When a parent faces the difficult decision of how to protect their teenager from an abusive environment, it can be agonizing. Abuse can significantly impact a teenager’s mental well-being, and they need a way out. Unfortunately, the courts are often left with no choice but to grant custody of the child to the abusive parent in divorce cases, whether contested or an uncontested divorces Nevada sees often.
If you aim to protect your child from an abusive ex-partner, consider relocating a considerable distance away. Understand that courts are often hesitant to revoke or restrict the parental rights of your ex. Sometimes, distance can be the most effective barrier you can place between your child and an abusive spouse. Just as you can choose your bank and utility providers, you have the right to decide where you live and raise your family.
From the age of 14 onwards, courts will listen to a child’s preferences and try their best to fulfill their desires. A child neither needs nor wants to be raised by their abuser. The courts will address the emotional issues behind a troubled child’s choice of one parent over another. However, this does not guarantee that a 14-year-old will ultimately choose where to live outside of an abusive environment. The courts may still be forced to place the child in a situation where abuse has occurred.
Protecting Vulnerable Children
Courts have a duty to protect vulnerable children by issuing protective orders against their abusers. If you’re considering where to live, there are factors that can help you make a decision in your favor. Once courts issue protective orders against an abusive environment, the child has no choice but to comply. Also, if your child has to move to an abusive environment, it may mean that the courts have temporarily removed them from a loving environment. This factor might work in your favor when choosing where to live, especially if the neighborhood has a high rate of violent crime.
On the other hand, if you want to give your child a chance to escape an abusive environment, be aware that some neighborhoods may exacerbate the problem. Domestic violence is not uncommon in these areas, which could be due to a lack of social activities or inadequate home security. Courts view domestic violence as an ongoing issue and try to keep children away from abusive environments. To qualify for a protective order, the court must be reasonably certain that the child would be in danger if placed in a domineering environment. Consulting local domestic violence lawyers in Las Vegas to help you obtain a protective order can increase your chances of success.
If neither of these scenarios appeals to you, there are ways to work around them. First, if you can prove that the other parent is physically abusing your child, you can move your child to a different location outside the court’s jurisdiction. You should do this even if you think you don’t want to be in contact with your former spouse. If the other parent has chosen a new residence and you want to be near your previous residence, you can file for a change of residency. In most states, a Change of Address will require you to show proof of abuse (or move to another city if you can’t prove it). The process may not be too difficult; in many cases, you’ll only need to fill out a form, inform the court why you want to move (if the Change of Address makes it easier for you), and explain how you plan to attend your child’s school there.