TOOL OF THE DAY: Judges have a duty to report child abuse

CATEGORY: Family Law Caselaw

Judges are not special in that they get to ignore child abuse, neglect, or endangerment. And respecting the rights of parents does not endanger children. As discussed in yesterday’s blog as well, judges do not have to ignore the danger a child is in at any time. A child’s welfare and protection trumps everything else, in order to provide the court time to discover whether the allegations are true.

During today’s webinar, we discussed a case where the Texas supreme court justices stated that “a trial judge with cause to believe that a child’s welfare is at risk due to suspected abuse or neglect is required to report such abuse or neglect to an appropriate agency, as is any other individual with this type of knowledge. Id. §§ 261.101-.103. (We discussed this case in a prior blog about best interest not being used to protect a child yesterday. You can find the quotes from the case pertaining to this here.)

This is a powerful case with a lot in it. This case also exposes that in Texas “parents…are presumed to act in their children’s best interests.” I’d like to point out that the justices also proclaim that these parents “are no different from the myriad of parents in intact families.” So use this quote below to justify your argument about the trial court not being allowed to treat you and your child like second-class citizens.

In this sense, parents who enter into MSAs are no different from the myriad of parents in intact families who are presumed to act in their children’s best interests every day. See Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 65, 120 S.Ct. 2054, 147 L.Ed.2d 49 (2000) (observing that “the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children[]is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court”). ~In re Lee, 411 SW 3d 445 – Tex: Supreme Court 2013

Watch the clip where we discuss some of this and more from today’s webinar here and plan to be at next week’s webinar where we will explore and uncover more reasons you and your children are getting hurt by the courts: (Register for the next webinar here: Attend and be eligible to win a free book!)