Orlando Child Neglect Lawyer

At Orlando Family Team, we take child neglect charges very seriously. We are well aware that deprivations in childhood have grave consequences — physically, intellectually, and emotionally. While child neglect can, and tragically does, occur in a variety of circumstances, it is sometimes brought to light in cases of divorce in which child custody decisions are being made.

If you are embroiled in a child custody battle in Central Florida involving charges of child neglect, contact Orlando Family Team as soon as possible. Our child neglect attorneys are well-prepared to provide you with excellent child custody representation whether you are trying to keep your child safe from the other parent’s neglect, or being wrongfully accused of neglecting your child during custody negotiations.

Defining Child Neglect

Child neglect occurs when a child is deprived of (or permitted to be deprived of) basic necessities: food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatment, or allowed to live in an environment that causes the child significant physical, mental, or emotional damage.

A parent or other caregiver is neglectful when that person: 

  • Fails to provide the child with care, services, and supervision in order to maintain that child’s physical health and psychological well-being 
  • Fails to make a reasonable effort to protect the child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another individual
  • In a single incident or repeatedly allows the child to be placed at substantial risk of physical or mental injury or death

In other words, child neglect is a pattern of deprivation that interferes with the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental growth.

Types of Child Neglect

All types of child neglect are heart-breaking. They are differentiated as follows, but certainly may overlap:

  • Physical neglect — failure to provide necessary food, clothing, shelter, supervision; permitting the child’s use of alcohol or drugs, access to weapons
  • Medical neglect failure to provide needed medical, dental or mental health treatment
  • Educational neglect — failure to educate or provide for special education needs
  • Emotional neglect — failure to meet emotional needs and provide social interaction

How does uninvolved parenting differ? 

Though these terms are often used interchangeably, child neglect is clearly a more pejorative phrase. While an uninvolved parent may meet the child’s physical needs, that parent may not be present in the child’s life in a meaningful way. Uninvolved parents are typically:

  • Unresponsive to, or dismissive of, their child’s emotional needs or desires
  • Unable or unwilling to provide affection, guidance, support, or discipline  
  • Focused on their own problems or desires rather than their child’s
  • Indifferent to their child’s behavior, activities, social interactions, achievements, or struggles

While the child of an uninvolved parent may be physically well-nourished, appropriately 

clothed and sheltered, that child will likely suffer from poor self-esteem, self-doubt, mental health problems (especially depression or uncontrollable anger), and lack of trust in others. 

Signs of Child Neglect

A neglected child is more at risk of doing poorly in school, trying to become as invisible as she feels, or engaging in risk-taking behaviors in an attempt to be noticed. Although extreme shyness or passivity may occur, the child may alternatively begin acting out at a young age — using drugs or alcohol, engaging in sexual conduct or criminal acts, or veering toward aggression or self-harm. 

Others outside the family may see and report signs of child neglect, such as:

  • Behavioral changes or moodiness
  • Speech disorders, stammering
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Lack of attachment to the parent
  • Excessive withdrawal, lack of responsiveness
  • Angry outbursts or acts of aggression
  • Signs of eating disorders, cutting, or other self-harming behaviors
  • Developmental delays or returns to infantile behaviors (bed-wetting, thumb-sucking)
  • Development of new physical signs of stress (e.g. hair twirling, scratching, nail-biting, leg-shaking)

How Orlando Family Team Can Help

Whether you are trying to keep your child out of the care of your spouse or ex-spouse or are being wrongfully accused of neglecting your child yourself, once you become our client, our child neglect attorneys will:

  • Handle all communications with opposing attorneys
  • Help gather evidence that supports your version of events (e.g. witness accounts, photographs, videos, emails, texts, child’s own account of parental behavior)
  • Interview teachers, coaches, friends, relatives, and experts (such as therapists) who may testify in court on your behalf

Above all, our child neglect attorneys will do everything in our power to make certain that you and your child are safe and protected from neglectful behavior or false charges. It is important to note that “Neglect of a Child” charges are classified as felonies in Florida. If the child suffers great bodily harm as a result of the neglect, the defendant, if convicted, may have to pay up to a $10,000 fine and spend up to 15 years in prison.

Contact Our Experienced Child Neglect Attorneys to Protect Your Child 

Orlando Family Team has the knowledge of Florida laws and extensive experience with child custody cases to fight successfully for your rights whatever the circumstances of your custody battle. We know that nothing is more important to you than your child’s well-being so we will fight tooth and nail to ensure your child’s physical and emotional health. We will also do everything possible to see to it that you maintain a warm, loving relationship with your child and that your reputation as a person and a parent remains intact. Contact us now for more information on how we can help.