Juvenile 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 parents.

Klein Law Group can design the most appropriate plan of action for your case and help you understand your rights.

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 will hold 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 protect the child’s best interests.

Boca Raton 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 juvenile dependency proceedings, contact us immediately to get the support you need to move through the process as smoothly as possible.

Klein Law Group has over 65 years combined 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 counselor and adviser through each legal step.

Contact Us

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.

Child Dependency Lawyer FAQs

If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, call 911. If you don’t foresee immediate danger, you should contact the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). They run the Florida Abuse Hotline at 800-962-2873. You can call this number 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to report child abuse, neglect, or abandonment. You can also file a report on their website, https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us.
Reunification is when a child who had been placed outside of his or her home returns safely back to his or her parent. If the shelter petition is granted and the child is taken away from his or her parent and home, the state makes reasonable efforts to rehabilitate the parent in order for him or her to reunite with their child and regain custody. When reunification is not possible due to the parent’s noncompliance with the case plan laid out by DCF, or if the court feels the reunion is not in the child’s best interest, the court will proceed with other placement options such as adoption or permanent guardianship.
If you are dealing with accusations of child abuse or neglect, it is highly recommended to enlist the help of an experienced attorney to protect your parental rights. Often, parents are surprised and shocked by such allegations and need a legal ally to keep them on course. During this emotional time, having a trusted attorney by your side could mean the difference between keeping your child in your care or having them taken away by the state.
Yes, of course. Reunification is where the accused parent is reunited with the child who was removed from the house to be protected against any form of neglect and abuse. The state usually makes a plan regarding the parent’s rehabilitation and when the accused parent successfully complies with the plan, he/she will be reunited with his/her child.
The child will not be returned to the accused parent if he/she does not comply with the reunification plan. In such cases, the state usually maintains the status quo or processes the child’s permanent guardianship or adoption- whatever is best for the child.
Yes, definitely! The parent involved must contact an experienced attorney from Klein Law Group so that he/she will have a legal representative and adviser who will fight the system to get your child back.