How to Protect Your Child During a CPS Investigation
Someone is at the door and to your surprise, it’s an agent from Child Protective Services (CPS). They claim that someone has reported the abuse or neglect of your child and that they’re there to conduct an investigation. The agent asks you to let them into your home; the investigation starts now and they’re allowed to look at anything they want in the best interests of the child.
What do you do?
You should know that CPS typically has an agenda when investigating allegations of abuse. Instead of evaluating all available facts, agents are looking for evidence that supports the allegations of the person that initially reported to the agency.
Here’s the critical information you need if you’re involved in a CPS investigation.
If your ex-spouse calls Child Protective Services, or CPS, your divorce in Nassau or Suffolk County court can become exponentially more difficult. Dealing with CPS is rarely a pleasant experience and even if your ex-spouse has made false claims against you, CPS still has to do its due diligence and fully investigate the situation and ensure the safety of the children in your home environment before closing the case. CPS investigations can make you feel vulnerable. Children may not understand why you are being investigated, and it can be difficult to explain. If your ex-spouse reported you to Child Protective Services, here are the five steps you should take. (more…)
What is a Child Protective Proceeding on Long Island?
A child protective proceeding is commenced by a Long Island child protective agency with a petition in the family court in Nassau County or Suffolk County. If your county or city agency has a concern for abuse or neglect, it can petition the family court and begin an action against the parent or guardian who is suspected of abuse or neglect. The county or city agency is known as the petitioner, and the parent or caretaker that is suspected of abuse or neglect will be the respondent. The goal of these proceedings is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child. Sometimes this means the court will have the parent or guardian address and correct problematic behaviors. If the parent or guardian cannot or does not correct abusive behaviors, the child may be removed from the home and placed into kinship or foster care. (more…)
CPS Investigations and the Best Interests of the Child
If a child is removed from a parent’s custody on the grounds of suspected abuse or neglect, this can be a trying time for not only the child, but for the parents and other family members. In many cases, a child will be placed in the care and custody of a family member on a temporary basis for the duration of the Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation. While this temporary custody does not provide long-term legal rights to the care and custody of the child, the placement plays an extremely important role in the child’s sense of safety and wellbeing while a CPS investigation is underway. There is no way of predicting or knowing what the outcome of the investigation will be, so it is most helpful to direct your energy to caring for the child and making sure of your responsibilities as a caretaker are met. (more…)
As a Long Island Family Law Lawyer practicing in Nassau County and Suffolk County, it saddens me to think of all the cases I’ve seen where a child is in need of protection from their parent.
In cases where it appears that a child under 18 years of age has been abused or neglected or is in danger of being abused or neglected, a child protective proceeding may be commenced by a child protective agency. Abuse is defined as any behavior that results or is very likely to result in serious physical injury to the child, or any sexual offense. Neglect is a failure of the parent to adequately meet the child’s educational, medical, nutritional, or other basic needs.
CPS Petitions Nassau County or Suffolk County Family Court for Child
In Nassau County and Suffolk County, this child protective agency is known as Child Protective Services (CPS). CPS can petition the Nassau County or Suffolk County Family Court, and the parent or caretaker that is suspected of abuse or neglect will be the respondent.
Fact Finding and Dispositional Hearings
The proceedings are initiated to determine whether the child is or may be in danger of abuse or neglect, and what action if any needs to be taken by the court to ensure the child’s safety. In certain emergency situations in which there is an immediate risk to the health and safety of a child, CPS can remove the child from the home without a court order. If the child is removed, the parent is entitled to a prompt hearing to determine the truth of the allegations, and whether a less severe action is appropriate. A court will hold a “fact-finding hearing” to determine whether abuse or neglect has been proven. A “dispositional hearing” will occur if abuse or neglect has been proven in order to determine the disposition of the child; in other words, the court will determine what services are needed for the family, and whether the child can remain at home with the respondent while those services are offered.
