Child custody issues can be overwhelming, especially when allegations or investigations into child abuse or neglect are part of the equation. Child custody agreements can be affected when DCPP is involved in the family situation. Parents dealing with past or present child abuse charges need to enlist the counsel of an experienced and knowledgeable DCPP lawyer to ensure their legal rights are protected.
DCPP and Child Custody
Many divorces end in bitter disputes with hurt feelings, resentments, and in some cases, vengeful behavior. Depending upon the character of the spouses in a divorce situation, one partner may be inclined to use DCPP to ensure custody arrangements go in their favor. In other situations, a parent has legitimate concerns and proof that their spouse is not fit for custodial care or unsupervised visits.
Alcohol and drug addiction, a history of domestic violence, or instances of child neglect are serious complications when considering child custody. A parent in a divorce situation that makes a report of suspected child abuse or neglect is doing what any adult is mandated by law to do; Reporting any suspicion of abuse or neglect is mandatory under New Jersey law. Those who fail to report it are subject to misdemeanor charges.
If you are the parent facing child abuse or child neglect allegations, you need to consult with a DCPP lawyer as soon as possible. If allegations are made during the process of child custody arrangements, your ex-spouse can have an unfair advantage over the custody decisions. If the investigation finds that charges of child abuse or child neglect are warranted, your established custodial rights or visitation arrangements can be significantly impacted.
A reputable and experienced DCPP lawyer can ensure that your legal rights are protected throughout the process of the child abuse investigation and represent you in court to defend your parental rights. Past convictions of child neglect or abuse will not go away, but in some cases, parents can earn back some of these rights through rehabilitative services. Your DCPP lawyer will be able to petition the court for an appeal to challenge charges and findings generated by DCPP.
Charges of Child Abuse or Child Neglect Against Both Parents
In some cases, child abuse allegations can be brought against both parents, even after a divorce and child custody agreements have been finalized. In this case, DCPP workers would most likely remove the child from the custodial parent’s care and place them with a relative or in foster care. DCPP will focus all decisions on the protection of the children involved. If removal from the home is necessary to ensure this protection, it will be done pending the results of an official investigation.
Even when child abuse or child neglect allegations have been found credible, parents can still work with the child protective services to reestablish some or all of their parental rights. DCPP and child protective services will set strict guidelines for the parents to follow and will closely monitor the situation before and after the children are returned or parental rights have been restored for visitation. A DCPP lawyer can help negotiate these terms and conditions.
Marlton DCPP/DYFS Lawyers at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker Advocate for Those Facing DCPP Investigations
Allegations, investigations, and charges of child abuse are serious complications in child custody cases. If you are involved in a child custody battle that involves DCPP, contact the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker at 856-795-9400, or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a qualified Marlton DCPP lawyer today. Our Cherry Hill offices serve clients throughout South Jersey, including the areas of Haddonfield, Marlton, Medford, Moorestown, Mount Laurel, and Voorhees, New Jersey.