Houston Child Abuse Attorneys
Child abuse can take many forms and should never be tolerated. Unfortunately, offenders may take to blackmail in order to force others to keep quiet about their impudent act(s) of abuse. The Houston family attorneys of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler would like the community to understand that there are legal options that may be sought after in order to achieve both justice and an end to any further harm. Contact us today at (713) 802-1777 to learn more.
Do I Need a Child Abuse Lawyer?
Child abuse is a serious problem, and not one that you should attempt to handle on your own. Whether you suspect child abuse or actually know that it has occurred, an attorney can help ensure that you take the proper action to make sure the children in your life stay safe. Perhaps you should contact child protective services. Maybe it would make sense to file a lawsuit against an abuser. A child abuse attorney can make sure you know all of your options and choose the ones that are best in your particular case.
Why Choose Holmes, Diggs & Sadler to Handle My Case?
When you are dealing with a delicate matter such as child abuse, your attorney needs to have your full trust. This is where experience becomes a significant advantage. The attorneys at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler have dedicated their careers to the different aspects of family law, including issues of child abuse. We understand how high the stakes are, and will treat your case with the seriousness it deserves. We are a compassionate team that will help you achieve the outcome you need when it comes to putting an end to horrific child abuse.
Firm founder Robert E. Holmes Jr. is a passionate advocate who has spent over twenty-five years in the field of family law. He founded the firm to help families achieve their goals. Similarly, partners Cynthia Diggs and Judith Sadler are dedicated to working on behalf of families. Ms. Diggs is a highly decorated family law attorney with a wealth of experience in all types of cases and forums. She has been named a Super Lawyer for the past ten years based on her excellent work in this field. Ms. Sadler has been highly rated by her peers and clients, as shown by her AV rating on Martindale Hubbell and 10/10 Avvo rating.
You may not know where to turn or what actions to take, but that is what the attorneys at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler are here for. We are dedicated to providing assistance in every aspect of family law, including child abuse cases. We look forward to hearing from you so that we can assist in this most difficult type of case.
Types of Child Abuse
Child abuse can include physical, sexual or emotional types of abuse. Any act or failure to act by a caretaker that causes harm is a form of child abuse. Neglect, for example, involves failing to act to meet a child’s physical needs. This is a common type of child abuse. At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we can handle child abuse cases involving:
- Physical abuse – this is any type of injury to the child that is not an accident
- Emotional abuse – this type of abuse involves interfering with a child’s mental health or social development
- Neglect – failing to provide a child with basic necessities such as food, a place to sleep, or clothing
- Sexual abuse – this includes any type of sexual touching between an adult and a child
Any form of child abuse is a serious matter that deserves attention. Please contact us immediately if you suspect or know of any of the above forms of abuse occurring to a child.
Preventing Future Incidents of Abuse
Depending upon the particulars of your circumstances, there are several options available to family members / witnesses that may be wanting to take action against any alleged acts of child abuse, such as the following:
- Contact Child Protective Services (CPS)
- Obtain a protective order for your child / yourself
- File for divorce
- Settle child visitation and custody rights
Because any form of abuse can have serious and detrimental effects on a child, it’s important to take action as quickly as possible. By consulting with a family law attorney, you can properly assess your legal and social options regarding a case of child abuse.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Child Abuse?
People in certain professions are trained to spot and report child abuse. This includes doctors, social workers, school employees, nurses, and clergy. While these professionals are trained and required to report child abuse, they are not the only individuals in Texas that have a duty to do so.
Texas law provides that all adults in Texas are required to report child abuse. Even if you have no relation to a child, you have an obligation to report suspicious activity if a child may be in danger. It is particularly important to believe a child if they tell you they have been abused.
To report child abuse in Texas, contact Child Protective Services or the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. If you do not report suspected child abuse, you could potentially be charged with a misdemeanor. The penalties for this type of offense include a fine and time in jail.
What If My Partner is Abusing My Children?
If you are aware that your partner is abusing your children (or any other children), you must take steps to prevent it from happening again. The quickest way to obtain protection from abuse is to file for an ex parte protective order. This will temporarily require that the abuser cease contacting you and your children. The order will require that the abuser stay away from you physically and also prevent communication via the telephone or electronic means.
An ex parte protective order is obtained by filing a form with the court where the abuser lives or where abuse has occurred in the past. The abuser does not need to be present for you to obtain this type of order for a period of twenty days. You will have to go to court and potentially answer questions a judge may have. Once you get the order, it can be renewed for periods of twenty days.
Typically, you and your attorney will want to seek a final protective order that will prevent the abuser from coming near you or contacting you for up to two years. This is accomplished after you have obtained the initial ex parte protective order. Your attorney must ensure that the request for a final protective order is served on the abuser so that they have a chance to come to court and defend themselves. After a court proceeding, if the judge is satisfied that the risk of harm is ongoing, you will receive the final order of protection.
In situations in which a spouse is committing child abuse, it is very likely that divorce will be an option that you will want to pursue. The attorneys at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler are highly experienced in this area of law and can walk you through the process and what to expect. If this is a necessity in your case, our attorneys will help you navigate the process so that your best interests are protected during separation and after the divorce is finalized. Our attorneys can also handle all child custody matters to ensure the safety of your children.
Contact a Child Abuse Attorney in Houston
It’s important that the children in our community can live, learn, and play safely. The attorneys of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler can help Houston families better understand their legal options, and find swift justice to this kind of highly sensitive situation. Consult with a member of our legal team today by calling our Houston offices at (713) 802-1777 and learn more about how we can help.