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Child Abuse and Mandated Reporters – Part II

assistance for parents dealing with cps and acs Vigilance By Parents

If you or other members of your family are contacted by CPS with regard to an allegation of child abuse don’t be surprised if the police eventually show up at your doorstep to investigate the same occurrence. The best way to deal with allegations, no matter how silly, of child abuse and child neglect is to immediately contact an experienced attorney who handles allegations of child abuse and child neglect.

Rescuing Children and Creating Nightmares for Parents

Child Protective Services (“CPS”) performs an important public function. They help remove children from terrible situations where they are subject to abuse and neglect. They deserve the public’s admiration and appreciation by helping innocent children in these circumstances. However, at the same time they perform this valuable public service, CPS creates nightmares for parents by abusing governmental power against innocent parents and guardians of children. Cases involving innocent parents repeatedly shown that when Child Protective Services investigated them the social workers looked to find child abuse even in situations where it didn’t exist. CPS workers often lie, manipulate children, and fabricate evidence to blow up innocent situations to create evidence of alleged child abuse and child neglect. Parents are put into the position that they are guilty until proven innocent and it is extremely difficult to disprove a negative.

Conclusion

If you hear from the police or Child Protective Services about what may seem like minor issues of child abuse or child neglect, be careful, CPS may be looking to prove there is child abuse, not to investigate as to whether there is or is not child abuse.

Elliot S. Schlissel is an attorney who has been representing parents charged with child abuse and child neglect for more than 35 years.child custody attorney

Removal Of Children From Homes by Child Protective Services

assistance for parents dealing with cps and acsChild Protective Services (CPS) investigates abuse and neglect complaints against parents. If they have reasonable belief children have either been neglected or abused mentally or physically, they may seek to have the children removed from the family’s home.

Family Court Proceeding

Abuse and neglect proceedings are brought in the Family Court in the State of New York. In Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island, these matters are prosecuted by the County Attorney’s Office. In the five boroughs of the City of New York, these proceedings are prosecuted by the Corporation Counsel’s office.

In cases where it is believed the children are at substantial risk of physical injury, sexual abuse or other types of abuse, proceedings can be brought in the Family Court to remove children from the family’s home. The taking of children from a home usually has a traumatic impact on the children’s parents.

Child Removal Proceedings

During the course of the child removal proceedings, Orders of Protection are usually given to the children to prevent the continued abuse of the children by the parents or other family members.

Parents who have their children removed from their home are entitled to a hearing. At that time the removal agency must establish a reasonable basis for the removal of the children. It is extremely important that families being investigated by CPS or who have had action taken against them by CPS retain competent, experienced counsel to represent them in these proceedings. Often arrangements can be made to have the children returned to their family’s home as part of an arrangement where the parents take parenting classes, and/or anger management classes. In these situations there is usually a series of follow up visits by Child Protective Services to make sure the children are being properly cared for. When parents enter into these agreements to take classes or obtain therapy it is important they actually go to the classes and therapy sessions. Entering into an agreement to undergo therapy or parenting classes and not attending either therapy sessions or the parenting classes can give the impression the parents aren’t serious about changing their ways and the children remain at risk.child custody attorney

Child Abuse – Mandatory Reporters

assistance for parents dealing with cps and acsChild Protective Services (hereinafter referred to as “CPS”) and the Administration for Children’s Services (hereinafter referred to as “ACS”) are charged with protecting the rights of children who are unable to protect themselves. To a large extent, they do a good job. However, these agents of ACS and CPS have been known to harass families, remove children from homes, and intimidate families over false claims of child abuse and child neglect. When ACS or CPS receives an allegation of child abuse or child neglect they presume the allegation is true. Even if there is no supporting documentation or evidence to back this claim.

Mandatory Obligated Reporters of Child Abuse and Child Neglect

There are numerous individuals who have a legal obligation to report any potential issues involving child abuse and child neglect to CPS and/or ACS. This group of mandatory reporters include doctors, nurses, school counselors, teachers, police officers and psychologists. Sometimes, these mandatory reporters misinterpret an innocent situation and surmise some type of child abuse and child neglect is present. It may be simply that some young boys were wrestling, or fooling around and one boy ended up with a black and blue mark. Small bumps or bruising from normal recreational activities children are involved in can trigger a complaint from a mandatory reporter of child abuse or child neglect. The filing of false, non-documented allegations of child abuse has become especially common in recent years by teachers, school social workers and psychologists.

