Massachusetts Attorneys Handling Children and Family Services Matters
The stakes are high for parents who have been accused of child abuse. As the result of a complaint to the Department of Children and Family Services, children could enter foster care or be adopted. Parents' visitation rights may be severely limited. In the most severe cases, parental rights may be terminated and the parent may be placed on a list of possible abusers.
At Massachusetts Family Law Group, we recognize the devastation and turmoil that comes with these allegations. Our Boston DCFS & DSS hearings attorneys have the knowledge and resources to vigorously defend you against child abuse allegations. Our goal is to seek justice for you while protecting the children involved.
Clear Explanations and Guidance Through a Frightening Process
One of the most frightening aspects of a DCFS case is the unknown. When we represent you, our first step will be to advise you about the process that begins when someone files a complaint of child abuse or neglect. Called a 51(a) complaint, the filing triggers a DCFS investigation that must be completed within 10 days. If the department moves the case forward based on the investigation, it may also refer the matter for potential criminal charges.
Our attorneys will help you prepare for meeting the DCFS investigator and advise you about responding to questions and statements. We will also represent you in an appeal of a negative decision.
Advice and Vigorous Representation at Every Step in the Process
Often, the most effective defense is to attack the report itself and not the incompetence or bias of the investigators. Flaws in the report that would likely cast doubt on the conclusions may include:
- Investigators spent too much time with one parent and not enough with the other.
- The report contains statements not supported by facts.
- The report conflicts with the court-appointed evaluator's conclusions.
- The investigation was cursory.
- One parent was interviewed with the children at home, while the other parent was interviewed at the office, without children present.
- Investigators failed to interview teachers, day care providers or others who have firsthand knowledge of the family.
Our attorneys have defended parents against child abuse allegations that have arisen out of hotly contested child custody hearings. In these instances, one parent seeks the upper hand and files a complaint of child abuse against the other parent to bolster his or her contention that the other parent is unfit. Our law firm employs investigators and other experts to determine the truth of such charges.
Strong, Effective Advocates for Parents
Of the many Boston-area divorce and family law attorneys, we are among the few who really concentrate on probate and family court matters and events such as DCFS hearings on a day-in and day-out basis. Because of our knowledge of the system and our experience with a wide variety of DCFS cases, we can be strong, effective advocates for parents. Our lawyers have more than more than 100 years of combined legal experience; many of us are divorced parents ourselves. We know what you're going through.
For more information about DCFS hearings, call us at 800-763-1030 to speak with a Boston DCFS and DSS hearings attorney. Or, e-mail us to schedule a free initial consultation. We represent clients throughout the Greater Boston area, including people from communities such as Gloucester, Dedham, Malden and Lowell.