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Child Neglect Proceedings

Separation Agreements for Couples Living on Long Island

What Is A Neglect Proceeding?

Neglect proceedings are civil proceedings brought by a government agency against parents accused of neglecting or abusing their children. In Long Island, Child Protective Services (CPS) is the agency that brings neglect proceedings against parents, and the cases are heard by a Family Court judge.

If you are charged with allegations of abuse or neglect, it is vital to meet with a Long Island divorce lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney Chris Palermo has experience representing parents in these types of cases and is strongly committed to protecting your parental rights.

Child Neglect Proceeding

States of Neglect Hearing

When CPS decides a child is in imminent danger, it has the legal right to remove the child from the home. If only one parent is endangering the child, CPS will usually place the child with the other parent. If both parents are accused of neglect, CPS generally places the child with relatives, or if that is not possible, then in foster care. When no imminent risk is involved, CPS allows the child to stay with parents.

Fact-Finding Hearing

The first hearing the court holds is a fact-finding hearing to determine whether abuse or neglect occurred. CPS bears the burden to prove neglect or abuse and presents witnesses and evidence to make its case. Parents have the right to be represented by a family law attorney and defend against the allegations. Your family law attorney devises a case strategy in your defense and may call witnesses and present evidence to fight the allegations.

Sometimes the child is called as a witness and the judge will interview young children in chambers instead of the courtroom. Typically, the court appoints a lawyer for the child, and the lawyer is the child’s voice in the proceeding. Or, if the court believes the child is too immature to have a valid opinion, the child’s attorney acts in the child’s best interests.

If the court decides that abuse or neglect did not occur, the case is dismissed and the child is sent home with the parent or parents.

However, in contrast, if the court finds that abuse or neglect actually occurred, it holds another hearing, called a disposition hearing.

Disposition Hearing

In a disposition hearing, the judge listens to recommendations about what should be done and decides what is in the child’s best interests. Dispositions rendered by courts typically include:

  • Releasing the child to the parents on the condition that no further neglect or abuse will occur
  • Releasing the child to the parents under the supervision of CPS
  • Placing the child temporarily in foster care while the parents receive services to prepare them for proper parenting
  • Placing the child in foster care until the next hearing is held to determine permanent placement

If you face allegations of child neglect or abuse, consult with Chris Palermo right away. It is important not to delay and to protect your rights by seeking legal counsel.


Chris Palermo has a proven track record of success in all areas of divorce and family law. Divorce is difficult but it does not have to be nasty. Whenever possible, Chris Palermo works with opposing counsel to resolve matters amicably while obtaining an optimal result for his client in the shortest amount of time. However, as an experienced litigator, whenever circumstances make a trial necessary, Chris Palermo will always skillfully advocate on his client’s behalf through trial. He has successfully tried all types of Divorce and family law matters. In addition to advocating on a client’s behalf, Chris Palermo will always listen to any concerns, while providing informed guidance enabling a client to navigate through the turbulent and troubling changes their family is currently enduring.


Chris Palermo represents a wide array of clients in matrimonial and family law matters and is committed to achieving optimal results for every client. Toward this end, Mr. Palermo or his partner Riley Perry will personally represent each client every step of the way. He pledges the following throughout his representation:

  • Your initial consultation is always free.
  • You will be kept informed of all aspects of your case.
  • Return your calls and Emails within 24 hours.