How to Protect Your Child from An Abusive Ex

If you are reading this article because you feel your child is in danger. Our heart goes out to you.

Single Mom Spot understands that with many of the challenges single mothers face the stakes against their children and their home life couldn’t be higher or more dangerous.

If you think your child is being abused or is at risk for abuse, you should contact your attorney immediately. If your child is in immediate danger, call 911. Do not wait until it’s too late. Many moms fear repercussions from the ex or the court and regardless of that risk, protecting your child is the first priority. 

Learn How to Protect Your Child From an Abusive Ex

Below are steps you can take TODAY to assure your child’s safety and prevent future abuse.

Step 1-Document Your Child’s Complaints

Be specific. Write down any circumstance that your child reported to you that made you fear for their safety. Also, document any observations you have made yourself. Share your documentation with your attorney. If you don’t have an attorney, finding one is a high priority.

Step 2-Look for Signs of Abuse

If you see a sign of abuse that the child states was caused by the other parent, document it and take your child to the hospital so that your child an immediately tell a professional that the court will reference in the future.

Step 3-Seek Assistance from Law Enforcement

If your child is refusing to go with the parent and expresses that they fear for their safety, have the police at your home when the other parent arrives so that there are witnesses to your child’s DISTRESS and FEAR. This at a minimum will provide a witness to your child’s responses and a testimony that should hold up in court.

Step 4-Protect Your Parenting Rights

While taking action to protect your child, ensure that you are protecting your ability to be their primary caregiver in the future.

  1. Document everything and make sure that there are reliable witnesses to the situations that are occurring.
  2. Have a neighbor (or your attorney if possible) stand outside as a witness your child’s response to their abusive parent.
  3. Consult with an attorney over the issues you are experiencing and develop an action plan to protect your child and your ability to parent them.
  4. Ensure that at all times you are making decisions with your child’s best interests at heart.

An Unfortunate Truth About Court Mandated Visitation Schedules

It is difficult for single moms to protect their children from abuse from the other parent when there is a court mandated schedule in place. Consulting with an attorney will help you take immediate, appropriate action to protect your child from an abusive parent.

If you need to protect your child from an abusive ex and the court system has failed you, listen to your gut instincts if you truly believe your child is in danger. DO NOT allow your child to go with a parent that is actively threatening them or has already started a pattern of abuse.


Learn How to Report Child Abuse or Neglect

The Child Welfare Information Gateway is a great resource to help you learn how to immediately report child abuse or neglect.  Their site also provides an online chat, multilingual services and connection points to help hotlines including the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (Call or text 1.800.4.A.CHILD [1.800.422.4453]).

A Note for Moms Whose Child is Safe but Struggling with their Visitation Schedule

If you feel your child is safe, but the child cries, complains or becomes stressed about seeing their dad, read this related post 5 Ways to Help Your Child Cope When they Don’t Want to See their Dad.

Single Mom Spot is an online community for single moms to find hope and help. If you know a single mom struggling with an abusive ex, please forward this article to her and encourage her to take action today. Many single moms are fearful of taking action against an abusive co-parent. Action in some cases is essential to protect your child.

Thank you for reading! If you have any advice or experiences you would like to share, comment below, our mamas can use the support!


My name is Jenna and I am the founder of Single Mom Spot. I've been a single mom for almost 10 years now. I'm a Christian and mama to two kids that I love like crazy. I started this site because I know how difficult single motherhood can be...and also, how beautiful. I believe that single motherhood helped make me into the best version of myself as a woman and mom. My hope, is that through a connection point like Single Mom Spot, women can share their experiences and grow together. What an amazing thing if every single mom could live her best life as a woman and mother right now, in the middle of her most challenging life circumstance. How bold. How beautiful. How unforgettable. Thank you for reading and supporting Single Mom Spot.