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Based on details below, Can I call child services?

Chicago, IL |

My 10 year child comes over for visits with her clothes either dirty, with a smell, too small, or sometimes without underwear. She has told me on several occasions that she has gone nights without eating dinner and when I pick her for visits, she informs me that she hasnt had anything to eat. I do have pictures of her appearance and I also have some of the clothes that she has come to my house with as evidence. I also filed a police report due to the other parent being late for the visit and while the officer was there he also took note of her clothing and and how filthy they were. This is ongoing. I have brought it up in court and its like a slap on the wrist. The mother does not send the medicine with my child that she has to take for an infection. nor does she take the medicine at home.

Also the school she attends contacted me and informed me that she has been late for the past 3 weeks at least 3 out of the 5 days at least an hour or more late. and they live 6 mins from the school.

Attorney Answers 7


  1. Best answer

    It sounds like your daughter is neglected and that is not allowed under the laws of state. You need to consult with an attorney immediately. This type of neglect could make your child sick and definitely it will impact her in many ways. If you do not take any action, despite the fact that you have knowledge of the neglect, you both could end up losing parental rights. It sounds like it could be an emergency. Your lawyer could file for emergency custody. Do you live in the same school district? Until you do get this matter before a judge I would talk to the police about wellness checks to be sure she is OK. Your lawyer may even recommend not returning her depending on the severity of the situation after you speak to her/him. No child should be treated like this. You have done the right thing by asking this question now you need to take the next step and get in with a lwyer who handles custody ASAP. Do not put this off for even a day. Your daughter REALLY needs you to protect her and provide for her. Don't let her down. Best to you and your daughter.

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  2. Concur wholeheartedly with Ms. Raddatz.

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  3. I am sorrry that you and your daughter are going though this. This type of neglect requires that you notify child protective services immediatley or you could find yourself in trouble for failing to act. Please work with the courts, sometimes they can appoint a lawyer to help you or you may retain one yourself. You must protect your child. take care and I hope that things work out.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


  4. I am sorrry that you and your daughter are going though this. This type of neglect requires that you notify child protective services immediatley or you could find yourself in trouble for failing to act. Please work with the courts, sometimes they can appoint a lawyer to help you or you may retain one yourself. You must protect your child. take care and I hope that things work out.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


  5. The next time your daughter come to visit, keep her. Have a lawyer in place beforehand if possible. Seek an order of protection for neglect/abuse. Keep very good records. Seek a change in custody for your daughter. If you call DCFS, you may or may not get the result you want. You want your daughter to be in your care. Your lawyer will help you with that. Your situation is too complex to resolve online.

    Good luck to you, and especially to your daughter.


  6. I would avoid calling Child protective or any social health services unless you want them snooping around in your business and possible investigating your home as well.


  7. I would be very cautious about some of the answers that have been posted. If there is an emergency situation, call the State. They are the only ones in a position to do anything about it immediately. If you simply decide, unilaterally, to refuse to return the child; you will be the one in trouble with the Court.

    The problem is that the kinds of things you're stating are said in 50% of these cases. Moms always say that Dads are drunks or potheads, and Dads always say that Mom doesn't bathe or feed the child. It comes from different cultural norms about what parenting means. To men, it is about providing for the child. That means food, clothes, shelter. For women, it is about supervision. That means no booze, no girlfriends, no video games.

    You can find a lawyer to tell you anything that you want to hear, but if you want custody of that child, you have to do it the right way. Either get the state involved, or file an emergency motion and ask for a guardian ad litem. If a state agency or GAL doesn't agree with you, you're never going to win. If you kept the child against the orders of the Court, you're going to end up paying her attorney's fees, too, among other things.

    You say that the officer "took note" of something. Did the officer do anything about it, or did he or she just write down what you told them. Here's the thing. Back in chambers, when the parties are out of earshot, judges tend to look at attorneys and say, "Well, he had kids with her, so what does it say about him?" Just be very careful about how you handle this. Good people who were doing the right thing have been put in bad situations because they pissed off a judge by deciding that they didn't have to follow court orders. I wouldn't want that to happen to you.

    This advice is based upon limited and hypothetical circumstances. For an answer that is specific to your situation, please consult an attorney. The answering of this question does not create an attorney/client relationship, and the poster should seek additional information from qualified legal counsel. Many attorneys, like ours, offer no-cost consultations.

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