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    When you have the opportunity to hire one of the few Certified Matrimonial Lawyers in NJ, the selection process seems a bit easier.

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  • Establishing Custody

    When establishing child custody, we can help by finding the type that will work the best in your child's interest.

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Can Parents' Punishment of Children Result in Order for Removal?

Child Removed from Legal Guardian for Refusing Mental Health Evaluation, Removal Reversed

This July, the Superior Court Appellate Division reversed a trial court's finding that a grandmother had abused and neglected her twelve-year-old grandchild for whom she was the legal guardian. After the child's school discovered a suicide note written by the child, the school referred the incident to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP), formerly the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). After the Division completed its assessment of the child, the Division recommended that the child be brought to a hospital to undergo a mental health evaluation. The grandmother disagreed with the assessment and refused to permit the child to undergo a mental health evaluation because she believed the child was being "manipulative" and merely "acting out" after having been punished.

Based on the grandmother's decision to decline the Division's recommendation that the child undergo an evaluation, the Division implemented an emergency removal of the child from the grandmother and facilitated an evaluation of the child. Although the hospital's evaluation revealed the child was not in imminent danger of harming herself, the trial court nonetheless determined that the grandmother abused and neglected the child by denying consent for the child to undergo the evaluation. The Appellate Division concluded that there was insufficient evidence to show that the grandmother's conduct amounted to medical neglect or recklessly created a substantial risk to the child's mental health or physical safety, and the child was placed back into the grandmother's care.

DCPP May Seek to Remove Abused or Neglected Children from Parents

Typically, DCPP becomes involved once a referral is made to the Division alleging that a child is being abused or neglected. If, after investigating the allegations, the Division finds evidence that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, then the Division may seek removal of the children pursuant to law. The Division may apply to a court for the removal of a child from the residence based on "abuse and neglect" of the child, or, in certain circumstances, the Division may temporarily remove the child without a court order.

Generally defined, an abused child is a child under the age of eighteen whose parent, guardian, or other person having custody inflicts physical injury upon the child, or creates a substantial risk of injury to the child, or willfully abandons the child. If there is sufficient evidence for a court to conclude that a child's parents or guardians engaged in abuse or neglect of a child, the court may order that the child be removed from the household and placed in the care of DCPP or an approved family member.

Jay Turnbach, Esq., LLC

Contact the law office of Jay Turnbach, Esq., LLC if an action for the removal of your child has been filed against you. Jay Turnbach, Esq. specializes in the practice of family law with over 18 years of experience. Please call our office today for your free initial consultation.

Categories: Divorce, Custody, DCP&P
  • Choosing a Lawyer

    When you have the opportunity to hire one of the few Certified Matrimonial Lawyers in NJ, the selection process seems a bit easier.

    Why Hire Jay?
  • Establishing Custody

    When establishing child custody, we can help by finding the type that will work the best in your child's interest.

    View the Options
  • Get Started Today

    We look forward to helping you and your family move on to the next chapter in your lives! Speak with our firm today.

    Request Your Consultation

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Jay Turnbach, Esq., LLC
Ocean County Divorce Attorney
Located at: 2 Hooper Ave,
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Toms River, NJ 08753
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