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On behalf of Stephanie Jackson

There are many ways children can be endangered and there are legal steps you can take to protect them.

Nothing in the world is as precious as your child. One of the worst feelings is leaving your child in the care of someone you do not have complete confidence in as parent. If you share custody or visitation with an ex-spouse you do not trust you may be placed in this situation frequently. You, however, can take actions through the legal system to protect your son or daughter.

Types of child endangerment

A mother in Mesa was recently charged with child endangerment for leaving her 1 ½-year-old daughter inside a van while she did some grocery shopping. The woman made conflicting statements to police regarding whether she forgot about the child, or deliberately left her in the vehicle. Although the girl had an elevated temperature, Mesa firefighters successfully treated her and she sustained no injuries.

We often hear about instances of child endangerment like this on the news. Child endangerment, however, can refer to many situations where children experience unsafe conditions. These include:

  • Leaving a young child alone without an appropriate caregiver
  • Exposure of the child to criminal activity or drug abuse
  • Sexual abuse of the child or exposure to illicit sexual liaisons
  • Failure of a caregiver to consistently use car seats and seatbelts
  • Failure of a caregiver to keep the child in a safe and suitable home environment

There are many ways a caregiver can endanger a child. Some involve the parent engaging in improper behavior in front of the child (drug use, crimes, sexual activity). Others involve consistently neglecting to take steps to ensure the child’s safety in a vehicle or in the home environment.

Whatever the type of endangerment, there are steps you can take to prevent your child from being in an unsafe situation.

Consult with an attorney

If you are worried about the safety or your child, do not hesitate to take action. There are several legal options available. These include requesting the court to revise a child custody order or petitioning for an order of protection. Both of these orders may limit the contact between your child and the caregiver you do not trust. Other options may also be available depending on the specific circumstances. The experienced family law attorneys at Lasiter & Jackson can advise you of the best steps to take based on your case, and advocate on your behalf throughout the legal proceedings.

Keywords: child endangerment, divorce

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