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Child Abuse Neglect Dependency

Allegations can be made against a parent or guardian regarding the abuse neglect or dependency of a child in any divorce or post-divorce case. These allegations are often reported to children services in the county in which you reside. When children services receive information regarding an abused, neglected, or dependent child, they must investigate the allegation to determine if the child/children are at risk of further harm in their current home. The Court may appoint what is known as a Guardian ad Litem to represent the best interests of the child(ren).  The allegations of a potential complaint brought by children services against the parent/guardian depends on the statute the investigation purportedly fits beneath:

Abused Child

A child who exhibits evidence of physical or mental injury other than by accident. Ohio Revised Code §2151.031

Neglected Child

A child who is abandoned by the child’s parents or who lacks adequate care because of the parents’ faults or habits. Ohio Revised Code §2151.03

Dependent Child

A child who is homeless or is without adequate parental care, through no fault of the parntss or guardian. Ohio Revised Code §2151.04

If the Court determines that the child/children have suffered abuse neglect or dependency an ongoing case worker is assigned to the family, in addition to a case plan. The case plan includes objectives that the parents/guardians must complete in order for the case to come to a close. A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is also assigned to the case. The GAL’s position is to determine the best interests of the child and report to the court their recommendations based on their investigation. If the child has wishes that are contrary to that of the GAL, the Court will also assign the child independent representation to assure that the child’s wishes are being considered. Lastly, you have the right to an attorney to represent your wishes and best interests.

Call our Columbus family law attorneys today for help with your sensitive abuse neglect or dependency issues at 614-228-1968. We’ll be sure to handle your case with the utmost dignity and respect that your case deserves.

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