When you initially decided to divorce, you probably supported the idea of your ex sharing custody. Regardless of how bad the relationship between the two of you may have become, as a loving parent, you undoubtedly realize the importance of having two parents in the life of a child.

However, shared custody can sometimes put you in an unpleasant situation, especially if it becomes clear that your ex has treated your children inappropriately. If your kids start coming home with bruises or if they inform you that they don’t receive food or other necessities while in the care of your ex, you may need to ask the courts to modify the custody order.

Some parents aren’t capable of providing for their kids on their own

Parenting comes naturally to many people, especially those raised in households that prioritize family values or that have a lot of children. However, not everyone grows up with an understanding of what children need or how to take care of them.

Especially if you have always fulfilled the parental responsibilities for your family, your ex may not understand how to structure a day or meet the needs that your children have. If they sink into a depression after the divorce, they may simply stop trying. If you witness parental neglect that affects your children, offering advice may help, but you also want to document each incident so that you can help protect your kids if things don’t improve.

Some people take their anger out on those around them

While depression is a common response to the end of a marriage, other people become angry. Your ex might be mad about the divorce or about how shared parenting responsibilities impact their new-found freedom.

Although Texas does not forbid physical discipline, it also isn’t okay for parents to hit their children out of anger. If you suspect child abuse or if your children come home complaining of mistreatment or covered in bruises, photographing the injuries, recording the statements of your children and taking immediate steps to protect them may be necessary.

Talking with an attorney about a modification or even a protective order may be the next step to help keep your family safe.