Family Law

Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Family Law

I am in a custody and child support battle with my son's mother.

Customer Question
This question is related to...
I am in a custody and child support battle with my son's mother. This question is related to an issue "outside of", but connected to the case. The Dept. of social Services came to my home and interviewed me regarding my son. They were following up on a report filed on me in March, 2016 claiming that I frequently get drunk, then verbally and physically abuse my 14 year-old son. Nothing is further from the truth. Part of the report claimed that I "drink beer after beer after beer, then begin verbally and physically abusing my son. Obviously, the person who made this report is not aware that I am allergic to beer and cannot drink it; have not had one since 1988. After the Social Services worker getting an "ear full" she realized that the claim was false and mentioned that the case would be closed. Question: If I find out who made this report can I sue for Slander or Defamation of character? The social worker said that they are not at liberty to reveal the person that made the claim. Can that information be subpoenaed by a court? Thank You
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Family Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Answered in 5 minutes by:
5/16/2016
Family Lawyer: Olivia Kent, Family Law Attorney replied 1 year ago
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,431
Experience: Partner at Kent Law Group, LLC
Verified
Hello. My name is ***** ***** I and attorney. I'll be happy to help you. You can absolutely sue for defamation – libel or slander – for the comments made about you because you can clearly make out a claim for damages. You can try to subpoena that information but I think you'll find you have a tough time getting it, just for public policy reasons. DHS has to be able to receive and freely investigate such claims because they are in the interests of children. If you can find out was so you can certainly make out a claim pretty easily. I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any additional questions or need me to clarify anything. I would be happy to do so. Please note that if I don't respond immediately to any follow-up questions it's because I am either not online or I am helping another customer but I can assure you I will be back if you have additional questions.
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 1 year ago

Are you saying that the court will not be able to subpoena those records to find out who filed that report? I don't know who it was but would bet my last dollar he/she has a direct connection to my son's mother. I do understand the system being interested in protecting the children. However, it is ashamed that the same system makes it too easy for someone to file completely false claims without a shred of evidence; don't even have to witness anything; just "saying" it is all that is required. If I am interested in filing a case against the accuser, how would I move forward?

Family Lawyer: Olivia Kent, Family Law Attorney replied 1 year ago

I agree with you that it is too easy for someone to file false claims. If you were interested in filing a case against the accuser you would need to in theory first sue DHS and in discovery request that information and then add the person as a defendant if you ever find out a name.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 1 year ago

Would I sue the Dept. of Social Services (the agency) for the sole purpose of obtaining the name of the accuser? Don't most government agencies have some sort of protection whereby they cannot be sued? After all, it's not their fault someone filed a false claim. Is it not their job to follow-up on ALL reports filed? They have no way of knowing claims are false until investigating, right?

Another issue I forgot to mention is that I found out in court last Monday morning that my son has been seeing a psychiatrist, I think from the same agency since October, 2015 every other weekend when he is with his mother. This is another false claim of "child abuse" I knew nothing about until last week. Is there not some duty they (the agency) have to "investigate" or at least contact the alleged abuser of the child? This psychiatrist admitted that he never has made any attempt to contact me in the past seven months while he is "treating" (I use this term very loosely) my son, all the while my son is in my custody 50% of the time. Does it make any sense that if the claim is valid they would knowingly allow the child to be with the alleged abuser (UNSUPERVISED) half of the time?

No doubt, it looks like they're just trying to pull a "fast one."

Thank You,

Dennis

Family Lawyer: Olivia Kent, Family Law Attorney replied 1 year ago

Would I sue the Dept. of Social Services (the agency) for the sole purpose of obtaining the name of the accuser? Yes.

Don't most government agencies have some sort of protection whereby they cannot be sued? Absolutely.

Is it not their job to follow-up on ALL reports filed? Yes.

They have no way of knowing claims are false until investigating, right? Yes.

And that's exactly the problem with suing them - it is not their fault that someone filed a false claim. They don't know it's false until they investigate. Your suit would be solely for the purposes of gaining the information you need - to sue that party - but likely it will be dismissed before it ever got to the discovery phase, for the reasons above. I understand that it's frustrating - and you need to decide if it's worth the continued frustration and expense.

Is there not some duty they (the agency) have to "investigate" or at least contact the alleged abuser of the child? They do have an obligation to investigate and, if they feel it is appropriate, they reach out to the alleged abuser. If they didn't reach out to you likely they didn't feel it was credible. Or perhaps there is another reason. If at any point it becomes an issue you would subpoena the psychiatrist to get the information you need. Similarly, if there is an active family court action, you can subpoena the records of DHS to *try* to find out who reported alleged abuses.

