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    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #1

    Jun 12, 2009, 02:07 PM
    Child Abandonment - READ FIRST!
    Child Abandonment is an often misused term in Family Law situations. Under Criminal law, Child Abandonment refers to leaving a child without adult supervision for a period. So a child left in a car while the mother runs into a store, could get the mother charged with child abandonment.

    But under Family Law there is no charge for Child Abandonment nor can one "file" for Child Abandonment (except in a very few states, more on that below). Most often Child Abandonment MAY be used as grounds for something else. If you are seeking to modify custody or visitation you may be able to use Child Abandonment as grounds for the modifications.

    So please don't ask how you can file or charge the other parent with abandonment. Please describe your ultimate goal so we can give you the best answer.

    Note: A very few states do use Child Abandonment as the charge against a "deadbeat" parent who doesn't support their child. If such a parent is not providing support, either court ordered or voluntary, they could be charged with Child Abandonment. But even in those cases your ultimate goal is to get or collect child support payments. And that's what your question should be about.
    cadillac59's Avatar
    cadillac59 Posts: 1,326, Reputation: 94
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    #2

    Jun 12, 2009, 06:38 PM

    Glad you posted this Scott because half of the time I just skip many of the questions on the board because I find myself scratching my head wondering what in the world some of these people are thinking about or trying to ask. Questions like, "Can I file abandonment charges against him" or "Can I get him for abandonment" don't make any sense. Where do people get these crazy ideas? Filing charges against someone? What in the world is that suppose to mean? District attorneys, those who work for the state and whose job it is to prosecute crimes, file criminal charges against people, not private citizens. Don't people know that? Or is it just too much TV and movies?

    Anyway, again, glad you posted this.
    recover2day's Avatar
    recover2day Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Jun 12, 2012, 03:03 PM
    N.J. Statutes concerning child abuse can be found under Title 9. Children--Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts. 9:6-1. ABUSE, ABANDONMENT, CRUELTY AND NEGLECT OF CHILD; [WHAT CONSTITUTES ABUSE SHALL CONSIST OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING]
    ~Abandonment of a child shall consist in any of the following acts by anyone having the custody or control of the child: (a) willfully forsaking a child; (b) failing to care for and keep the control and custody of a child so that the child shall be exposed to physical or moral risk without proper and sufficient protection; (c) failing to care for and keep the control and custody of a child so that the child shall be liable to be supported and maintained at the expense of the public, or by child caring societies or private persons not legally chargeable with its or their care, custody and control.
    ~Neglect of a child shall consist in any of the following acts, by anyone having the custody or control of the child:(a) willfully failing to provide proper and sufficient food, clothing, maintenance, regular school education as required by law, medical attendance or surgical treatment, and a clean and proper home, or (b) failure to do or permit to be done any act necessary for the child's physical or moral well-being. Neglect also means the continued inappropriate placement of a child in an institution, as defined in section 1 of P.L.1974, c. 119 (C. 9:6-8.21), with the knowledge that the placement has resulted and may continue to result in harm to the child's mental or physical well-being.

    9:6-8.14. VIOLATIONS INCLUDING FAILURE TO MAKE REPORT; DISORDERLY PERSON;

    Any person knowingly violating the provisions of this act including the failure to report an act of child abuse having reasonable cause to believe that an act of child abuse has been committed, is a disorderly person.
    [This information found on the State of N.J. Department of Children & Families website under NJ law]
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #4

    Jun 12, 2012, 03:15 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by recover2day View Post
    Statutes concerning child abuse can be found under Title 9. Children--Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts. 9:6-1. ABUSE, ABANDONMENT, CRUELTY AND NEGLECT OF CHILD; .
    First, Title 9 where? Laws vary by area!

    Second, what is your point in posting this to a sticky note that was posted 3 years ago? I don't see anything in the cite, that contradicts what was in the sticky note.
    recover2day's Avatar
    recover2day Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Jun 12, 2012, 04:16 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottGem View Post
    First, Title 9 where? Laws vary by area!

