Oakland County Child Neglect Allegations
Michigan cases involving child abuse or child neglect allegations can be tormenting. Even if you are falsely accused or some misunderstanding has caused Children’s Protective Services (CPS) to investigate you, these allegations can severely impact your life. Contact us for help. Michigan has one of the most rigorous and effective systems for investigating and eliminating the mistreatment of children. However, the sometimes-reckless application of Michigan’s child protection laws has often resulted in people being falsely accused. Our Oakland County CPS (Children’s Protective Services) Defense team has helped many families caught up in child abuse or neglect cases involving false accusations. Our CPS defense team has successfully assisted countless clients throughout Oakland, Washtenaw, Macomb, Livingston, and Wayne counties and throughout Michigan.
Allegations of Neglect During Divorce
One of the most troubling things that can happen during a divorce or custody action is a false allegation of child neglect or abuse. We can all agree that no child should be neglected or abused. However, it can be devastating when an adult manipulates a child into making a false allegation that is intended to secure a better position in a divorce or custody case. That type of manipulation is really a form of child abuse. It must be dealt with quickly and effectively by your lawyer.
Mandatory Reporters: Actual or Suspected Child Neglect
In Michigan, certain people are required by law to report cases of suspected child abuse or neglect. The list of “mandated reporters” includes people like doctors, nurses, teachers, counselors, police, emergency responders, and child care administrators. However, anyone who has a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect can alert Children’s Protective Services. Child neglect or abuse cases arise when a person reports to CPS that someone has created “harm or threatened harm to a child’s welfare.” This kind of harm can result from two types of scenarios: (1) where a child has endured negligent treatment (failing to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care); or (2) where a child has been placed at an unreasonable risk to the child’s health or welfare and the person responsible for the child fails to remove that risk.
New Trends in Child Protective Laws
While most cases of child neglect involve the parents of the child, recently more cases have involved adults who live with the parent or have regular contact with the child. This new trend resulted in additions to Child Protection laws, which now address abuse and neglect by non-parent adults. A non-parent adult is defined by Michigan statute as an adult who (1) has significant and routine contact with the child, (2) has a close personal relationship with the child’s parent or with a person who takes care of the child, and (3) is not the child’s parent or relative. The legislature’s expansion of Child Protective Laws has resulted in a wider range of people being affected by allegations of child abuse and neglect.
The general advice we offer people facing claims of child neglect and/or child abuse often includes the following:
1. Get the appropriate help early. Often, parents and non-parent adults try to handle these cases alone, because they believe that simply cooperating with Children’s Protective Services or the police will help them avoid civil and criminal liability. However, we have observed that the most effective approach to abuse / neglect cases is to retain the help of a team of aggressive Children’s Protective Services defense attorneys as soon as possible.
2. If you are contacted by CPS or by the police concerning a suspicion of child abuse or child neglect, take that very seriously. This is not a time for you to try to be accommodating or relaxed. Don’t let down your guard. Get your lawyer involved immediately.
3. If your children are contacted directly by CPS or interviewed by a CPS worker during school hours, immediately get in touch with an attorney with extensive experience helping families deal with Children’s Protective Services. Particularly in Oakland, Macomb, and Livingston counties, CPS workers often go directly to a child’s school to speak with them before speaking with the parents.
Over the years, we have met many parents who have been represented by attorneys who appear to be intimidated by CPS investigators. Many lawyers are unwilling to aggressively advocate for their clients. We take a much different approach and understand that the role of a Children’s Protective Services attorney is to advocate for our clients and their families. We pride ourselves in passionately and effectively representing our clients to bring their cases to a close and keep their families united.
If you are facing child neglect or child abuse allegations in Metro Detroit, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Livingston, or Wayne counties, or are being investigated or contacted by CPS, promptly call us for a consultation. We are available for phone consultations and meetings during and after business hours. We can be reached 24/7 for emergencies at (248) 479-6200. Our office is conveniently located at 30300 Northwestern Highway in Farmington Hills. Office hours are by appointment only.