Understanding Dependency Issues
Your child can become a dependent of the court if social services or law enforcement officials are notified that your child is being abused, neglected or has been abandoned. If such a claim is made, a social worker will have petition the court to have your child become a dependent of the court. When this happens, it is imperative that you retain a
family law attorney such as the ones at our firm, immediately. At Claery & Green, we strive to protect your rights as a parent and to ensure the safety of your child.
When your child is a dependent of the court, the judge may order that he or she reside in a temporary home under court supervision, or order court supervision in your home. Your son or daughter will also be appointed a lawyer and a Court Appointed Special Advocate who will advocate on his or her behalf during the hearing.
The court hearing will decide:
- Who will supervise your child
- Who will be the primary caregiver of your child
- Who will have custody of your child
- A case plan to ensure the protection of your child
The case plan may involve:
- Parenting classes
- Substance abuse rehabilitation
- Scheduled and/or supervised visits with your child
You will have to attend a juvenile dependency hearing every 6 months to ensure that you are following the case plan. Any violations of the case plan may result in your child being taken away from you, the loss of visitation rights, and the loss of your parental rights. A permanent plan will be set 4 months later; this plan will either assign a different legal guardian who may be a family member or close friend, place your child in a foster home, or put your child up for adoption.
Juvenile dependency cases need to be handled with care, compassion, and intelligence. Contact a Los Angeles Juvenile Dependency Lawyer at our firm for skilled legal representation. We provide free consultations.