What is Child Neglect?
Child Neglect is usually withholding certain activities or needs that are important for the child’s well being. Child neglect is different from child abuse it has more to do with what a parent has not done, rather than what they have done. Abuse is a physical or mental act against the child, such as kicking, hitting, biting or verbal attack.
Neglect would include failure to provide necessities such as proper clothing, a reasonably safe environment, adequate housing, nutritious food, clean drinking water, or a standard education.
Withholding medical treatment is another form of child neglect in Michigan, as is allowing the child to be in a position of unreasonable risk to their health or well being. Though neglect of a child might seem like more of just an issue of “standard of care,” being accused of child neglect is a serious problem. The problem can arise in one of three types of cases.
In a divorce or custody case, one parent might accuse the other parent of neglecting their child. The allegation might be have a real basis, or it might be just an attempt to gain an advantage in a custody battle. When the allegations are without basis, most judges are able to see through the false allegations of child neglect. Our family law attorneys have seen so many custody cases where the judges hold these false allegations against the parent that makes them.
Another place that child neglect allegations arise is in CPS cases, which are also called “petitions.” The Kronzek Firm has a team of attorneys dedicated to fighting for parents against CPS all over Michigan.
When CPS files a neglect petition against a parent or against both parents, that case trumps any pending custody case. In other words, court orders that are issued in a CPS case will cause other court’s order to be set on the side while the CPS court case is pending.
The final place that we see charges of child neglect is in Michigan’s criminal courts. The Kronzek Firm has a separate criminal defense team that handles criminal charges alleging child neglect and/or child abuse.
Below we describe some of the most prevalent and severe types of child neglect.
Physical neglect is the failure to provide for the physical needs of your child. This means failure to provide your child with sufficient food, water, shelter, clothing, medical care or supervision. Some neglect cases allege that a parent has failed to protect a child from possible harm. Physical neglect can be detected in a variety of ways, such as through constant hunger, ill-fitting or unseasonable clothing, and poor personal hygiene. This can also be detected if a child is always stressed or fearful due to constantly being exposed to an extremely violent situation at home.
Emotional and Psychological Neglect
Emotional/Psychological neglect is the failure to provide for the emotional needs of a minor child. This means failure to provide the adequate attention required for a healthy parent-child relationship. Children facing this kind of neglect often manifest the negative effects through anxiety, anger and depression. These children usually have trouble forming healthy relationships, have difficulty verbalizing their thoughts and feelings, and show signs of abandonment and rejection. Sometimes we see children that have been called names, threatened, deprived of family support or otherwise psychologically traumatized.
Educational neglect is failure to provide a child with a reasonable education. Normally, this is seen through excessive tardiness or absence from school – sometimes this means failure to attend school at all. Less commonly, this can mean inadequate homeschooling: where a parent attempts to home school their child, but cannot keep up with local standards due to illness or any number of other factors.
Medical neglect is failure to provide adequate medical care for a child. In other words, this is not providing a youngster the proper medical care they need in order to stay healthy. Many times, medical neglect is ambiguous because doctors might have conflicting orders, opinions or advice. If a parent chooses to listen to one doctor and not the other, the first might claim medical neglect against the parent. In other words, sometimes medical neglect is just one medical professional feeling slighted because their opinion was passed over in favor of a different choice.
Child Neglect Defense Attorneys
No matter your circumstances, being accused of child neglect will be a horrifying experience. You will likely experience backlash from your friends and family as you are labeled an “unfit parent” or generally a “bad person.”
Depending on your case, you may also be placed on a Michigan’s “child abuse” list called the Central Registry. This can have a very negative impact on your future and on your ability to gain future employment. Going through a child neglect case will most certainly be an uphill battle.
Our team of Children’s Protective Services (CPS) defense attorneys, criminal defense attorneys and family law lawyers here at The Kronzek Firm have decades of experience protecting falsely accused parents. We have extensive experience with both criminal law and family law as well as CPS defense. Our teams make protecting parents our every-day priority. If your CPS case leads to a criminal charge or even potential parental termination, our attorneys are prepared and ready to help you. If it’s a custody battle that you’re facing, we can help you.
If you are being investigated for child abuse or neglect by either the police or Children’s Protective Services, give us a call today! Your family’s future is at stake and you don’t have time to waste. Our expert attorneys are ready to help you, no matter what your situation!
TALK TO A CHILD NEGLECT DEFENSE ATTORNEY TODAY