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Wheaton DCFS child abuse investigation lawyerAlthough spousal abuse and child abuse are unfortunately all too common, there are some situations in which false allegations are made. If you have found yourself facing a legal custody battle based on made-up accusations, you will definitely want to seek the advice of a knowledgeable family law attorney. 

Steps to Take

A disgruntled spouse or ex-spouse may think that accusing the other party of abuse will help win a custody case, even if nothing of the sort ever actually happened. They may involve DCFS, or they may go straight to the court. In these cases, it is of utmost importance that you remain calm and cooperate with any investigations that may take place. A judge will most likely try to err on the side of caution where a child is involved, but at the same time, courts are not willing to take away parenting time without clear, just cause. The worst thing you could do during this time is lose your cool. That is why it will help to have legal counsel for advice and to give you confidence in your case.

It will also be valuable to you if you can gather evidence and witnesses to vouch for your reputation. Friends, neighbors, family members, or others who have spent time with you and your children may be willing to testify, whether it be to DCFS, a Guardian ad Litem, or in court, that they have seen you treat your children well and have not seen any signs of abuse. These witnesses can be great resources in your case.

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DuPage County family law attorneys, Illinois DCFS investigationsWhen you receive word that you are being investigated for child abuse allegations by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), it can seem like your world has been turned on its head. While there are plenty of horrific cases handled by DCFS, there are also many that are unfounded or simply a misunderstanding. If your matter falls within one of those categories, you are no doubt overwhelmed and distraught. Fortunately, you can fight the allegations and it is best to do so with an Illinois DCFS hearings lawyer by your side.

Call-in to the DCFS Hotline

Investigations into child abuse and/or neglect start with a call into the State Central Register Hotline, a call center in Springfield, IL, that is dedicated to dealing with child abuse situations. An employee for DCFS answers the call and takes information from the caller, in an attempt to determine whether the facts support the possibility of harm or risk of harm to a child. Anyone can make a call to the Hotline, including family members, friends, teachers, neighbors, and other individuals. After the DCFS staff member completes the call and necessary paperwork, he or she forwards the information to the agency county office where the child resides to officially initiate the investigation.

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DuPage County family law lawyers, DCFS findingsIf you receive a notification involving child abuse allegations from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), it is important to understand your options if you want to contest the claims. The DCFS is entrusted with the protection of children and the agency takes investigations seriously, but you do have rights under the law. A DuPage County DCFS defense lawyer can provide more detail about your specific situation; however, answers to the more common questions may be useful.

What is a Notice of Indicated Finding?

Any person who comes into contact with your child may file a report with DCFS if he or she believes there has been abuse or neglect. The DCFS immediately begins an investigation into the allegations and will enter an “indicated finding” if there is credible evidence of abuse. You will receive a notification of an indicated finding and the information will also be reported to the State Central Register, where it will remain for anywhere from five to 50 years depending on the circumstances.

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