Children are vulnerable members of society, and laws are in place to protect them, even from their parents or caregivers. Many accusations of child abuse are valid, though there are also misunderstandings that can deeply damage a family caregiver’s relationship with a child.
Child abuse is an ongoing problem in Palm Beach County, and neither prosecutors nor family law judges will take these allegations lightly. If you are unsure of how to handle these kinds of allegations, you should contact a West Palm Beach child abuse lawyer right away to learn how to protect yourself and your family.
What Constitutes Child Abuse in West Palm Beach?
State law defines child abuse as intentional or negligent actions that cause physical or mental damage to a child. Accidental actions do not typically qualify as abuse.
In the context of physical and mental harm, the person carrying out the abuse does not have to be a parent or caregiver, and anyone who intentionally injures a child can face child abuse charges. When the accused person is the child’s parent, the issue of custody will typically need to be examined. If someone is facing these serious allegations, it may be vital for them to consult a child abuse attorney in West Palm Beach.
Neglect as a Form of Abuse
Neglect is a form of abuse, but the law treats it differently than other examples. Only a caregiver can neglect a child, as other individuals are not responsible for providing care. Neglect happens when a designated caregiver fails to provide a child with basic necessities.
A parent or other caregiver who fails to provide the following is guilty of neglect:
- Medical care
Neglect laws recognize that children are incapable of providing these things for themselves and depend on their caregivers. A guardian who fails to protect a child in their care from neglect may also face these accusations.
Response to Child Abuse Allegations
In some cases, a person will face entirely false abuse allegations, or the alleged actions may not amount to abuse under the law. It is worth noting that courts will view false accusations made by one parent about another as a way to alienate the child’s other parent. False allegations can lead to a less favorable custody arrangement for the accusing parent.
However, an accused parent’s case for custody can suffer serious damage if the court suspects that the child is in danger. Parents in this situation should contact their family law attorney to start building defenses against those allegations. Witnesses and other evidence can demonstrate to the court that the parent is not abusive.
If a court believes that a parent abused their children, they can prevent contact between that parent and child or limit the parent to supervised visitation. These limitations can negatively impact a parent’s relationship with their child. Even if the abuse allegations are minor, it may be crucial to speak with a Palm Beach County child abuse attorney.
A West Palm Beach Child Abuse Lawyer Could Help You Address Any Allegations
If you are facing child abuse charges, the consequences you could suffer are life-altering and devastating. If you are in the midst of a custody battle, the allegations can add tension to an already stressful process. You should not attempt to refute these serious allegations on your own.
The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson can provide the strong leadership you need. With over 40 years of experience, Mr. Jamieson and his capable staff will work closely with you – carefully devising the strategy, outlining a specific plan, and implementing the tactics that will powerfully defend your rights.
A West Palm Beach child abuse lawyer could review your situation and help you address this serious issue if it arises in your family law case. Call today to learn more about your options.