The Roles of CPS, Family Law Lawyers, Law Guardians, Nassau County or Suffolk County Family Court in Child Protection Proceedings
CPS will conduct an investigation in order to compile a report for the court’s review. CPS is a government agency that represent the interests of the state – namely, the prevention of child abuse and neglect. While there is a strong public policy against child abuse and neglect, parents also have rights and parents are encouraged to hire a family law lawyer with experience in Child Protection in order to protect these rights. Minor children may also have legal representation by a law guardian, who can protect the child’s legal rights in court. All of these interested parties will appear before a family court in Nassau County or Suffolk County child protective proceeding. The court will consider the interests of all parties within the context of the law to determine the best possible outcome given then circumstances.
Possible Outcomes in Nassau County or Suffolk County Family Court
Depending upon the circumstances of each case, possible outcomes include (1) returning the child to the parents or guardians on conditions specified by the court, such as continued monitoring by CPS or completion of mental health or parenting programs, (2) placing the child in foster care while services such as parenting classes or mental health treatment are provided to the parent, (3) releasing the child to a fit and willing relative who will care for the child, known as kinship care. In some kinship care cases, the child will be able to remain in the home with a parent or guardian who is not a respondent, but the respondent parent will be instructed to leave the home for the duration of the proceeding. The court will continue to monitor the progress of the family with periodic updates and hearings.
Foster Care and Kinship Care on Long Island
Foster care and kinship care are temporary solutions to an acute family issue. Ideally, parents and children will be rehabilitated so that any abusive or neglectful behavior ceases and so that children can return home to a healthier family environment. Parents who face intervention by a child protective agency may feel vulnerable, as their rights to parent their children free of state intervention will be threatened. However, it is only in cases of abuse or neglect that the state may intervene against the wishes of the legal parent or guardian of a child. It is important that any parent involved in such a proceeding take it seriously and understand their legal rights.
Contact Long Island Family Law Lawyer to Protect Your Rights in Cases of Child Protection in Nassau County and Suffolk County
Because of the sensitive nature of such a proceeding, it is important that parents seek the counsel of a Long Island family law lawyer experienced with representing parents in such proceedings in Nassau County or Suffolk County Courtrooms. The Law Office of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., is experienced with child protective proceedings and knows the rights of the parents involved. If you are involved in a child protective proceeding, contact us at 631-923-1910 right away for a free consultation.
Download our Free New York Divorce Guide
Our 41-page “Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York” written by an experienced family law lawyer Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., provides you with real information on the divorce process and the laws it rests upon in the state of New York. This book will help give you a solid foundation upon which you can begin the process of making your family’s, life better. Download your Free Guide to New York Divorce here.
Robert has been my attorney for 14+ years. Through the years he has taken every call, and responded to every email, even when we were not dealing with an active court matter. Most recently, he, and his amazing team, did everything to see me through a lengthy and draining child support modification. His experience with Divorce, and Family Court, matters makes him extremely knowledgeable; therefore, if he doesn’t feel you can benefit from an action, he will advise you as much. He is not in this business to charge you fees just for the sake of making money. He will listen to you, take your feelings into consideration, and then take the time to explain how the Law works. The Courts do not care about your feelings but he, and his entire firm, genuinely do care about you AND work to obtain the best possible outcome! All the while, truly understanding these matters are very difficult to go through emotionally AND the financial impact they have on you. I highly recommend Robert and his firm… you will not be disappointed.
