Juvenile Dependency

Mission Viejo Family Law Attorney

Under extreme circumstances, a child can become the court's dependent. This is for cases where there is abuse, neglect, or abandonment. A social worker may petition for dependency on the court. This will take the child away from his or her parents and place the child in the government's care. There will be a court hearing to determine the case plan for the child. It is possible that the court can order a reunification with the parents, plus certain rehabilitation programs for them as well. It is also possible that the court will appoint new guardians for the child, and the parents may or may not have visitation or contact rights. When there is a dependency petition, then this can threaten or change your parental rights. Many parents do not deserve to be in this position. People are mistakenly accused all the time. It is also possible that some people need help to recover and can become fit parents again. With the right legal representation on your side, you can achieve optimal results, even from this unfortunate event. Contact The Hunter Law Group to learn what we can do for your family.

Court Hearing on Juvenile Dependency

As mentioned previously, there will be a court hearing. Here, it will be decided if the abuse or neglect claims are true, and you usually have the right to a trial to present your case. Your child will probably have a Court Appointed Special Advocate arguing on his or her behalf. At the hearing, the court will decide who will be the supervisor and who will be the primary caregiver of your child. The child's guardian and any case plan will also be determined. The court may determine that your child can return to your home under the court's supervision. Else he or she will be placed in another home.

A case plan can include counseling for individuals or families, parenting classes, substance abuse rehabilitation, or a visitation schedule. Sometimes, the case plan can be made to move you and your child toward reunification within 6 to 18 months. There would be a follow up hearing every 6 months to ensure that you are following the case plan. You may lose custody and even visitation rights if you violate one of the plan's stipulations. If the court decides against reunification, a permanent plan will be created 4 months later at another hearing. Your child will have a newly appointed guardian, who will either be a relative, a good friend, or perhaps a foster or adoptive parent. It is possible to write up a post-adoption contract that allows you to maintain contact with our child.

Have a Trusted Mission Viejo Juvenile Dependency Lawyer on Your Side

In most circumstances, it is best for a child to remain with his or her natural parents. In some cases, those parents just need help getting on their feet, and assistance such as counseling and rehabilitation can make them capable parents. Perhaps misunderstandings have led to unfortunate allegations. At The Hunter Law Group, we understand that protecting the best interests of your child often means protecting your parental rights. A family law attorney from our firm is ready to fight for what is best for your child. We may be able to safeguard your visitation or your custodial parental rights. To learn more about what we can do for you, please do not hesitate to fill out a case evaluation and to contact a family lawyer today. A Mission Viejo divorce attorney can give you the representation you need.