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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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I have been wrongfully accused of abusing my 5 year old

Customer Question

I have been wrongfully accused of abusing my 5 year old daughter. The allegations were made by my soon to be ex husband (her step father). She is currently with her natural father. CPS of RI interviewed her on Monday night. We have a status hearing on Monday. What kinds of things does CPS ask a child? I love my daughter and have always provided and have made sure that she is my priority in life. Her step father has made it very clear that he is out to hurt me in the most extreme way. He has threatened me, harassed myself and everyone around me, including my daughter's therapist and preschool teacher. We were together 9 months, he was always supportive of me and always praised me to be an amazing mom. Now that we are divorcing for irreconcilable differences, he's now just bringing this up? My daughter's father and I have been sharing 50/50 custody and there have never been any reports on his end of suspected abuse. There is no evidence because I have never abused or hurt her. What can I expect? Yes, I do have an attorney..but she hasn't been much help. She did file a motion on my behalf today, objecting the motion that my daughter's father filed for sole custody.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Hi, it is generally tough to know what specific questions CPS may ask, but what they tend to do is ask things such as what a typical day may be spent with you, or if the child was ever asked to not discuss certain things with the other parent, especially if the things are painful or confusing. CPS tries to focus on questions that would make sense to a 5 year old, but ask them in such a manner where they try to not lead the child to one answer (or at least the good CPS agents do not). As far as abuse, it depends on what exactly you are accused of. If accused of physical abuse, they can ask about how the child was injured if at all, and if the child has gone to the hospital, or if the child ever wore a cast. Then if they obtain information, they can then try to pry further and try to understand why the child may have gone. A 'tummy ache' is usually a non-issue, but if the child kept falling down the steps, or falling off swings, or was told to not say are all typically red flags. Again, I do not know about your case specifically, I am focusing on general questions.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There are no hospital, Dr or police reports to back up any such abuse. On the contrary, her therapist had written a letter back in June of this year for the court, stating that I am the better parent. We are currently in the middle of having her evaluated for being on the autism spectrum. I showed the CPS case worker the letter and let him know the details regarding that, plus gave him her therapist's contact number. He never called her, which concerns me. I'm worried, not because I have anything to hide or I am guilty of anything. I'm worried about her because her father and my husband have been feeding her lies and saying bad things about me. I talk to her every day and she tells me that she loves me and that she wants to come home and that she can't wait to see me. An abused child would move want to talk or see the person who is hurting them. I have been accused of beating and verbally abusing her. My husband wrote an affidavit stating his so called witness accounts to the abuse. Again, we were together for 9 months and there were no issues at all until we filed for divorce. He wants money from me and I refuse to give it to him. This is why he is doing this. I did tell CPS this, will they take that into consideration?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

They may take this into consideration but to be honest I do not know what your child may say. If she is autistic that makes it a bit more difficult to predict especially if they are not potentially taking that into consideration. I would seriously urge you to consider obtaining counsel immediately because if you are not with an attorney when you deal with CPS, you are at a serious disadvantage, even if you have nothing to hide. Even other attorneys hire attorneys to represent them with this agency because there is a well-known reputation of being either utterly lackadaisical, or potentially over-zealous in finding issues where none may actually exist.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have an attorney. She has not been very helpful. I hired her initially to help me get primary custody of my daughter for school purposes. Her father lives in Boston and I live in Providence, RI. We've been dealing with jurisdiction issues and now this issue. My husband harassing her as well. It's become a huge mess. When the case worker came to my house to speak with me, I let him in because my house is clean, I have nothing to hide and it does appear that a well loved child resides here. The current parenting agreement states that I am to maintain residence for school purposes. It does not list MA as the mothering state, nor does is specify that I have to stay in MA for her to go to school. I have letters from her therapist, from her preschool teacher...all of these which my attorney has. We did file our motion to object my daughter's father's motion for sole custody today.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Then what your attorney has done is a good step. She should also attempt to request to be informed of the interview, and other than hiring a G.A.L. (guardian ad litem) directly for the child, you have done what you needed up to this point. Now, if you want new counsel, you may want to consider browsing the listings at www.avvo.com and www.martindale.com for competent counsel. There you can obtain past reviews by other clients as well as peer driven evaluations so that you can make the best decision for yourself going forward.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have told her that I want to request a GAL for my daughter on Monday's hearing. She said, "perhaps". She is one of the best in RI, CT and in MA, which is why I chose her. I think she is overwhelmed at the moment not only with my case, but with others as well. I thought there needed to be hard proof that there has been abuse and to take a child away from their mother. I thought I had more rights as a mother. I'm not banking on those things, but these are things that I have been told..not only by my attorney, but by others as well. I am the one who noticed and has addressed my daughter's behavioral issues, which is why I am working to get her evaluated. I want to make sure she gets the help that she needs in order to have an amazing and successful life. Her father has been in complete denial of her behavioral issues, even when her teacher spoke to him on several occasions regarding them. Doesn't that count for something on my end? I have all the documents and proof that I have been working diligently and consistently on getting her the help she needs. Whether she's in fact on the autism spectrum, or if it's just behavioral issues due to having to make the one week on, one week off transition between her father and I.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Well, as far as having more rights as a mother, that is false. Both parents are supposed to be treated equally by the courts. But as far as behavior issues, that is apples and oranges. CPS looks to abuse, not to behavioral issues, as a child may be autistic and cared for, or autistic and abused, or healthy and likewise abused. They will focus on the abuse, and potentially neglect if they believe she isn't getting the proper help.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My daughter tells me that she misses me and wants to come home every day that I talk to her. I assure her of my love for her and promise her that she will be coming back to RI soon. Won't CPS take into consideration that my husband and I lived and were together for 9 months, but he never said or did anything until we filed for divorce, and also question that as well as question why her father never reported anything in the almost 3 years that we have been sharing custody?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

To play the 'devil's advocate' role, CPS will focus on when the complaint was made--and the argument that can be used is if he was just made aware of the abuse, he made it then. Arguing that it wasn't made before is a poor argument and won't work--showing lack of abuse is more prudent. Plus, if you prevail, then you can file suit for defamation of character if you wish, but that is not something that CPS will focus on at this point.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

My apologies but I will be logging off to get some rest for this evening. Should you have more questions, I promise to respond but there may be a delay until morning if I end up logging off. Otherwise, if satisfied, kindly do not forget to positively rate so that I can obtain credit for my work. Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My husband stated in his affidavit his so called witness accounts of the abuse over the last 9 months that we were together. So, in doing so, he admitted that he sat back and supposedly watched it happen over the course of the 9 months. Aria's therapist stated in her letter, that she also had been working with me on parenting tools and working on ways to better help interject when my daughter when her behaviors are at their rarest (referring to the behavioral issues that we have been addressing). Also, her father and I have been sharing custody for the last 3 years, not once has he ever complained or suspected any abuse, or he would have reported is a long time ago. Aria is a very vocal little girl, she tells her father and I everything. If she is afraid or doesn't like some one, she shows it. Not once has she ever shown fear of me.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, isn't CPS supposed to send their findings to mine and my daughter's father's attorney?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

CPS is not supposed to send their findings until they finish their investigation. Until they do, your attorney (or his) can demand to see it, but are not automatically entitled to see it.

Failing to report may create a basis for neglect against that parent, but it does not somehow invalidate those instances of abuse, if they really happened. Again, not a defense of the ex, but focusing on that is not prudent.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

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