Many of the mandatory reporters feel they have to report even the most minuscule, insignificant situations as potential child abuse.

Cross Reporting of Allegations of Child Abuse or Child Neglect

If the police are called with regard to an investigation concerning either child abuse or child neglect and they come to a conclusion there was no child abuse and no child neglect, they are still legally obligated as mandatory reporters to report you to CPS or ACS. This means after the police have conducted their investigation a CPS or ACS worker will come to your house and they will start an investigation all over again which will not take into consideration the fact the police investigation has resulted in a determination there was no child abuse or child neglect. This is called “mandated cross reporting.”

assistance in family court cps and acs Elliot S. Schlissel is an attorney with more than 35 years of experience representing parents when dealing with allegations of child abuse and child neglect by ACS, CPS, and police investigations.

Mother Seeks to Keep Children Away From Killer

mother-150x150In 1991, Kristine Cushing killed her four and eight year old daughters. She was tried for these murders and found not guilty by reason of insanity. Her defense counsel claimed that she murdered her children due to a bad reaction to Prozac. Kristine spent four years in a mental institution. In addition, she had ten years of psychiatric monitoring. She received an unconditional release in 2005 from the State of California.

Kristine Cushing has now moved back in with her former husband, John P. Cushing. John had two children with Theresa Conlin. Their sons are 13 and 14 years of age. The 13 year old lives with Mr. Cushing. Since Theresa Conlin has moved back in with Mr. Cushing, he also lives with a convicted murderer, who murdered her two children. This does not sit well with the 13 year old boy’s mother, Trisha Conlin.

Theresa Goes to Court in California

Theresa has brought a proceeding in the King County Superior Court to prevent her sons from spending time alone with a convicted murderer. Mr. Cushing originally lied to Theresa. He advised her that he was not living with his ex-wife.

In the court proceedings, Mr. Cushing’s attorney stated that Miss Cushing was temporarily insane and didn’t know what she was doing. They are taking a position that she has recovered from this temporary insanity and presents no immediate threat to children.

In June, Miss Conlin received a court order giving her full custody of both of her sons for a period of 30 days. The court advised her that she would have to make a showing on the next court date why this new parenting plan should become permanent. She is still dropping off her sons to spend time with the Cushings on Sundays. Query: Should an ex-murderer be allowed to be alone with children?

Family Law Lawyer for Mothers’ Rights and Fathers’ Rights

Mothers and fathers have rights when dealing with issues concerning their children. Children should be kept in a safe environment. They should not be subject to child abuse or neglect.

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been representing parents in matrimonial and family law matters for more than 30 years. We have developed an expertise in dealing with divorce, orders of protection, child custody and visitation. We litigate changing child custody, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony) and issues involving paternity. We also negotiate prenuptial and post nuptial agreements on behalf of our clients. We are especially adept in dealing with parental alienation issues and parental alienation syndrome. Call us for a free consultation.

Father Not a Danger to His Children

James C. was convicted in 2007 of patronizing under age prostitutes. As a result of this conviction, a Dutchess County Social Worker and Family Court Judge had him removed from his home in Poughkipsee for a period of three years.

James, he spent a year in jail. After spending a year in jail he plead guilty in New York County to second degree rape of a 14 year old. He also pleaded guilty to patronizing a seventeen year old prostitute.  The Appellate Division (an Appeals Court) reversed the Family Court ruling in 2010 that prevented him from seeing his children. By that time his wife and four children had moved to Canada.

New York Court of Appeals

James C. told New York’s highest court that he did not present a danger to his children. He argued that the County Officials were mistaken when they reached a conclusion that allowing him to return home from jail would constitute child neglect by him and his wife.

James is currently waiting for a decision from the Court of Appeals as to whether he can see his children.

Fathers’ Rights Attorneys in New York

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been protecting father’s rights for more than thirty years. We litigate divorce proceedings, orders of protection, child abuse and child neglect cases, ACS and CPS child abuse allegations and we actively litigate all types of child abuse defense work.

We also represent our clients in no-fault divorces, regarding paternity issues, child custody, child visitation, child support and spousal maintenance (alimony) issues. Feel free to call us for a free consultation.

