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What Defines Child Abuse & Neglect on Long Island, New York

by | Jun 26, 2018 | Family Law Attorney, News and Events

Unfortunately, we see too many Family Court cases that involve allegations of child neglect on Long Island. Many of our clients have been in the position of being falsely accused of neglecting their children, while other clients believe their children are being neglected by their other parent. Regardless of how you ended up in a Child Neglect Proceeding, it is important to understand certain concepts and definitions that will be used in court.

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What Is the Family Court Act?

In New York State, Neglect Proceedings are heard in Family Court and are usually governed by a statute known as the Family Court Act. The Act defines child neglect or abuse as “the act, or failure to act, by any parent or caretaker that results in the death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation of a child.” It’s also important to recognize that child abuse and neglect, although lumped together in the definition above, are defined and treated differently in Family Courts on Long Island.

What is Child Abuse?

Physical child abuse occurs when a parent or caretaker inflicts serious physical injury on the child. This abuse also encompasses situations in which the parent or caretaker allows a third party to inflict a serious physical injury. Of course, this does not include normal childhood injuries that are caused by accident. Serious physical injury constituting child abuse may result from actions such as shaking, beating, biting, kicking, punching and burning. Unfortunately, this is not an exhaustive list, but it does comprise the most common ways physical abuse manifests.

Child abuse can also manifest as emotional or verbal abuse. Emotional abuse is typically defined as “the non-physical maltreatment of a child that can seriously interfere with his or her positive emotional development.” Usually, patterns of abusive behavior include constant rejection, terrorizing, exposing a child to corruption, violence or criminal behavior, irrational behavior and excessive yelling, belittling and teasing.

What Is Child Neglect?

Neglect is further defined as the failure of a parent or caretaker to provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care or supervision to the degree to which the child’s health, safety and well-being are threatened with harm. With this definition, there are many subcategories of child neglect, some of which are discussed below.

What Is Physical Neglect?

Parents are responsible for providing a minimum degree of care for their children. Physical neglect is the failure to provide food, clothing or shelter. Abandonment, inadequate supervision of a child, and excessive corporal punishment are also forms of physical neglect.

What Is Educational Neglect?

Educational neglect includes failure to enroll school-aged children in school, allowing unexplained absences from school, refusal of recommended remedial services without good reason, and failure to respond to attendance questions.

What Is Emotional Neglect?

Emotional neglect is the failure of a parent or caregiver to supply the child with the love and support necessary for healthy development. This may include failure to provide warmth, attention, supervision, affection, praise or encouragement to a child.

Have More Questions About Child Abuse & Neglect in New York? Contact Us

While this list may seem long, it is by no means exhaustive. Unfortunately these are just a few of the many ways that parents end up in Family Court for a Child Neglect Proceeding. If you have any questions regarding Child Abuse or Neglect, we can help. Contact our Long Island Divorce & Family Law firm at 631-629-2545 to set up your free consultation with one of our experienced Family Law attorneys.

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