In child custody and visitation cases, child abuse can be an important factor in the judge’s final ruling. Typically Child Protective Services or other government agencies investigate and determine the best course of action to protect the child. However, a child abuse allegation can affect a divorce or custody battle.
It is essential that you retain an Arizona divorce lawyer who is familiar with child abuse investigation procedures. If there are false allegations of child abuse, your divorce lawyer needs to be aware of the best tactics and strategies to fight the allegations.
Scottsdale, Arizona Child Abuse Attorney
The Daly Law Firm handles all facets of divorce cases including child custody arrangements. Child abuse cases are difficult and can complicate child custody and visitation arrangements. Whether the child abuse allegations are valid or not, you need an experienced family law attorney to advocate for you in court. Contact Doug Daly at (480) 607-8308 for a free consultation regarding your particular family situation.
Child Abuse Information Center
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What constitutes child abuse under Arizona law?
The Arizona Revised Statutes defines child abuse as when a parent, guardian or custodian inflicts physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect on a child. The following things are legally considered child abuse:
- Infliction of physical injury
- Allowing physical injury to occur
- Impairment of bodily function or disfigurement
- Serious emotional damage diagnosed by a doctor or psychologist
Consult A.R.S. §25-403.03 for more laws on child abuse and domestic violence. Contact a knowledgeable Arizona divorce attorney for more information on how child abuse allegations affect family law cases.
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What are the steps for reporting child abuse?
Some people have an affirmative duty to report child abuse and neglect. These people with an affirmative duty to report child abuse are:
- Medical professionals (ex: physicians, nurses)
- School officials (ex: teacher, principal)
- Peace officers
- Clergy or priests
- Counselors or social workers
- Anyone else with the duty to take care of children
Anyone can make a report of child abuse as long as they have reasonable grounds to believe a minor is a victim of abuse or injury.
If an individual suspects child abuse in Arizona, he or she needs to contact Arizona CPS at 1-888-767-2445 or the local police department.
ou need to provide the following information when making a child abuse report:
- Name, age, gender of the child and other family members
- Address, phone numbers and directions to child’s home
- Parents’ place of employment
- Description of suspected abuse or neglect
- Current condition of the child
After the report is given to the CPS officials, an investigation will be conducted to determine whether the child is in danger. The CPS official or a social worker will interview the child, parents, friends, relatives and teachers to get as much information as possible about the alleged abuse accusations.
Depending on the results of the investigation the child may be removed or remain with the family. The social worker can give the parents tips on parenting or recommend counseling to help with family issues.
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What government agency handles child abuse cases in Arizona?
The Arizona Child Protective Services investigates reports of child abuse in Arizona. Call Toll-Free Child Abuse Hotline 1-888-SOS-CHILD (1-888-767-2445) to make a report or find out information about child abuse.
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How does child abuse affect child custody and visitation rights?
Child abuse allegations do not help the case for the child abuser. If you are accused to child abuse, you need an attorney to advocate your position to the court.
Even if you are not the child abuser your case for child custody can be compromised. If you knew about the abuse and failed to protect your child, the court can remove the child.
You must retain an Arizona family lawyer to determine how child abuse allegations affect child custody and visitation rights. The courts do not want to take children away from their parents, but the courts will remove children to make sure they are safe. Even if the allegations are unfounded, the court will still consider child abuse allegations when making a ruling on child custody and visitation.
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What are the penalties for false reports of child abuse?
False allegations of child abuse fall under the category of false reporting. Arizona law categorizes a false report as a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 6 months in jail and up $2,500 in fines.
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Arizona Child Protective Services – Child Protective Services (CPS) is a program mandated under ARS §8-802 for the protection of children alleged to be abused and neglected
Prevent Child Abuse Arizona– a non-profit organization that proves training, advocacy, program development and public awareness programs to fight child abuse
Arizona Child Abuse Information Center – Provides current information on legislation, statistics and resources regarding child abuse for professionals, parents and children
ChildHelp.org– The mission of ChildHelp.org is to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused and neglected children.
Daly Law Firm, PLLC- Phoenix Child Abuse Lawyer
If you are going through a family law dispute that involves child abuse, it is important to get legal advice right away. A dedicated Scottsdale family lawyer can help you with getting protective orders, child custody, child support and visitation. If you are going through a divorce or child custody proceeding that involves child abuse in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Maricopa County area, don’t hesitate to call The Daly Firm at (480) 607-8308 for a free consultation regarding your questions and concerns.