Orlando Juvenile Dependency Lawyer
Juvenile dependency is when the state takes custody of your child or children after investigations indicate that the child or children are abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents/guardian. Even if you are not the parent in question but fail to contact the proper authorities, you can be held liable of facilitating the abuse, neglect or abandonment of your child. It is important to hire an attorney early in the process as these cases can lead to children being placed in foster care or your parental rights being terminated. The family law attorneys at Anderson & Ferrin, Attorneys at Law, help parents in Orlando fight to keep their children from being removed from the home and adjudicated as dependent. We help parents fight a termination of their parental rights, including defending parents who have divorced yet are facing charges of abuse or neglect by the custodial parent.
Any person’s allegations can get your children removed from your home
Dependency proceedings can be started by the state or any person who believes they know of facts that a child is being abused, neglected or abandoned. Parents have a right to be notified of the proceedings and to attend all hearings involving the child. These hearings could include:
- Shelter Hearing
- Adjudicatory Hearing
- Judicial Review
You have the right to attend these hearings, assert your rights and challenge the allegations. You also have the right to have an attorney advise and represent you. In Orlando and Orange County, the juvenile dependency attorneys at Anderson & Ferrin provide practical legal advice and strong representation to protect your rights and help you get your kids back as soon as possible.
Once the child has been removed from the home, a shelter hearing will determine whether to place the child in shelter status. If the decision is to place the child in shelter status, a petition for dependency must be filed with 21 days of the shelter hearing, or earlier. If the child is adjudicated as dependent, the court will seek an out-of-home placement of the child with other relatives or foster care. The court may order mental health or substance abuse evaluations, assessment or treatment. Eventually, the proceedings may move either toward family reunification or termination of parental rights.
Once a child has been placed in foster care for a period of time, the foster parents gain a measure of rights, including protections from removal of the child without a hearing. Foster care parents may also move to adopt following ten-weeks of training, a background check, home inspection, adoption home study, and placement pending adoption.
Call Orlando Juvenile Dependency Lawyers Today
Our Orlando family law firm is dedicated to helping you understand the process and aggressively defending your rights as a parent. We work tirelessly to get your children home and restore your parental rights. Call Anderson & Ferrin today and schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney who will aggressively defend your rights.