How Allegations of Child Abuse or Neglect Affect Child Custody

It isn't unusual for allegations of child abuse or neglect to arise in child custody disputes. In Michigan, Child Protective Services (CPS) investigates all reports of child abuse or neglect. If CPS workers find evidence of abuse or neglect, you could end up losing your child custody rights.

Attorney Lisa Stern in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, represents parents who are seeking child custody based on the other parent's abuse or neglect. We also represent parents who are accused of abuse or neglect.

What Happens When CPS Workers Show Up at Your Door?

Anyone who witnesses abuse or neglect of a child can report the incident to the Michigan Department of Human Services — and can do so anonymously, if they wish. Certain professionals, such as police officers and teachers, are required to report suspected incidents of abuse or neglect.

Once a report is made, CPS workers will make an investigation. If they don't believe there is merit to the charges, they will close the file. However, if the CPS workers believe the allegations, the case will go to the prosecutor's office. The accused parent may be charged with child neglect, child abuse, child sexual abuse or child endangerment.

These charges could have a devastating effect on a child custody case. If you face charges of abuse or neglect, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.

What if I am Falsely Accused of Neglect or Abuse?

Some parents use false allegations of abuse or neglect as a weapon in a child custody case. However, such allegations can backfire if CPS does not find evidence of abuse or neglect. A person who makes a false allegation can be accused of parental alienation.


Read our article about "Leo's Law," a recent change to the burden that must be met before children can be taken from their parents.


Contact Attorney Lisa D. Stern

For an initial consultation with Michigan child protective services lawyer Lisa D. Stern, call 800-550-3717 or complete our online contact form. You can discuss your concerns about child abuse or neglect with utmost candor and confidentiality.