    Second, what is your point in posting this to a sticky note that was posted 3 years ago? I don't see anything in the cite, that contradicts what was in the sticky note.
    Sorry! I edited the post to indicate the state it refers to.
    And the reason?. just helping a friend get her facts straight.
    Laws are different in each state, I apologize again for not making that clear the first time - Thanks!
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #6

    Jun 12, 2012, 04:34 PM
    Thank you for adding that info. I will comment that the NJ law does not contradict the advice given in this sticky. While NJ has defined what it considers abandonment of a child, it doesn't change the point that abandonment is used as a means to another end. I.E. getting or modifying a custody order, for example.

    So a poster needs to identify what is the result they want not ask whether they can or how to file for abandonment. This is what we can help with.
    shawnadunne's Avatar
    shawnadunne Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Sep 16, 2013, 07:32 AM
    This is not true. My children's father and I split up after 14 yrs of marriage. I went through the normal process for child support but of course it doesn't do much for you if you have a parent who willfully refuses to pay. The courts rarely put them in jail until the support is paid as they have the option to do but only do as I said, in rare cases. I am owed over 28k in back support and they did pick him up after I found him as he had a warrant for not attending his contempt hearing. They only made him pay $500 toward the support to get out of jail even though the judge who issued the warrant said he had to pay $5000 to get out or he would have to stay in jail for around 8 months. But after finding out new info recently many states DO allow you to go after absent parents for child abandonment/neglect. I was so shocked to read that in regard to Florida it is a third degree felony to willfully not provide financial, emotional, and physical support for your child without bodily harm. The first degree felonys are regarding cases where abuse or physical harm is caused which don't apply in the case of these dead beat parents. But it is a felony to not provide financial support for more than 30 days for instance, Making only minimal or no efforts to support and communicate with a child. Failing for a period of at least 6 months to maintain visitation with a child... I'm thinking these charges are rarely made because people don't knoparents w they can and or because it is rarely done it may be possible that if someone tries to apply these statutes and charge a parent maybe prosecutors who of course make the final decisions on prosecuting don't move forward with the case. I think because of the emotional trauma let alone the financial hardship our children have to endure there should be an out cry to make the courts move forward on such cases. In my case my daughter of 12 tried to commit suicide and later began cutting herself. She hid the cutting as girls tend to act internally but during her counseling she said she felt worthless because her dad left at 7 and she hadn't seen him once since and had only spoken too him a handful of times in the several years since. I had called her father and begged him to begin calling her once a week for just 10 minutes. He would talk to me if I called him because he had hoped for years that I would let him come back home but his interest outside of being with me had nothing to do with his own children. I begged his best friend/roommate after telling him what my daughter was doing to herself to please talk to him about helping his daughter and communicating with her weekly, he called her one time and then not again for a year and a half. The only reason he called finally the last time was he had just gotten out of jail and I suppose was feeling generous toward his children because he had a few days to sit and think about nothing but the fact that he hadn't paid any support or even talked to his kids. That was the last time they ever heard from him even though he promised to call once a week. I think that call did far more damage than good because once again he cruelly got their hopes up. Its hard for me to imagine I was even married to this person.. But more than that we need to stand up for our children and teach them to fight for themselves by fighting for them. Yes we need support financially from the other parent but there is so much more that is lacking and so much damage done to our children who feel it's there fault or worthless because their parent doesn't love them.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #8

    Sep 16, 2013, 09:31 AM
    I moved your post to this sticky thread, because it pertains to the advice given here and because you post it to a 2 yr old thread.

    First, I'm not sure what you are saying isn't true. The thread you posted to specifically referred to this thread for details. This thread states that only a few states treat non support of their children as a criminal offense. You state that FL has laws that do criminalize non support (can you please provide specific cites for those laws). But that doesn't make this thread or the advice given in the other thread untrue. You also state "ecently many states DO allow you to go after absent parents for child abandonment/neglect.". Can you provide anything to support that statement? As far as my research has shown, only Georgia has laws like that. Now you say FL does, please provide more specific info to help other members who might be in this situation.

    In the other thread the OP asked only if she can file abandonment, without explaining why. So again the advice was not untrue.

    I'm sorry your daughter had to go through what she did. Yes, I do believe there should be more done to push indifferent parents to support their children.

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