What to do When you Suspect Child Neglect

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“What recommendations do you have for someone whose spouse was arrested during her 6th month of pregnancy, stayed 2 days in jail due to her BAC of .247 (determined by her visit from jail to the local hospital) and later charged with 3rd degree assault followed by probation. The child is behind in speech, development and not potty trained and just recently learned to start wiping herself.

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Subsequently the mother went on a trip to visit relatives promising to return in one week. One and one-half years later she has now filed for divorce. She was asked repeatedly to come back home to no avail, and even denied visitation until recently when the court ordered visitation times. Is this parental kidnapping, child abuse, child neglect, ???? And if so, should charges be filed in the state in which I reside or in the state the mother lives in? Should someone be contacted regarding the information I recently learned regarding her BAC, potty training, etc. Currently she is receiving spousal support and child support, not working, not paying the court ordered payments, refused to supply income and expense statements, etc.

Please help. This is so far out of hand and has so many issues I don’t know where to begin. Thank you so much for your time.”

If this is not your child, or if you are not a required reporter you may have no standing to file anything anywhere (save maybe for child protective services to do a welfare check which will show a snapshot in time). Your question does not even say in whose custody the child is. If the child is in the mother’s custody, and it is your child, file for a modification of the custody or visitation arrangement if you believe the child is in current danger.

Not sure what payments she is not making as she is receiving child and spousal support. Your reference to the support, and failure to provide income information leads me to believe this is less about custody and visitation and more about the Benjamins. In which case, when the child is school age, the mother can likely be compelled to find work through a work efforts order.

Any “charges” would be filed in the State where criminal activity occurred. Any modification of the custodial arrangement would be filed in the Court where the divorce was filed.

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Author: House Attorney

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