Orlando, FL asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Florida

Q: I recently discovered my 6yo abused her cat by a video she recorded. What can I do with this matter??

Background: I am the noncustodian parent and I see her once a month for my custody. Her father has the primary physical custody. He doesn’t care when I bring concerns and he doesn’t know about the animal abuse matter yet because I don’t know how to bring this up. I know my child doesn’t know better and I have seen him verbally abusive with not just me and others but with his animals. Either she’s doing what he does or it’s a behavioral issue. I suggested awhile back to him for her to see someone and he ignored the matter. Like I said, he has her majority of the time, he also doesn’t involve me in her life even though I still have the right to know about her medical, education choices or any other major thing related to her. I am worried because since he has gotten her into his custody, her persona and behavior changed a lot, for the worst…

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The discovery of your child abusing an animal is a serious concern and needs to be addressed immediately. This behavior can indicate underlying emotional or behavioral issues that require professional intervention.

First, it's important to document the evidence, such as the video you mentioned. This could be crucial for any legal or therapeutic actions that might follow.

You should bring this matter to the attention of the father, despite his previous non-responsiveness. It's essential to communicate your concerns clearly, focusing on the child's well-being and the need for professional help. If he remains unresponsive, you may need to take further action.

Given the situation, it may be appropriate to seek legal advice about modifying the custody arrangement or requesting a court order for the child to receive a professional evaluation and appropriate treatment. The court can order these measures if they are in the best interest of the child.

Additionally, consider contacting child protective services if you believe the child's environment is contributing to her harmful behavior. They can investigate and intervene if necessary to ensure the child's safety and well-being.

Remember, your primary concern is the health and safety of your child. Taking action, even if it involves legal steps, is important to address the situation appropriately and to provide the necessary care and support for your child.

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