Child abuse allegations appear to be on the rise. Many of the cases we see involve an angry ex making false accusations of child abuse to gain an advantage in a custody or divorce proceeding. While there are many false allegations of child abuse occurring, there are also real instances of child endangerment that might result in children being removed from a parent. As child abuse defense lawyers, we have prepared this tips for any parent accused of child abuse:
1. Take the allegations of child abuse seriously. No matter how ridiculous the allegations may seem, being accused of child abuse is serious. A substantiated claim of child abuse could result in being denied various government licenses, being denied employment, could result in your arrest and incarceration and could cost you your children in a custody battle. It is important to address the allegations as soon as they occur.
2. Hire a Child Abuse Defense Lawyer. Not to sound elitist, but there are a lot of attorneys who think they can handle child abuse cases and they cant. Dependency law has its own separate portion of the statute, its own series of case law and its own procedure. It is a narrow, specialized area of law.
With so much on the line, do really want to risk hiring an attorney who hasn’t handled child abuse cases? It is important to have an attorney that routinely practices in child abuse defense on your side. An experienced child abuse defense lawyer should be able to offer you solid legal advice, work your case through the system relatively smoothly and reach a resolution that benefits the client.
3. Do Not Speak To Law Enforcement or CPS Without An Attorney Present. While you want to address the allegations of child abuse as soon as possible, it is imperative that you do so with a child abuse defense lawyer by your side. In handling hundreds of cases, we have seen even the most innocent statements be used against parents to remove their children. Having a child abuse defense lawyer with you when you speak to CPS and law enforcement is imperative if you want to resolve your case quickly and stay out of jail.
4. Visit Your Children. In many, many cases, CPS can tell that allegations of child abuse are being made falsely by an angry ex. Unfortunately, CPS MUST investigate. Just because CPS is investigating a case does not mean that you cannot visit your children. In fact, you should insist on visitation with your children no matter what. Even if your children are removed from your care by CPS, you have a constitutional right to parent your children – a child abuse defense lawyer can help with this as well.
5. Document, document, document. If an allegation of child abuse goes beyond a simple investigation, it is important to document every interaction you have with your children and with CPS and law enforcement. Keep a log of your visits including the dates and times you visited – this will help with a custody case and getting your children returned to you. Keep track of any services that you engage in such as anger management, parenting classes or family therapy. Keep a detailed log of your interactions with CPS/DFS which should include dates and times of calls and meetings with CPS/DFS. If you are communicating with CPS/DFS your communications should be followed up with an email and your child abuse defense lawyer should be copied on all written communication.
If you've been falsely accused of child abuse allegations by a spouse, family member, or mandated reporter, you likely have many questions. While this can be a devastating time for you, let our child abuse defense lawyers assist you along the way. We have represented hundreds of parents against allegations of child abuse and have the background and experience to help you devise a plan of action going forward. Call us today for a consultation at (702) 433-2889 or contact us through our on-line form.