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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

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NYC Child Neglect Lawyer

By Spodek Law Group | July 17, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 04:45 pm

NYC Child Neglect Lawyer – A Guide for Parents and Caregivers

Being accused of child neglect can be an incredibly stressful and frightening experience for any parent or caregiver. As a parent myself, I know that we all try our very best to care for our kids – but sometimes life gets in the way. Maybe you’re dealing with financial struggles, mental health issues, substance abuse, or you just got overwhelmed. Whatever the reason, a child neglect allegation means that someone believes your child’s wellbeing was put at risk.

I’m writing this article to help explain what child neglect means legally in NYC, what happens when you get accused, and most importantly – to let you know there is hope. As an NYC child neglect lawyer, I have seen many good parents get wrapped up in the system when they needed support, not punishment. With the right legal guidance, many families can stay together and get back on track.

What is Child Neglect Legally in NYC?

New York law defines child neglect pretty broadly. Basically it covers situations where a parent or caregiver fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, medical/dental care, or proper supervision for a child under 18 years old. Child neglect also includes excessive corporal punishment.

Some common examples I see as an NYC child neglect lawyer include:

  • Failing to get necessary medical treatment for a child’s injury or illness
  • Not ensuring a child attends school regularly
  • Leaving young children home alone or in unsafe conditions
  • Severe unsanitary home conditions that pose health risks
  • Failure to provide enough nutritious food

Emotional neglect is also considered abuse in NY. This could involve extreme criticism, humiliation, or isolation of a child.

While those are some textbook examples, real life is always more complicated. Many cases I see involve “failure to supervise” allegations. This can mean different things – maybe you left your 8 year old home briefly while you ran to the store, or your teenager had a party while you were away that got out of hand. Any time a child is put in a dangerous situation, neglect charges are possible even if it was unintentional.

What Happens When You’re Accused of Neglecting a Child in NYC?

If someone reports you for suspected child neglect, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) will investigate. This could start with an unannounced visit to your home and interviews with your family. ACS has the authority to speak with your children at school or elsewhere without your consent. They may also request medical records and other documents.

If ACS believes there is credible evidence of neglect, they can file a court case against you. This means you will have to appear in Family Court and there may be orders put in place about contact with your child. In severe cases, the court could order your child removed from your home either temporarily or permanently.

I know this all sounds terrifying. The system is not designed to be parent-friendly. But this is where an experienced NYC child neglect lawyer can guide you through the process, protect your rights, and help you present your side to the judge. With legal representation, many parents are able to resolve the case through counseling, services, or an agreement that allows the family to heal and move forward together.

Common Defenses in NYC Child Neglect Cases

There are a number of legal defenses we commonly use in child neglect cases:

  • No actual harm to child: If your child suffered no ill effects from the alleged neglect, we can argue there is no evidence of impairment or danger.
  • False or exaggerated allegations: Sometimes allegations come from a biased source like an ex-partner or family member. We can challenge the credibility of the reporting source.
  • Lack of intent: If the neglect was unintentional due to circumstances outside your control, this can help show absence of intent.
  • No pattern of neglect: If the incident was an isolated event and not part of an ongoing pattern, this can help show it was not habitual neglect.
  • Financial limitations: In some cases, poverty leads to allegations of neglect. We may be able to show you did your best with limited resources.
  • Cultural differences: Cultural childrearing practices are sometimes misinterpreted as neglect. We can provide context to the court.
  • Special needs child: When a child has special needs like a physical disability or mental illness, we can explain additional caretaking challenges.
  • Wrongful accusations: If the allegations are fabricated or mistaken, we build evidence to dispute the claims.

A skilled NYC child neglect lawyer will look at the details of your unique situation to figure out what defenses apply. Many cases can be resolved favorably this way.

What Factors Help in Child Neglect Cases?

Over my years representing parents accused of neglect, I’ve found the following factors often help convince the judge that a family deserves to stay together:

  • No prior complaints: Parents with no history of prior complaints often get benefit of doubt that this was a one-time mistake.
  • Taking responsibility: Admitting when you’ve made a mistake and taking steps to improve shows the court you’re addressing issues.
  • Following safety plan: If ACS puts a safety plan in place, fully complying shows the court you’re cooperative and proactive.
  • Accessing services: Seeking services like counseling, parenting classes, addiction treatment etc. on your own initiative helps demonstrate commitment.
  • Steady employment/housing: Financial and residential stability helps ease some of the court’s concerns about high-risk environments for kids.
  • Child’s wishes: Older children may testify about their wishes, which can impact the judge’s decision if the child wants to stay united.
  • Kinship care: If the court is reluctant to release a child back into the parents’ care, placement with a responsible relative is often a good compromise.

What Are Possible Consequences of Child Neglect Charges?

I wish I could say there are no serious consequences, but the reality is a finding of child neglect can change your life forever. That’s why it’s so important to have an attorney fighting aggressively on your behalf from day one. Potential consequences include:

  • Your child being removed from your home either temporarily or permanently
  • Termination of your parental rights – meaning you no longer have any legal relationship with your child
  • Difficulty finding employment, especially in childcare related fields
  • Inability to adopt children in the future
  • Visitation with your children only permitted under supervision
  • Being placed on New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment – this registry can affect employment, housing, and more
  • Criminal charges for child endangerment, reckless endangerment, or failure to protect against abuse
  • Jail time for criminal convictions related to child neglect

The stakes are extremely high. Having an experienced child neglect lawyer in your corner can mean the difference between devastation and redemption for your family.

Why an NYC Child Neglect Lawyer Is Crucial

Navigating the child welfare system is confusing under the best circumstances. When your family is in crisis and trauma, it can feel impossible to know what to do. An NYC child neglect lawyer guides you through the process, protects your rights, and fights for your family. Specifically, a lawyer can:

  • Advise you of your rights and what to expect at every stage
  • Represent you at meetings with ACS to prevent damaging statements
  • Gather evidence and documents that support your defense
  • Work with experts like doctors, teachers, and counselors to build your case
  • Negotiate with ACS and the court for dismissal or favorable resolution of your case
  • Defend you in court hearings and present the strongest arguments in your favor
  • Explain and weigh options if the court orders removal of your child
  • File appeals if the court’s decisions are unjust or unfavorable

Having a lawyer levels the playing field and helps ensure the legal process is fair. The system is stacked against parents – don’t try to face it alone.

Conclusion – There Is Hope

Being accused of neglecting your child is devastating. The uncertainty, judgement, and fear can seem overwhelming. But you are not alone, and with skilled legal counsel, many families prevail even in difficult circumstances.

If you are facing child neglect allegations in NYC, reach out for help. An experienced child neglect lawyer can guide you through the process, protect your rights, and defend your family. It won’t be easy, but there is hope. You are so much more than your worst mistake.

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