Tag Archives: child neglect

IL custody lawyerCustody decisions can be challenged whenever there is a substantial change in circumstances, or you believe that your child is being harmed by the other parent’s decisions. If your child’s other parent was given full or shared custody rights and you have evidence of parental neglect, you must petition the court for a custody hearing. A Hinsdale child custody attorney can help you get started today.

Child Neglect Can be Just as Harmful as Child Abuse

Neglect is the failure to provide proper clothing, food, shelter, and medical care. It can also involve lack of supervision, failure to provide a clean living space for the child, emotional neglect such as rejecting or ignoring the child, and educational neglect such as not requiring the child to attend school. Child neglect is more prevalent than we think. Over half a million children are maltreated due to neglect each year—and these are only the cases for which an investigation or alternative response is carried out. While child abuse may grab the headlines, it is far less prevalent than neglect. And, neglect can result in some of the same detrimental outcomes as child abuse; it should never be ignored. Long term effects of neglect include the following physical ailments:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Brain damage
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Malnutrition
  • Functional limitations
  • Heart attack
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Lung disease
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • High blood pressure

Nonphysical harms include post-traumatic stress disorder, limited cognitive ability, mental and emotional health disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, social limitations, criminal activities, unhealthy sex practices, and poverty.

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IL divorce lawyerNeglect is a term thrown around quite frequently in heated custody battles by one parent directed at the other. However, what constitutes neglect? Leaving a child alone for an afternoon may seem like an unwise, irresponsible thing to do in one parent’s opinion, but perfectly normal and acceptable to the other parent.

At what age is it okay to let a child walk to school? In Utah, a law was recently passed that allows “free-range parenting,” giving parents the legal right to allow their children to walk or ride their bikes to school, to play in a park unattended, or be at home alone unsupervised — all contingent on the child’s age and maturity level for the situation at hand. While Illinois has no such free-range parenting law, there is still much up for debate when it comes to what is and is not acceptable, and what constitutes neglect in the eyes of a family law judge.

Evidence of Neglect May Show That Joint Custody Is Not in the Child’s Best Interest

As you may well understand, an Illinois family judge will make his or her custody decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests, not what is in the parents’ best interests or who makes the most compelling argument about how their child loves them the most. As such, in a contested divorce, it is not unheard of for spouses to bicker about each other’s faults as a parent. Usually, these faults are benign. Forgetting to pick up a child at school once in a blue moon should have no real effect on a custody decision. However, more commonplace mishaps or egregious parenting choices can hurt that parent’s chances for custody. Being accused of neglect is a serious allegation, as it shows the court that that parent does not have what it takes

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children of divorce, protecting children, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorney,Illinois family law covers a wide variety of cases involving spouses, children, and other family relations. While many family law cases involve divorce, child custody issues, and child support matters, other types of cases may focus on domestic violence, child abuse, or child neglect allegations. If you are concerned about your child’s well being, or if you are facing allegations of child neglect, it is imperative that you act quickly in order to ensure the safety of your children. An experienced attorney in DuPage County can help you take the necessary steps to help you understand how to protect your children from neglect.

Definition of Child Neglect

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) defines child neglect as “a parent or responsible caretaker fail[ing] to provide adequate supervision, food, clothing, shelter or other basics for a child.” This definition centers on the care, or lack thereof, for a child. A child’s caretaker, most commonly his or her parent, is legally responsible with providing basic, reliable care. When the parent fails to provide that necessary care, he or she could face serious legal consequences.

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