Fighting to keep your family together
There are all types of legal proceedings that involve disputes over your children. The most obvious is divorce or child custody battles between parents. However, the Department of Child Services (DCS), commonly referred to as “CPS,” may seek to investigate you for child abuse or neglect.
If they call you, you have the right to seek counsel and retain an attorney to guide you through the juvenile court process when DCS is involved. You have rights to your children. Don't let them be stripped from you by failing to adequately defend yourself. Without an attorney to protect your rights there are a number of ways you could lose your children altogether. These include:
- Involuntary termination of parental rights. If your child is in need of services, an attorney for the state, a court-appointed special advocate or child guardian ad litem can file to have your rights terminated.
- Child abuse allegations. Child abuse laws are set to prevent the abuse of minors through physical, emotional or sexual acts. This can include neglect, injury, sex offenses, missing children or having a child participate in an obscene performance.
As Indiana is a mandatory report law state, Prevent Child Abuse Indiana Programs Director Sandy Runkle was quoted in a 2015 interview with Fox59 in Indianapolis as saying, “You don’t have to prove anything, you don’t have to investigate anything … if you feel like some form of maltreatment or you have reason to believe some form of maltreatment is going on, then that needs to be reported.”
This leaves a broad window for life-altering allegations to be lodged against Hoosier parents and guardians who may be innocent of any wrongdoing. Allegations of child abuse not only put your business and personal relationships at risk, you could lose access to your children. While the mandatory report law can help prevent any further harm to minors at risk, it does not do much for those who never abused their children.
Without a knowledgeable attorney by your side, the alleged abuse could snowball into a horrible situation for you and your children to endure. Having an attorney by your side who understands child protection laws in Indiana is your best chance for defeating the unfounded claims of someone else.