In New Jersey, the state agency charged with protecting children from abuse and household harm is known as the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP). Many individuals still refer to it by its old name, DYFS (Division of Youth and Family Services). No matter what you call it, it is important that you understand what the DCPP does and how its involvement with you and your family can affect your child custody and parenting time rights.
If you are contacted or investigated by the DCPP, do not brush it off. Being involved with the DCPP is a big deal and can affect your rights and relationship with your child for years to come. Discuss your involvement with the DCPP with your attorney to determine how it can affect your case.
The Division of Child Protection and Permanency plays many roles in protecting New Jersey’s children and aiding their families. Examples of the Division’s tasks include:
If you have a record of interaction with the DCPP, the court may consider this when determining your child custody or parenting time order. Do not attempt to hide your record if you have one. Attempting to hide your previous record can only hurt your case.
Cooperate with the DCPP representative who comes to your home. Answer all of his or her questions truthfully, but do not speak with him or her beyond these questions unless your attorney instructs you to do so. Do not be confrontational with the representative – your cooperation is key to a productive investigation. Remember, the DCPP wants to ensure that your child is safe and that his or her living situation is in his or her best interest.
If the DCPP finds that your household poses a threat to your child’s health or well-being, it might opt to remove the child from your care. Your record with the DCPP and the Division’s recommendations may be used by the court to determine an appropriate custody or parenting time schedule, which could include limited or supervised parenting time in cases where shared custody is not ideal.
It is in your best interest to work with a qualified family attorney through every step of your divorce and child custody case. For the legal guidance and representation tailored to your needs, work with The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. You can reach our firm at (732) 365-3299 to schedule a consultation with us and determine the best way to proceed with your case. We are proud advocates for New Jersey families throughout Burlington, Ocean, Monmouth, Mercer, and Middlesex counties.