocket that he fingered when upset. Maybe a small toy would be comforting for a young child.

If the older child drops out of visitation when she turns 18 and the younger one refuses to go alone, then supervised visitation is an option. The length of visitation or the type of activity might have to be adjusted. Your divorce attorney or child’s therapist can help with setting up supervised visitation. The age where a child can petition the court for modifying or ceasing visitation varies by state.

Do not ask how visitation went or what your child and the other parent did. If you suspect that any abuse is reoccurring , document any physical signs (photos of bruises) and discuss this with your lawyer. Children’s Protective Services may have to be notified. Again, most visitations go well with children feeling loved and cherished by both parents.