Mr Hornberger is an absolute amazing lawyer. He helped me on every level weather it be answering emails extremely fast, always called me back right aways and never acted frustrated towards me and my thousand questions. Mr Hornberger is extremely personable, caring and smart. I would highly highly recommend him to anyone especially someone like me who has no idea what court is going to be like. Again a great person and an even better lawyer
Robert has been my attorney for 14+ years. Through the years he has taken every call, and responded to every email,... even when we were not dealing with an active court matter. Most recently, he, and his amazing team, did everything to see me through a lengthy and draining child support modification. His experience with Divorce, and Family Court, matters makes him extremely knowledgeable; therefore, if he doesn’t feel you can benefit from an action, he will advise you as much. He is not in this business to charge you fees just for the sake of making money. He will listen to you, take your feelings into consideration, and then take the time to explain how the Law works. The Courts do not care about your feelings but he, and his entire firm, genuinely do care about you AND work to obtain the best possible outcome! All the while, truly understanding these matters are very difficult to go through emotionally AND the financial impact they have on you. I highly recommend Robert and his firm… you will not be disappointed.read more
Mr Hornberger is an absolute amazing lawyer. He helped me on every level weather it be answering emails extremely fast,... always called me back right aways and never acted frustrated towards me and my thousand questions. Mr Hornberger is extremely personable, caring and smart. I would highly highly recommend him to anyone especially someone like me who has no idea what court is going to be like. Again a great person and an even better lawyerread more
Mr. Hornberger was so helpful to me in a recent consultation. He gave me his time generously, listened patiently,... offered clear counsel, and said I didn't actually need further legal services in a particular matter, which I really appreciated.read more
The team at Hornberger Verbitsky made me feel at ease after I retained them after a 3 year contested divorce process. I... like their approach with how they educate you on ways to get the best outcome in your divorce. Mr. Hornberger made me feel heard and was compassionate to my case while also being aggressive in the courtroom to help me get the most positive outcome. He prevented my case from having to go to trial and he closed the deal in my long drawn out emotional divorce. I was happy that I retained him and would recommend him to anyone that is going through a high conflict divorce.read more
Christine is truly the best there is. She is beyond professional, personable, genuine, extremely trusting, and has made... such a stressful and emotional time for my family and I easier to get through. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your guidance, your support, and being there every step of the way. I would highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. to anyone that is in need for legal advice - you will be in the best hands.read more
Rob and Christine are the very best out there!I can not say enough about them. They both have helped me so much in... different matters throughout the last several years . They have gone over and beyond!I highly recommend this law firm !read more
I called to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss a mediated divorce, the office was fantastic with getting... me a prompt appointment. When going in all my questions were asked and I left feeling comfortable in my decision to move forward in using the Hornberger/Verbitsky office. Despite a pandemic going on the office still worked diligently to get my papers filed and my divorce complete in a timely manner. Highly recommend!read more
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C were phenomenal in every way. Robert was very genuine, patient and professional. Walking in,... I had no idea what to expect but he went above and beyond to explain the entire process thoroughly. He guided and informed me of my rights. Patty was amazing, she answered every question I had no matter how many times I called, she was very understanding. I highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Even if its just for questions on how to navigate this process.read more
Rob and his team are by far one of the greatest! Patty is amazing and will make sure all of your questions are... addressed and responded to. Rob and his team made a very tough time in my life as simple as possible. Rob is extremely knowledgeable and very empathetic. Patty was a pleasure to work with and I would recommend this firm to anyone that needs a great divorce attorney. Thank you for all of your help!read more
Hornberger law was the best choice I made when I needed to go to family court with my ex for custody of my children.... They were there at any time when I neeeded them. Going through a custody battle can be a huge emotional rollercoaster and very painful. They helped me through it and made it less painful and heartbreaking. And I got the outcome plus more than I expectedread more
I am a graduate of Norland English nanny college. I thank God every day that Mr. Robert Hornberger protected my clients... in the legal ways i could not. Children are a blessing not a blender to be fought over during some silly spat!read more
