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A child protection order is a type of court action that is issued for purposes of protecting a child from instances of abuse, neglect, or from exposure to domestic violence or further harm. A parent may want to acquire this type of order if they are concerned that their child is being abused or neglected by their other parent, or if they believe that their child is at serious risk of harm if left in an unsupervised custody visitation schedule.
Additionally, a parent may want to challenge a protection order if they do not believe that their child is experiencing abuse or neglect, or if they disagree that a medical condition, mental health issue or substance addiction abuse issue is placing their child at risk of harm. If you are dealing with either of these situations, you should speak with one of our dedicated Short Hills child protection order lawyers. Our team of skilled child abuse attorneys know how to navigate these legal processes and could help you protect your parental rights and children.
In Short Hills, we normally see these types of orders when the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) has brought a parent to court. Some of the issues that will be covered under these orders are a parent’s visitation with that child going forward and whether it must be supervised or not. Additionally, the court may determine whether the parent should be obligated to participate in a psychological evaluation or substance abuse treatment and what other changes may be necessary to remedy the harm that the child is facing.
The length of time it may take for a local attorney to help someone obtain a child protective order depends upon the situation. Sometimes DCPP files an emergency motion with the court, allowing the protection order to go into effect immediately once the case is heard by the court, typically 48 hours after the Division takes emergency custody of a child, meaning the court would have a decision within two days of that time. Other times, DCPP works with a family for some time and implements services for the family, and then decides that it needs to go to court to put some of those services in place. Ultimately, these child protection orders are decided the day that they are in court.
The time limit of these orders vary depending on the circumstances of each family. Some child protective orders are lifted within a couple of weeks while others may last upwards of a year to two years depending on the severity of the allegations against the parent and whether there are actual issues of child abuse and neglect going on.
The consequences of violating a child protection order depend on the respondent’s interaction with their children. If a parent is not complying with the orders regarding any mandated evaluation or services or if they are violating the order regarding supervised visitation, the court does have the authority to limit the amount of time that they can spend with their children. In the worst-case scenario, some courts can completely suspend a parent’s contact with their child.
Additionally, when a violation occurs, they may extend the time limit of a child protection order. We do not typically see these noncompliance issues result in any severe criminal charges, unless there is an actual crime occurring. Our team of hardworking lawyers in Short Hills could explain the terms of a child protection order to help a parent avoid potential violations.
In cases where DCPP is filing one of these complaints against a parent regarding alleged abuse or neglect, it is important for any parent in that situation to consult with an attorney experienced in this area of the law. It is a specialized area of the law and not many parents know what their rights are when fighting DCPP in these types of cases. As a result, having an advocate who knows what they can and cannot argue could be crucial. If you need help obtaining or contesting one of these court actions, speak with a Short Hills child protection order lawyer today.