As a parent, nothing is more traumatic than being accused of harming your child. Unfortunately, if the abuse or neglect is reported, New Jersey’s child welfare agency, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), can take action and remove your child from your custody while the abuse or neglect is investigated. Finding yourself in this position is heartbreaking. Accordingly, you may be feeling overwhelming emotions including frustration, helplessness and turmoil. Fighting such allegations is a big undertaking and one that you should never take on alone. If you aren’t sure where to start, here is some information that can help orientate you to the legal process you now face.
The DCP&P will file a complaint if your child is removed from your home. This involves the court and commences the litigation process. This will involve a series of hearings and possibly a trial. The state will appoint a lawyer for your child (called a law guardian), but you should speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody and child welfare attorney. Every step you take must be strategic. First, have an attorney help you get access to visit with your child. It is important to stay involved in your child’s life during this time because the litigation process can take months, during which time you may find the DCP&P reluctant to cooperate with you.
Next, you will need to prepare for the hearings. The state will be investigating the case and compiling evidence to use in the case. You may feel like a sitting duck during this painstakingly tedious process. Fortunately, you do have limited opportunities to gather and admit your own evidence to the case, and an attorney can help you take advantage of these. An attorney can also explain the purpose of each hearing so you can attend and understand the proceedings.
Don’t expect the DCP&P or the court to assist you with your case or give you legal advice. Remember, you are the defendant in the matter. The agency is only concerned with your child’s well being and not necessarily explaining your rights as a parent. This is why it is so important to have an attorney assist you with your case and serve as your advocate. Speak with an attorney with experience handling cases involving false allegations if you need guidance during the initial stages of your case.
Are you facing allegations of child abuse? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help you. We can help you fight false allegations and defend your rights. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at email@example.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.