I went to see Rob for a modification for my child custody agreement to relocate, I can honestly say that working with... Rob and Christine has been the best experience. I cannot recommend them enough I only wish I had seen them sooner. They are prompt with communication, and they are honest which I appreciate so much. They do not give you fake promises and they do their best to fight for what you want which they do amazingly well! You can tell they are passionate about what they do and care about their clients. A very important aspect of lawyer client relationship for me is an open line of communication, the anxiety of the unknown always gets the best of us. The fact they were always available whether it be phone call or email to answer any question was extremely comforting and exactly what I needed. I am not well versed with laws and regulation so knowing I had Rob and his partners there when I was unsure or conflicted was extremely needed and greatly appreciated.When it comes to family court it's never easy but having Rob and his partner by my side I felt extremely comfortable and he helped me have realistic expectations. Please TRUST HIM!! If you're looking for a lawyer (at least for my end from child custody/Family Court) don't look any further you will not be disappointed. I hope to never have to use them again but in the event I have to, they are going to be my forever first call.read more
A Google User
15:42 16 Sep 20
I hired Robert to handle a child custody and child support matter. He was prompt and professional and was able to... achieve a result that 3 prior attorneys could not. He and his staff made a stressful situation easy. I highly recommend his office.read more
I am a paralegal in an unrelated field of law. I phoned Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today intending to refer a client... to their office. Instead (and despite that we are the midst of the present crisis), Mr. Hornberger himself graciously accommodated my questions over the telephone, and was generous with his time and adroit in his response, saving our client a small fortune in unnecessary legal fees. I have not had any similar experience, in which counsel was so generous with his expertise, in 22+ years of interacting with prominent, local attorneys, and the client is overjoyed. Based on this experience, I would now whole -heartedly recommend this firm as trusted professionals to any client requiring a firm expert in family law and related legal issues.read more
Going through a divorce was very challenging and emotional. Searching for an attorney can be challenging as well when... you consider everything that is at stake. The choice I made to work with Rob Hornberger was surely the best choice available. His professionalism, expertise, and understanding made him and the entire team perfectly suited to achieve the outcomes I desired. Rob was always available to answer my questions and give me advice and legal considerations that affected my situation. The support I received from his staff was exemplary as well. The staff was courteous, kind, and also very professional. Thank you so much Rob and team for a worry free experience.read more
Being in family court especially when your children are on the line is extremely emotional and stressful but working... with Robert and Christine put me at ease and made the process as pleasant as a situation like that can be. I have a now 3 year old daughter (who is the most important person in my life) and I've been working with them for over two years since my daughter was 7 months old, the case has been up and down and through it all Rob and Christine have never given up. My original case was due to a neglect charge. Cps is not easy to work with, but Rob and Christine were vigilant and I ended up getting my daughter back within 8 months and did not have to plead guilty to the neglect. Currently I am in family court to figure out a custody agreement. They are professional, empathetic, and patient. They have always explained everything thoroughly, informed me of all my options and advised me of what my best option would be. They always respond quickly when I contact them with questions or concerns and most importantly they fight for me in court and don't give up even when things get rough. Before hiring Rob and Christine I met with other attorneys who did not make me feel confident or comfortable at all about my case, so I am very grateful to have found Rob and Christine and to be represented by such great attorneys. I highly recommend them for any family court matters and will definitely continue to use them in the future if needed.read more
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. - Mr. Robert Hornberger and his staff are beyond professional, they quickly gave me my... consultation appointment, and helped me with an after-Divorce issue. Mr. Hornberger was empathetic and explained to me what I should expect. Mr. Hornberger was extremely professional and advised me of my options, he helped me proceed with accurate and smart decisions. I wish I had Mr. Hornberger and his highly recommended staff when I was getting divorced. I would highly recommend Robert and his staff to anyone who is getting a divorce or in need of help with situations after the divorce!read more
Navigating my divorce was a challenging experience to say the least, but I was supported and guided every step of the... way by my attorney, Robert. With the daunting task of hiring a divorce lawyer, I knew I would need someone with the right combination of knowledge, compassion and integrity. Robert has a strong background in family law, sincere character and direct communication to be superior to the others. He and his staff were professional and caring. I always felt I was in good hands. I highly recommend the Law Offices Hornberger and Verbitsky for the legal expertise, compassion and understanding of the many complex facets associated with divorce.read more
Robert and Christine are the epitome of professionalism. They helped us with the purchase of our new home. They were... efficient, dedicated, and focused on making our closing as seamless as possible.read more
Robert Hornberger has been a friend of mine and my family for years. He has helped us all in ways that are too... numerable to mention. I went through a divorce that I don’t think I could’ve done if I didn’t have Robert by my side. He is vivacious, motivated, knowledgeable, and has an extreme desire to succeed and excel...and he does! He goes over and above for all of his clientele. I would recommend his law firm to anybody who is looking for a Great Lawyer with integrity!read more