Child Maltreatment Claims
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What Is Child Maltreatment?
Child maltreatment refers to instances where the health or safety of a child is put into danger or is compromised. It can include many different types of conducts, including:
- Physical abuse
- Mental or emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Exposing a child to inappropriate material
- Neglect or abandonment
Child maltreatment is often called by other names, such as child abuse or child neglect. It includes both affirmative acts as well as acts of omission. For instance, failure to provide a child with basic necessities such as food or shelter can result in a maltreatment claim. Child maltreatment is a serious issue as it can have very long-lasting effects on the victim.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Child Maltreatment?
Most child maltreatment claims are lodged against the child’s parents or legal custodians. However, other people in charge of the child can be held liable for child maltreatment. Examples of these people include:
- Close relatives, such as a grandparent or an aunt or uncle
- Teachers and other school employees
- Daycare personnel
- Medical staff
- Sports coaches
State laws may differ when it comes to the definition of child neglect or maltreatment. Most states enforce some sort of mandatory reporting law for certain personnel. These reporting laws require certain professionals, such as teachers and counselors, to report any child abuse or neglect instances to authorities.
What Are Some Legal Consequences for Child Maltreatment?
As mentioned above, child maltreatment is a serious issue and can result in some strict legal consequences. One of the main legal consequences for child maltreatment is a loss of child custody or visitation rights. In many instances, custody of the child will be transferred to another parent or another adult who is deemed fit to care for the child.
Other possible consequences include civil fines, especially if the child has been seriously injured and requires medical treatment. In many cases, criminal charges will also result.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with a Child Maltreatment Claim?
Child maltreatment laws are very strict and violations may result in multiple legal consequences. You may need to hire a family law attorney if you or a loved one of yours is involved in a child maltreatment situation. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and research to determine what steps are needed in order to move forward. Also, if you need to report a case or file a legal claim, your lawyer can represent you and guide you through those processes as well.
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Last Modified: 08-10-2015 12:15 PM PDT
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