New Jersey parents who may be considering divorce because of child abuse allegations against their spouse may be interested to learn the struggle of a Texas family. The stay-at-home father was accused of child abuse after he took his daughter to Children’s Medical Center after hearing a disturbing “pop” during a routine diaper change.
When attending doctors took X-rays of the then 3-month-old, they discovered she had suffered multiple fractures and determined that the injuries were not an accident. Police officers charged the father with 2nd degree felony injury to a child. Although the family’s pediatrician and nanny both reported that they had never seen signs of abuse, a grand jury indicted the father. He was limited to just two hours of visitation weekly and then only with court-appointed supervision.
While doctors at Children’s Medical Center had ruled out a bone disorder, an independent specialist indicated that there was evidence the child had ‘dematerialized bones.” Yet, two other independent radiologists said that the type of fractures shown in the X-rays indicated child abuse. The couple contacted a news agency seeking help.
Another family heard of their situation, which was similar to an experience they encountered, and reached out to the Texas family. They shared their story of alleged child abuse, and how, finally, their twins had been diagnosed with Ehler’s Danlos, or EDS, a genetic connective tissue disorder. The charges against the father were ultimately dropped, and the family is mending.
In New Jersey and other states, hospital staff members must report any suspected cases of child abuse. Serious accusations such as child abuse can put a strain on a marriage, which could ultimately lead to divorce. If the parent who has been accused of child abuse fears that they may lose custody during a divorce, they may seek help through legal advice. An attorney may be able to inform their client of how to protect their rights when it comes to child custody and visitation.
Source: WFAA, “Rare bone disease leads to bogus child abuse allegations”, Janet St. James, November 15, 2013