Since the state of Florida works to have both parents work together to raise the child, it is important for you to report any signs of neglect or abuse by your ex. Reporting the abuse can save your child from further harm. The court takes abuse seriously and can use this information to change your custody agreement. 

The Mayo Clinic lists the various forms of abuse and what you should look out for as a parent. Be on the lookout for one or more symptoms related to their emotions, mental state and their body. Sometimes an abuser mistreats them in multiple ways making it hard for you to distinguish exactly what is happening. 

It is common for children to feel confused, guilty or ashamed when a loved one abuses them. Especially if this is their parent, they may not want to tell you or anyone else for fear that their other parent will get into trouble. Look for red flags such as frequently missing school, withdrawing from their normal activities or friends, depression, hostility, self-harm or runaway attempts.  

Your child may have inconsistent stories or unbelievable stories about bruises, burns and fractures. Poor hygiene, hiding food, lack of clothing, stealing money and lack of necessary medical attention are signs of potential neglect. If your child knows more than they should about sexual activities and behaviors, they could be sexually abused. 

Keep an eye out for anything that looks out of place in order to better advocate for your child. This is intended as educational information only and not to be used as legal advice.