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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 attorneysTerminating a parent’s rights to their child is not something that occurs regularly, but it is sometimes necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of the child. How, exactly, does one go about doing this? Can it be applied in all situations, or are there only certain scenarios in which a parent’s rights can be terminated? The following answers these questions, and it provides important details on how an experienced family law attorney can assist you with the process, should it be warranted in your case.

Terminating a Parent’s Rights for Stepparent Adoption

Perhaps the best scenario in which a parent’s rights may be terminated is when there is a prospective adopting stepparent who wants to become the child’s legal guardian. Mostly, this is done with the consent of the biological parent. However, there are scenarios in which the family must go through the courts to prove that the biological parent is unfit, unsafe, or otherwise incapable of providing the love and support that the child deserves. In either scenario, the guidance and assistance of an experienced attorney is highly recommended. Note that grandparents, siblings, and other family members may adopt a child if both parents are willing to terminate their parental rights.

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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 DCFS hearing attorneys, child abuse, child neglectIt is every parent’s worst nightmare: you receive a knock on the door and the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) is there to investigate a call of child abuse and neglect. In order to protect children, DCFS takes reports of suspected child abuse and neglect very seriously and will investigate any credible reports. However, just because DCFS is called does not necessarily mean that there is abuse or neglect taking place. Still, it is their job to investigate credible reports. If you are accused of child abuse or neglect, you should contact a knowledgeable DCFS hearing attorney

Definition of Child Abuse

The Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act defines child abuse as when a parent, immediate family member, anyone else residing in the house with the child, or any person who is responsible for the welfare of the child inflicts physical injury on a child or allows physical injury to be inflicted on a child. This injury must cause death, disfigurement, loss of a body part, impairment of a body part, or impairment of physical or emotional health. There is a specific exception in the statute for accidents. It is also child abuse to create a substantial risk of these kinds of injuries happening to a child. Child abuse also includes excessive corporal punishment.

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DuPage County family law attorney, children and family servicesWhen the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services knocks on your door, you should take the process seriously, whether or not you believe they have a right to take action against you or not.

In Illinois, DCFS is responsible for the protection of children across the state. Therefore, they have the authority to thoroughly investigate anyone suspected of abusing or neglecting children. Child abuse, as broadly defined by Illinois law, is the mistreatment of a child under the age of majority, which is 18, by a parent, intimate partner, immediate relative, roommate (even if unrelated), caretakers (babysitters, daycare workers), educators, coaches, and even youth volunteers.

Understanding Child Abuse or Neglect

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