3,250 Collective Years of Marriage

marriage-150x1501A vow renewal ceremony was held at Harbor Links Golf Course in Port Washington, New York, to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The event marked the fourth time Rose and Nick Capobianco, both 89 years of age, had renewed their wedding vows. Rose and Nick have celebrated 68 anniversaries of their marriage. They have renewed their vows on the 25th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of their marriage.

Sixty-Five Couples Renew Their Wedding Vows

There were sixty-five couples, representing 3,250 years of marriage, attending the marriage renewal ceremony. Town of North Hempstead Clerk, Leslie Gross, stated “today each couple stands before us reaffirming a commitment that has withstood the test of time.”

Fifty Percent of Marriages End in Divorce

At a time when approximately half of the marriages entered into in the State of New York end in divorce, it is refreshing to hear about successful marriages. The family structure is enhanced by successful marriages.  My parents are in their late 80’s and they have been married 65 years. Bravo for them!

New York Divorce Lawyers

I salute the fifty percent of the people who are married who never get divorced. But for the people who do get divorced, I can help them. My law office litigates divorce proceedings. We represent clients concerning child custody, child abuse and child neglect proceedings. We help our clients negotiate separation agreements when their break-ups are amicable. In marriages of short duration, we obtain annulments for our clients.

We litigate fathers’ rights issues, as well as mothers’ rights issues. We also draft pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. Should you have questions concerning matrimonial or family court issues, feel free to call us for a consultation.

Father Charged with Sexual Abuse Exonerated

Judge Greenberg, sitting in the Family Court of Nassau County, rendered a decision on January 21, 2010, dismissing child abuse proceedings against a father. The petition against the father alleged that he had committed sexual offenses regarding his daughter Isabella. The charges alleged he would rub lotion on her, “slap her butt” and “whistle at her.”

The father denied all of the allegations. There was testimony by a psychologist at the time of trial. The psychologist stated that Isabella admitted to lying and sometimes believing her own lies. The psychologist also stated that Isabella had difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality.

Sexual Abuse Allegations are Unsupported

Judge Greenberg found the Department of Social Services did not establish that the father had sexually abused his daughter. The court’s decision indicated that Isabella’s statements were motivated by her desire to live on Long Island. The child did not want to move to the father’s residence in Queens. Isabella’s testimony was inconsistent and not credible. The court believed the testimony was an effort to stop the father from being successful in his custody application.

New York Fathers’ Rights Attorney

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo litigates fathers’ rights issues. We have extensive experience in handling the following fathers’ rights related matters: divorce; orders of protection; child support; child custody; visitation; spousal maintenance (alimony); child abuse, child neglect; CPS and ACS proceedings; applications to reduce child support; child abuse defense hearings; paternity and no-fault divorce issues. We also litigation equitable distribution matters in divorces and grandparents’ rights issues. Feel free to call us for a free consultation.

Father in Jail Trumps Custody Order. Mother can Leave the State.

father1-150x1502Last March, Judge Posner, sitting in the Family Court of Duchess County, ruled that a woman whose ex-husband had been in and out of jail since approximately 2003, and in addition had alcohol related problems, could leave the state with her nine-year-old son. She could take this action in spite of the fact that she had signed a custody order barring her from removing the child more than 25 miles from her residence without giving ninety days notice to the father.

Mother Wants to Move to North Carolina

The mother was a nurse. She wanted to relocate to North Carolina. She had a support system in North Carolina. Her parents were there. She felt moving to North Carolina would improve her financial condition and allow her to spend more time with her son.

She brought a proceeding before family court Judge Posner in Dutchess County. She claimed that she had an untenable financial situation. The father had not participated in raising the child or supporting the child since 2006. Judge Posner took into consideration the father’s long periods related to his incarceration. He also stated that he had failed to support his son or be involved in his son’s life. In her application, Mom advised the judge that relocating would allow her to work less hours and earn a similar salary, and spend more quality time with her son.

Relocation Issues

It was the father’s contention that the mother did not present sufficient evidence to support her position. Although the father didn’t deny his alcohol problems and incarceration had kept him away from his son, he expressed a desire to maintain a relationship with his son.

Best Interests of the Child

Judge Posner ruled that the mother had shown, by a preponderance of the evidence, that her relocation would be in the best interest of the child and therefore she was justified in modifying the custody agreement. The Judge also stated he was “confident” the mother, if permitted to move, “will take steps to encourage a meaningful relationship” between the father and his son.

