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Child Abuse

Child Abuse Lawyer

Neglect Defense Lawyer

Child abuse is a very serious topic and one that cannot be taken lightly. Whether you or a loved on is the victim or you have been accused of child abuse, you need a strong advocate on your side. The Mark Law Firm has been representing clients in matters of Child Abuse allegations for over 15 years.

How does the process work?

When an allegations of child abuse is made and reported, the division formerly known as DYFS, now called the New Jersey’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) will investigate and possibly bring criminal action within the Courts of New Jersey. You will be given either written notice or service by a Police Officer of an Order to Show Cause, which effectively compels you to explain your position and why your child should not be removed from your home.

If the Order to Show Cause is granted, your child may be immediately removed from you and your home to avoid any further abuse or neglect. After the Order to Show Cause, a date for a preliminary hearing is set, and you will be given a short period of time to conduct “discovery” allowing you to gather evidence to prove the charges of child abuse or neglect are unfounded, and your child should be returned to you or you should not be found guilty of child abuse.

In certain situation, your child may be removed on an emergency basis from your home. When this happens, DCP&P will have 24 hours to file a complaint with the Court, and you will be required to appear and a hearing will take place to determine if the Child should be removed from your home.

In an effort to resolve these matters, a preliminary hearing is set and the Judge hears evidence and proofs to decide if there is a basis to remove the child from the home, or if there is adequate supervision, to allow the child to stay in the home. The judge will issue a decision, supported by facts and the law. If the judge finds neglect or abuse, the judge will set another hearing called a dispositional hearing. A dispositional hearing is typically held that same day or very shortly after.

At the dispositional hearing, the judge will decide if the child should live in the home, or be removed and placed in other’s care. The judge may also require you to participate in counseling, substance abuse treatment or parenting classes.

Once the Judge has made his ruling, you have the right of review. Within 45 days of the Judge’s order, you may appeal the division and request a review of the Judge’s decision.

In the meanwhile, if you have complied with the Court’s instructions, completed all conditions of the Judge’s order, the Court will decide if the child may be returned to you or if the prior conditions are still needed.

When you have been charged with child abuse or neglect, you need to contact an experienced trial attorney immediately to represent you.

Contact our experienced legal team by filling out our contact form, or calling the office to speak to an attorney.