Does it make any sense that if the claim is valid they would knowingly allow the child to be with the alleged abuser (UNSUPERVISED) half of the time? No it does not, and I hope that tells you what they *likely* believe of the allegations of abuse.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions or you need me to clarify anything. I'd be happy to do so.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Family Lawyer: Olivia Kent, Family Law Attorney replied 1 year ago

Hello again. I wanted to check in with you to see if you have any questions, and to see how everything is going with you.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Family Lawyer: Olivia Kent, Family Law Attorney replied 1 year ago

Hello. I noticed you have not yet submitted a rating and therefore it remains "Open" on my end. I was wondering if you need any additional information or need me to clarify anything first. I’d be happy to do so.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Ask Olivia Kent Your Own Question
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,431
1,431 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Partner at Kent Law Group, LLC

Olivia Kent is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

11,844 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney and Counselor at Law

9,025 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

7,856 satisfied customers

I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

6,562 satisfied customers

JD, 17 years legal experience including family law

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

3,360 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including family law.

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

3,346 satisfied customers

Attorney with 17 years experience

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

2,754 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

< Previous | Next >

Related Family Law Questions
If a parent does not pay child support and is behind over
If a parent does not pay child support and is behind over $2500, do they still get visitation rights? … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,903 satisfied customers
This is about a child support modification that was
This is about a child support modification that was initiated by another party. The other party asked to transfer the case to a different county in Texas, I e-filed what I titled Custodial Parent's re… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,190 satisfied customers
Need help attaching a current child support order into a
need help attaching a current child support order into a divorce … read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,196 satisfied customers
Florida child support question. Florida. It's regarding
It's regarding payment continueing after child has turned 18 and has already graduated.… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
I have a juvenile hearing with DHS tomorrow and was
Hi, I have a juvenile hearing with DHS tomorrow and was wondering what this hearing will include … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I was paying child support for 2 of my children, and the
I was paying child support for 2 of my children, and the mother and I got back together and lived together for a year before deciding that it wouldn't work. She took me off of child support as I was t… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,903 satisfied customers
Looking for some family law child support counsel.
Hello. Looking for some family law child support counsel … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,190 satisfied customers
In an attempt to get mandated child support, father states
In an attempt to get mandated child support, father states if mother goes through with it he will file for custody and site mother's misdemeanor drug charge from several years ago, during a phone conv… read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
17,966 satisfied customers
My son owes $25,000 in back child support, the mother has
My son owes $25,000 in back child support, the mother has never had anything to do with the kids, the Court has stopped his payments but how does he clear the money owed, he has had sole custody for 1… read more
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent
Family Law Attorney
1,431 satisfied customers
This was given a paper to sign regarding child support.
This was given a paper to sign regarding child support … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
27,451 satisfied customers
I was assessed child support for a newborn child based on
I was assessed child support for a newborn child based on the mother's employment status (she no longer works) and her other three children (not mine). Is this correct? Why would their fathers not be … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
3,346 satisfied customers
The mother of my children took me off child support when i
The mother of my children took me off child support when i living with her. I moved out to find a better job and so that i could be closer to my job. I want to know if it permanent. … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,163 satisfied customers
In Texas, can child support be deducted from an inheritance
In Texas, can child support be deducted from an inheritance by the non-custodial parent who pays child support at present… read more
Legalease
Legalease
Attorney At Law
Doctor of Law w/ highest honors
15,668 satisfied customers
Can only an attorney request dhs records... Is it necessary
Can only an attorney request dhs records... Is it necessary to provide documentation regarding removal of 2 of a mother's other children or wouldn't that be the cps or dhs own records.. I'm trying to … read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
Child support, il, searching, contacted for child support.
child support JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in? Customer: il JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet? Customer: searching JA: Anything else you want… read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
17,966 satisfied customers
Can Georgia state child support withhold child support from
Can Georgia state child support withhold child support from a parent for any reason? This is regarding the father's tax return money....my daughter says they're holding it. They also will not tell her… read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
11,844 satisfied customers
My child is 19 and mother never asked for child support. is
my child is 19 and mother never asked for child support. is it too late? … read more
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL
Lawyer
Juris Doctorate
2,754 satisfied customers
I have a child support question. I filed for child support
Hello , I have a child support question . I filed for child support back in 2015 , now the court is set up for august 16. My question is can I cancel my child support process , and can biological fath… read more
Alex Esquire
Alex Esquire
Managing Attorney
Doctoral Degree
153 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x