When parents get divorced, there is much more on the line than bank accounts and real estate. Their children’s future is on the line. Child custody issues are frequently the source of significant hostility and disagreement during a divorce involving parents. In some cases, a parent may even accuse the other parent of child abuse.
In Illinois, child abuse allegations are handled by the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS). The DCFS investigation begins with an assessment, which will determine whether or not the allegations merit further investigation. If the DCFS determines that abuse or neglect has taken place, they may open a full-scale investigation.
If you are facing a divorce and child abuse allegations at the same time, it is important to take certain steps to protect your rights. Contact a family law attorney experienced in DCFS matters as soon as possible for legal advice specific to your situation.
What Does a DCFS Investigation Entail?
The goal of a DCFS investigation is to determine whether or not abuse or neglect has taken place, and if so, how to best protect the child in question. A DCFS investigation can involve interviews with the parents and other family members, medical examinations of the child, and visits to the home to check for safety concerns. The DCFS investigator may also speak with teachers, daycare providers, and other people who come in contact with the child.
The DCFS can also order a psychological evaluation of the parents or issue an order that they attend counseling sessions. Some divorce cases involve orders that the parents must stay away from each other while the investigation is underway.
The results of the DCFS investigation will determine what actions will be taken to protect the child, if any. In some cases, the findings are sufficient to prove that abuse or neglect has occurred and criminal charges may follow. On the other hand, if insufficient evidence is found, the case may be dismissed.
How Can an Attorney Help During a DCFS Investigation?
A family law attorney can work to protect your rights during a DCFS investigation. Your attorney can help you prepare for interviews and make sure that any orders issued by the court are in line with your parental rights. If you are going through a divorce, a DCFS investigation can influence child custody matters significantly. You will want to work with a lawyer who has extensive knowledge of the DCFS investigation process, Illinois state law, and divorce proceedings.
Contact a Cook County DCFS Lawyer
Rolling Meadows family law attorney Curtis Bennett Ross is highly experienced in child custody, divorce, family law, and DCFS matters. If you are being accused of child abuse during your divorce, you need a legal advocate on your side, helping you make the choices that will have the best chances of a favorable outcome. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] for a free consultation.