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Defending against claims of child abuse is aspect of family law

Raising a family is never an easy undertaking, no matter one's background or social status. However, being accused of committing abuse of one's child or possibly neglecting the care of a child may be an emotionally exhausting and frightening situation. Both of these matters can fall under the purview of family law, and an experienced attorney may be able to help navigate these disturbing allegations.

Under California law, the definition of child abuse includes several different designations, including but not necessarily limited to physical harm through striking, hitting or slapping a child; sexual abuse; and emotional or mental abuse or other means of harm through exploitation. Neglect can be categorized as failing to provide the basic needs of a child or failing to provide proper supervision and guidance. A severe neglect allegation implies that a child's health is threatened.

These allegations are followed up on after an individual or official makes a report through a social service or law enforcement agency. The report is then followed up on by the California Child Welfare Services system. That report is then either closed out or the agency determines whether further action is needed in order to assure the health and well-being of the child involved. If workers believe that a child requires further intervention, parents are entitled to seek assistance in these matters.

Parents or guardians who find themselves in the middle of a child abuse allegation are likely anxious and confused as to their rights while also wanting to ensure the safety of their child and family. These allegations are serious and can have a lasting impact on one's family for years to come. However, not every allegation ends in a child being removed from a home, and parents are assured of their rights to effectively present a case that refutes these accusations. An experienced and compassionate family law attorney may be able to provide the information and guidance required in order to resolve the matter in the best manner possible for all of the parties involved.

Source: lao.ca.gov, "Child Abuse and Neglect in California", Accessed on Aug. 31, 2017

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