Blog

When Laws Fail to Protect Children

Posted by Joseph Lento | Jun 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

One of the most difficult parts of a divorce can be coping with the idea that your children won't be with you at least part of the time, and in some cases, even a majority of the time. While it's natural to have some concerns regarding the kids' time spent with the other parent, when that mild uneasiness turns to fear for your children's well-being, the law can help ensure that your child is safe.

Unfortunately, however, the child welfare system isn't perfect, and in some instances, a parent may need additional reinforcements, such as an experienced attorney, to help them protect their children from the other parent. Recent tragic events in Receda, California, are a terrible reminder that even custody law can sometimes fail to protect children.

The Role of the Law in Protecting Children

In April 2021, 30-year-old Liliana Carrillo said she killed her three young children because she wanted to protect them from their father, her ex-boyfriend Erik Denton, also 30 years old. The former couple had been involved in a bitter custody battle, and Denton had sought custody of the children on March 1 after, he claimed, Carrillo appeared to have “lost touch with reality.”

Police found the bodies of Joanna, 3; Terry, 2; and 6-month old Sierra in Carrillo's apartment. All three children appeared to have been bludgeoned, and two of them were also drowned.

Numerous calls to Los Angeles County's welfare and police departments leading up to the deaths warned the agencies that Carrillo was a danger to her children. Denton had repeatedly told authorities that Carrillo battled postpartum depression for years, expressed suicidal thoughts, self-medicated with marijuana, and was mental unstable. Social workers kept the children with their mother, however, even over a court order from a Tulare County, California judge that limited Carrillo's custody.

How to Protect Your Children from a Dangerous Co-Parent

In the above case, Denton appeared to have done all the right things in trying to protect his children, and still, the system failed them. If you have serious concerns for your children's safety or with their other parent's ability to care for them, in addition to notifying your local child welfare agency, your next legal steps could include the following:

  • File for sole physical custody
  • Request supervised visits for the co-parent
  • Obtain a protection order (also called protection from abuse (PFA) or restraining order) if the co-parent has harmed or threatened to harm you or your children

Note that in pursuing any of these avenues, documentation and evidence of your allegations — police reports, medical records, eyewitness testimony of others — will help convince the court that your children need protection and that you aren't making false accusations.

Helping Parents Keep Their Children Safe

Joseph D. Lento is an experienced family law attorney who helps parents involved in custody disputes. If you feel that your custody situation requires professional legal advice from an experienced lawyer and possibly even intervention, contact the Lento Law Firm at (800) 535-3686 to discuss your situation today.

About the Author

Joseph Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact a Family Law Attorney Today!

city.jpg

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has unparalleled experience practicing Family Law in Pennsylvania. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

Menu