The attorney for the mother was interviewed after the decision. She stated, “that this ruling stands for the proposition that having an addiction isn’t an excuse for failure to observe your parental obligations.”

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Long Island Fathers’ Rights Lawyers

Fathers have rights that need to be protected. Cases involving child abuse and child neglect are sometimes brought as a cover to obtain custody for the mother. Child Protective Services and Administration for Children’s Services problems can have an impact on a father obtaining custody or visitation with his child. Fathers who are paying child support and are downsized need representation to reduce their child support obligations. Children can be turned away from their fathers due to parental alienation syndrome caused by one parent alienating the child from the other parent by bad mouthing the other parent in the child’s presence. Issues involving paternity, child support and child visitation also acquire aggressive representation. Feel free to call our law office for a free consultation.

Constructive Abandonment (Sexual Abandonment Denied)

constr-150x150 Justice Bruno sits in a Supreme Court located in Nassau County, New  York. Last summer he made an interesting decision on a case that was  before him. A man brought a divorce lawsuit against his wife. The grounds for divorce was constructive abandonment. (Sexual  abandonment by the spouse for a period in excess of one year).

The man testified his wife had refused to have sexual relations with him for a period of twelve years. His wife testified that she never refused to have sexual relations with him. Judge Bruno found each of the parties credible in their testimony.

In his decision, he stated, “on balance, these competing versions of the relationship of the parties in and of itself is a wash.” “Put another way, plaintiff has not established a fair preponderance of the credible evidence that there was a constructive abandonment here where there is even balance of evidence the court is required to find for the defendant.”

Civil Case Evidence Standards

In a civil case, the standard a plaintiff must prove is called a preponderance of the evidence. This can be explained as the scales of justice, with more evidence on one side than the other. This is different than a criminal case, where a case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and the district attorney’s office must obtain a unanimous jury decision.

Constructive abandonment issues involve what takes place in a married couples bedroom. These are almost always “he said, she said” cases.

Irreconcilable Differences

Under the new ground for divorce called irreconcilable differences, these issues are no longer significant. Under the new irreconcilable differences ground for divorce in New York, one party must simply allege that irreconcilable differences between the spouses have existed for a period of more then six months. This simplifies the grounds issue in divorce situation.

Long Island Divorce Lawyers

We are divorce lawyers and our office is on Long Island. We litigate all divorce related issues and family law issues. We deal with matters concerning orders of protection, child custody, child abuse and child neglect. We litigate annulments when appropriate. We represent individuals in high net worth divorces and we deal with issues concerning the division of property, fathers’ rights, mothers’ rights and both pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. Call us if you need a divorce or family court attorney.

Mother’s Request to Relocate Her Child Denied

This past summer, Justice Falanga, a Supreme Court Judge sitting in Nassau County, made a ruling that despite a child’s wishes, the relocation of the child with the mother to Michigan was denied. The wife decided to relocate from New York to Michigan. She had residential custody of the parties’ children. The father brought a proceeding for custody of the parties youngest child. He took this action in spite of the fact that the child had specifically expressed her desire to move to Michigan with her mother.

Dad Asks For Custody

Dad argued that the custody change was not in the child’s best interest. Justice Falanga decided that this was not a typical relocation case. Instead, he felt it was an application for change of custody resulting in the relocation of the child to another state.

The judge stated in his decision that the wife had the burden of demonstrating that the child’s best interest would be served by this relocation to Michigan, and by the changing of the residential custody from the father to the mother. The court noted that under child modification principles, the wife had established that she believed the child would be happier if she was allowed to reside with her in Michigan. However, she did not prove such change in circumstances would be in the child’s best interest.

The court also took into consideration the fact that the father had made diligent sustained efforts to develop the child’s relationship with his wife. The court ruled that he was the parent best able to provide for the child’s emotional, intellectual and social development. The judge further stated in his opinion that he could provide a more secure standard of living and financial future for the child.

In this case, a father’s rights were protected by the court. Thank you, Judge Falanga!

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New York Fathers’ Rights Lawyer

Fathers need to have their rights protected. Important issues in matrimonial law involving divorce, fathers’ rights, orders of protection, child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony), child abuse, child neglect, paternity, equitable distribution and relocation problems require experienced, dedicated fathers’ rights attorneys. We also represent fathers concerning issues involving parental alienation, parental alienation syndrome and paternity. Should you be presented with one of these issues, please feel free to call us.

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