Can I Be Charged With Child Neglect Even Though My Ex Has Custody?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Dec 14, 2015 | 0 Comments

California's child neglect law, Penal Code 270 PC, applies to any parent of a child.

This means that you can be charged with this crime even if you are not the custodial parent--or were never married to the child's custodial parent.

Also known as "failure to provide care," the crime of child neglect consists of failing to provide necessities for a minor child, willfully and without proper excuse.

Now, the requirement that neglect be "willful" means that you are not guilty of child neglect for failing to provide a child with necessities if you did not know about him/her--or if his/her other parent kept you away from him/her and you did not know s/he was being neglected.

But if you know that a child of yours is being neglected, and you do nothing to remedy the situation, you can theoretically be charged under California Penal Code 270.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).


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