Here are some things to consider when thinking about how to watch for signs of child abuse. When going through a divorce, you may feel a heightened sense of concern about your children, especially if your former spouse is bringing in another partner to live at home. Vigilance over your children’s safety is certainly appropriate. You must also be aware that making accusations without any foundation could be disastrous for you. As a parent, you should always be aware of possible signs of abuse and how you can communicate with someone regarding your concerns. This is an issue you should take seriously and you should never allege against someone unless you spot serious signs.

When you get divorced, you might wonder about the situation involving not just your former spouse, but others as well. Since you are no longer around when your children interact with your former spouse’s family members or new significant other, it is not always easy to tell right away when there is an issue associated with abuse. You should never jump to conclusions, but it is good to have a healthy sense of concern if you spot consistent behaviors indicating something is wrong. Read on to learn more about how to draw the line between typical child behavior and that of a child who may be abused.

How Do I Know?

The best resources for how to spot potential abuse would be your children’s pediatrician or counselor.  Many clergy are also trained in this area. Consult with the appropriate person to discuss warning signs to be on the look-out for.

What to Do if You Think Abuse is Happening

If you believe that your children are being abused by a former spouse or by someone else who is close to them, as a parent it is your responsibility to take action and take these issues seriously. Make sure you have evidence and a strong reason to believe someone is abusing the children before making these claims. It is often good practice to bring the children to see their pediatrician so that a physical examination can be conducted. It is never easy to find yourself in this position, but if you truly believe that abuse is happening, you may be the only one your child can trust to help him or her. Keep notes of your concerns, and any relevant medical records, and know when it is time to share these concerns with someone else.

You may need to consult with an Arizona family lawyer and the authorities in Arizona so that the investigation of child abuse can commence properly. Your Arizona family lawyer may be able to help you understand how this impacts potential custody arrangements, too.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding How to Watch for Signs of Child Abuse, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Sheri D. Shepard at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.