Legal Issues in Family Law Essay

  • Length: 6 pages
  • Sources: 1+
  • Subject: Counseling
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #37707723

Excerpt from Essay :

Orthodox Jewish family consists of the mother, father, and four daughters whose home was raided by law enforcement officers on suspicion that the family was engaged in child pornography. Following the raid, naked pictures of young girls was found on one of the cell phones of the parents. Pursuant to a search warrant, the officers recovered computers, cameras, and cell phones and later called a case into ACS child protective services. The ACS caseworker obtained several photographs of the children while naked including one in which a 5-year-old girl sleeping in her bed with her underwear removed and legs spread apart. While the mother admitted to the ACS caseworker that she took that photograph, the case was referred to Kings County Family Court for legal direction and intervention.

Family Law Legal Issues in the Case

As evident in the case, this is an example of a situation involving family law because of the legal issues that can be identified. An effective resolution of the issues in this case and development of a suitable intervention and/or treatment plan requires identifying legal issues in the case in relation to family law. The family law issues relating to this case emerge from a legal dilemma on whether the mother's actions were appropriate or crossed the boundaries of nudity and engaging children in sexually inappropriate behaviors. The family law issue that can be spotted in this case is child pornography since the actions of the mother are tantamount to engaging in pornography. According to HG Experts (n.d.), child pornography is any depiction of a child involved in sexually explicit conduct through visual representations like pictures, films and videos. In this case, the sexually explicit content not only implies actual sexual intercourse or acts but also entails lewd displays of the public area or genitals of a child/minor. In this case, the mother was involved in lewd exhibition of the 5-year-old genitals though she stated that the reason for taking the picture was to share it with her husband and sister. Despite her intentions, the lewd exhibition of her 5-year-old daughter's genitals is tantamount to engaging in child pornography based on existing laws.

Proposed Treatment Plan

Given that their actions constitute engagement in child pornography; these parents need to engage in a suitable treatment plan that will help them avoid these behaviors and any subsequent legal issues. As an ACS caseworker at Children's Village, I will develop a treatment plan for parents to comply with because their visual depictions of naked children for whatever reasons constitute involvement in child pornography and therefore violate family law. The goal of this treatment plan is to enable these parents avoid the risk of child sexual abuse and violation of family law. Additionally, this treatment plan will help in protecting the children from danger of abuse or neglect by their parents and other adults regardless of whether the actions undertaken by their parents are intentional or unintentional.

The first service of this treatment plan is educating the parents on family law based on federal, state and local laws relating to child protection. During this process, these parents will not only be educated on family law issues but also enlightened on what are permissible child-rearing practices based on the laws and unlawful practices (Bloomberg & Bell, 2003). Once they are educated on the relevant legal provisions and laws relating to child sexual abuse and protection, the parents will be required to undertake counseling sessions. The counseling sessions will primarily focus on changing the behaviors of parents towards suitable child-rearing practices. The education and counseling are crucial in this treatment plan since they will help ensure that these parents are aware of laws relating to child rearing and work towards changing their behaviors to stop enhancing the risk of their daughters to sexual abuse and exploitation.

Case Study on Physical Abuse

As a guidance and counselor at P.S. 123, I have noticed that three children from a West African family that immigrated to the United States are fond of missing a substantial amount of school. One of the children recently came to school with a linear mark on her arm that appeared raised and black-blue, which raised concerns regarding their home life. It has been noted that the father is suspected of hitting kids as a form of corporal punishment. While the mother knows this, she is afraid of reporting the issue because she needs the husband's help in the home. Consequently, the issue has been referred to the New York County Family Court for legal intervention, which will entail identifying legal issues in the case and developing a suitable treatment or intervention plan.

Family Law Legal Issues in the Case

Corporal punishment of a child is legal in New York though relevant children services agencies can get involved in issues of legal child discipline. Despite being legal, the severity of the corporal punishment raises several concerns on whether it's abusive and violates family law. While parents in New York have the legal right to discipline their children through corporal punishment, New York FCT Law 1012 states that such discipline can be considered illegal if it impairs the physical, mental, and emotional state of the child (Gilmer, 2014). Additionally, corporal punishment of a child can be considered illegal if it endangers the wellbeing of the child by inflicting harm in an unreasonable manner. Based on this legal provision, the family law legal issue that can be spotted from this issue is child physical abuse, which is prohibited by federal, state and local family law (Schechter, 2013). In this case, the father is seemingly using excessive corporal punishment that physically harms the children and even affects their school attendance and endangers their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

Proposed Treatment/Intervention Plan

Since the father's actions are tantamount to child physical abuse because of…

Sources Used in Document:


Bloomberg, M.R. & Bell, W.C. (2003, July). Parents' Guide to New York State Child Abuse and Neglect Laws. Retrieved from New York State Government website:

Gilmer, G.M. (2014, February 18). Corporal Punishment in New York City: Discipline vs. Abuse. Retrieved December 20, 2016, from

HG Experts. (n.d.). Child Pornography Law. Retrieved December 20, 2016, from

Schechter, S.P. (2013). New York family law (3rd ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage Learning.

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