Friday, September 25, 2015

False Child Abuse and Neglect Complaints

Sometimes, co-parents take an overly aggressive approach to reporting perceived wrongs to their county Child Protective Services. If this becomes a habit, there are steps the target parent can take to protect their custody position in a high-conflict family court proceeding.

First, making a false claim of abuse or neglect is a felony. The target parent should contact local law enforcement to see whether a case can be charged.

Second, if a series of false or unfounded reports is made to CPS, ask the case worker to report this conduct to the Friend of the Court. This could result in a warning being issued or a modification of custody.

Third, the Court of Appeals has recognized that a co-parent that lodges false reports of abuse or neglect negatively impacts their own custody chances. The Court of Appeals has directed family courts to take this into account when making a custody determination in a high-conflict case.

The purpose behind these measures is not to punish the offending parent but rather, to advance the best interests of the minor children who are often in the middle of such disputes. When a CPS complaint is lodged, regardless of merit, interviews with the minor children are triggered as well as visits to the children's school and the parents' homes.

When a series of baseless claims are made, these interviews and visits become onerous and offensive. The offending parent need to be shut down.

If you are the target of false claims of child abuse or neglect, contact our law firm in order to discuss your options at a free consultation.

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