Phoenix and Scottsdale Child Abuse Defense
Child abuse becomes relevant in one of two types of cases in Arizona family law: (1) legal decision making authority (formerly known as custody) cases and (2) termination of parental rights cases. In the most severe cases, there could be police involvement, as well as the involvement of Child Protective Services (CPS). If an allegation of child abuse is proven, not only is it possible that a parent’s legal decision making rights could be limited, but it is also possible that that parent’s rights could be terminated altogether.
If you are a parent who has been accused of child abuse, there are measures you can take to control the damage caused by the abuse allegations. These measures might include enrollment in anger management classes, domestic violence classes, therapy, counseling, and rehabilitation. If the accusations made against you have resulted in you not being able to see your children for any period of time, it could be in the best interest of everyone for you to request a court order for therapeutic reunification between you and your children.
If you are the parent who is placed in the position of having to protect your children from child abuse, there are legal steps you can take to implement safeguards.
First and foremost, you can petition the court for an order of protection, naming the children as protected persons. While you cannot use an order of protection as a substitute for a custody (legal decision making) order, the protective order can provide you with immediate protective relief until such time as you can be heard in front of your family law judge.
Once in front of the judge, you can request that he or she enter temporary orders which include restrictions necessary to prevent further child abuse from being caused. One of the most commonly requested restrictions in abuse cases is mandated supervised visitation. In the most serious of cases, a judge could suspend all parenting time pending dependency proceedings in Juvenile Court.