• Attorney Denise M. Buswa

Child Protective Services Complaints

Divorce and child custody disputes can be very stressful, contentious, and challenging for all involved. Baseless Child Protective Services (CPS) complaints can cause chaos and stress for both the parent(s) contained in the complaint and the children. CPS will conduct an investigation including speaking to the children named in the complaint while they are at school or daycare. Having CPS involved in a family's life can be very disruptive and confusing to the children. To curb the issue of groundless CPS complaints, the State of Michigan has enacted legislation. MCL 722.628(20) states: "Child protective services may report to the local friend of the court office any situation in which a parent, more than 3 times within 1 year or on 5 cumulative reports over several years, made unfounded reports to child protective services regarding alleged child abuse or child neglect of his or her child." If a co-parent is relentless in making unfounded, or unsubstantiated claims to CPS, it may be time to report them to the local Friend of the Court office.

Further, a parent who continues to make false allegations may be subject to criminal prosecution. MCL 722.633(5) states: "A person who intentionally makes a false report of child abuse or neglect under this act knowing that the report is false is guilty of a crime as follows: (a) If the child abuse or neglect reported would not constitute a crime or would constitute a misdemeanor if the report were true, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both. (b) If the child abuse or neglect reported would constitute a felony if the report were true, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by the lesser of the following: (i) The penalty for the child abuse or neglect falsely reported. (ii) Imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both."

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Serving clients throughout West Michigan including: Allegan County, Barry County, Cass County, Kent County, Ionia County, Mecosta County, Montcalm County, Muskegon County, Ottawa County and more.

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