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What should I do if I think that my ex-husband is molesting our child(ren).

A child molester will not, under any circumstances, win custody of a child. The molester will also not be granted visitation rights and will most likely have his or her parental rights terminated, in addition to being prosecuted for the molestation or abuse.

If the child molester is not the parent but, rather, the new partner of the parent, the outcome will be the same. The courts will do its best to protect the child, and the parent guilty or guilty by association will lose all custody rights.

Due to the impact of a claim of abuse, neglect, or molestation, it has often been referred to as the "nuclear bomb" of child custody cases. It is a devastating accusation that almost always injures the accuser as well as the accused. Charges of child abuse are often made in the heat of a separation and divorce trial, in anger, revenge and or the fear of losing the child(ren). While the incident of false charges is probably quite small, they can cloud the issue for all other, legitimate claims. Compounding this is the difficulty of proving abuse, especially with very small children.

If the allegations of abuse are proven false, the accuser can lose custody of the children instantaneously. Some states provide very stiff penalties for making false accusations of abuse.

That said, if you suspect abuse, neglect, or molestation, do not hesitate to tell your lawyer. Your child(ren) should be examined by a physician and also should be interviewed by a sexual abuse counselor or someone else with experience in these matters. It is not recommended to accuse your spouse or ex-spouse until you have spoken with a lawyer. As we have mentioned before, allegations of this type are very touchy and can prove to be detrimental to your case if they are false.