Accusations of child abuse or neglect are very serious. They can dramatically change a child’s home life, and involve a wide variety of organizations like the AC, Child Protective Services, New York Courts, the police, and the Department of Social Services.
However, it’s worth pursuing the matter if you suspect a child is being abused or neglected. With the help of an experienced family law attorney in New York, you can get the assistance you need to navigate the process and protect the child’s best interests.
First, Child Protective Services will investigate the charges of abuse or maltreatment within 24 hours. Depending on the results of the investigation, they may choose to put the child into protective custody, and offer the family additional, appropriate services. The investigator may also file certain petitions with the family court.
After this, CPS has 60 days to determine if a particular report was “indicated” (true) or unfounded (false). Depending on these results, criminal charges may be brought against the responsible party.
ACS, or the Administration for Child Services, often receives anonymous tips or reports of child abuse and neglect. When they do, it is protocol for ACS to open an investigation into the matter and remove children from abusive situations.
But what happens if ACS has been called on you?
If ACS has received a tip alleging that you have been abusive or neglectful to your children, they will begin an investigation. Thereafter, you will receive a letter informing you about the matter and the subject of the investigation. ACS will have 60 days to complete the investigation.
The repercussions of an ACS investigation can be very serious. You may be called to court. Your children could be placed into foster care. That is why your first move should be to contact an attorney who is experienced in handling ACS investigations. When you call New York Family Law Group, our team will begin working on your case to protect you and your children from false allegations of abuse and neglect.
In most cases, the answer is “yes.” If a child is being abused by the other parent, Child Protective Services will immediately begin investigating your home situation to determine whether or not child abuse or neglect has occurred.
If the investigator finds that the child is being abused or neglected, they will file an Article 10 petition in family court. This starts the process of determining whether or not the child should be removed from the home in the long term.
In the meantime, you can file for emergency orders with the court through an Article 6 or Article 8 petition. In most cases, your case will be heard on the same day you file. Working with a family law attorney in New York can help you streamline this process.
To make a long-term custody decision, the court will take your child’s “best interests” into account. A wide variety of different factors will be taken into account by the court to determine your child’s best interests.
The court will rule based on what is best for the child’s “welfare and happiness.” Factors can include the finances of each party, evidence of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, the stability of each party, mental health evaluations, the mental and emotional stability of each party, the preferences of the child, the quality of the home environment and more.
If your own child, or a child close to you, is being abused, a family law attorney can guide you through the process of reporting their abuse, navigating CPS interviews, and working with family courts to protect the child’s best interests.
Whether you’re seeking custody for yourself or you simply want to remove the child from a negative and dangerous situation, the team at New York Family Law Group is here to help.
At New York Family Law Group, we are here to help you protect your rights and your children. Abuse and neglect are serious accusations, and we’re here to provide you with the guidance you need as you navigate the complex, stressful, and difficult process of resolving the situation. Contact us online to book a case review and consultation.