It is not uncommon for one parent to call in a CPS report with allegations against the parent in an attempt to get custody or revenge when they are having marital conflict or getting a divorce. Even if the allegation was false, involving CPS in marital conflict can get ugly very quickly. Some spouses stop at nothing to wreak havoc in the lives of their partner, even if it puts their child’s happiness and comfort at risk.
Whenever a report of child abuse or neglect is made, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency—New Jersey’s CPS agency—must investigate the report, even if one parent makes the allegation against the other. In fact, some parents make anonymous reports to avoid the liability. Because false reports are not uncommon, the agency takes its duty to thoroughly investigate every report before deciding to open a case seriously.
When responding to a report, CPS workers will go to the child’s home and speak with everyone in the house and even potentially with the child’s school, doctors, or the family’s neighbors. This is a trying ordeal for any parent or child. Nevertheless, this remains a devastatingly effective tactic in marital disputes. Unfortunately, it is sometimes the child that suffers most, not the parent under investigation.
Contrary to popular belief, CPS caseworkers will not take your child based on a report and a report alone. A report is just a report, and if you have not harmed your child or put your child at risk of harm, caseworkers typically won’t bother you after they’ve come to that determination. The fact that you are experiencing marital conflict may or may not sway the caseworker’s decision making, depending on how that conflict manifests. Unfortunately, if domestic violence is involved as a result of the marital conflict, CPS might not leave you alone just yet.
If you are under investigation for child abuse or neglect, consider speaking with an attorney. Even if the allegation is false, you can benefit from working with an experienced New Jersey child abuse defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the child welfare system. The system isn’t perfect, and sometimes caseworkers make uninformed decisions and take unnecessary actions. In these situations, it’s crucial you have an attorney clear things up immediately.
Are you under investigation for child abuse or neglect? The knowledgeable attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC can defend you and ensure your rights are protected. Located in Short Hills, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.