Allegations of child abuse, both real and imagined, are sadly common in many divorce cases, as emotions run high and dirty laundry may be aired. If your spouse has lodged accusations of child abuse or domestic abuse against you as a part of your divorce proceeding, it is important to know how to react so that you can protect the relationship you have with your children as well as your reputation.
Interacting With DCFS
In Illinois, the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) is required by law to investigate any accusation of child abuse, regardless of its source. Even if you know at the outset that the accusation is spurious, DCFS has a legal mandate to investigate, and the law must be followed. While it is understandable that you might be offended or angry at the insinuation that you would act in a negative manner toward your children, DCFS officers might take such behavior as defensiveness. This is not to say that DCFS personnel will never make unreasonable requests. If you feel that a request or order is unrealistic or inappropriate, it is generally best to consult with your attorney and possibly the court.
Usually, when someone is cooperative, DCFS will conclude their investigation more quickly. During the investigation, you may be prevented from seeing your children, as the state's interest is in their safety. However, this is not a permanent state of affairs; unless confirming evidence of abuse is uncovered, you will generally be able to argue for at least joint parental responsibilities in the normal manner....