Child Dependency Attorney
Accusations of child abuse or neglect are very serious and must be addressed immediately. If you have reported that your child is in danger with your co-parent or you have been implicated as a threat to your child, the state of Florida has the right to step in and remove the child from his or her home. These matters are traumatic and emotional for both the child and the adults.
How Child Dependency Proceedings Work
A dependency case begins when a petition is filed with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), requesting an investigation of alleged child neglect, child abuse or child abandonment. Often, the petitioner reports the child abuse or child neglect to DCF’s abuse hotline, or to the police.
Next, a DCF investigator determines if there is probable cause to remove the child from the home. If the investigator determines that the child is in danger in his or her current situation, a shelter petition is filed with the court. The shelter petition seeks permission from a judge to have the child or children removed from the home or to keep the accused parent away from the child.
Within 24 hours of the filing of the petition, the court withhold a shelter hearing. Often, parents are so distracted and overwhelmed during this time frame that they fail to contact an experienced attorney to get them through the intricacies of the shelter hearing. Since there is little time to prepare for this important hearing and since one’s parental rights are at stake, having a knowledgeable attorney by your side will greatly impact the outcome.
After the shelter hearing, there is usually an arraignment hearing. During this proceeding, the accused parent has the opportunity to respond to the allegations set forth against him or her. At this time, the parent can admit to the allegations and consent to a plan designed by DCF without admission, or deny all allegations. Depending on how the accused parent answers, DCF will move forward with a plan to accommodate the child’s best interests.
Boca Law Firm Represents the Petitioner and the Accused In Dependency Cases
Dependency cases move quickly and there are many players in the game. Parents find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of emotion and confusion. If you face proceedings, contact us immediately to get the support you need to move through the process as smoothly as possible.
Klein Law Group has over 20 years of experience resolving difficult family law matters such as dependency hearings. We protect your parental rights. Our South Florida law firm handles all matters related to the child dependency process including preparing and filing all required documents and acting as your adviser through each legal step.
To schedule your no-fee, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys, call (561) 353-2800 or fill out the contact form on the side of this page. We have extensive experience and knowledge in handling dependency issues. We have offices located in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
Child Dependency Lawyer FAQs