Juvenile Dependency Attorneys in Oceanside
Serving Families with Compassion throughout Vista, Escondido, San Marcos, Carlsbad and Encinitas
Accusations of child neglect or abuse by parents or guardians can result in a juvenile dependencycase. These types of legal cases may result in a child being removed from the home or the parents losing their parental rights.
Parents have the right to a lawyer during these proceedings, and the attorneys at Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP have represented many clients facing this process. It’s critical you retain an experienced attorney to protect your parental rights and serve the bests interests of your child. From our offices in Oceanside, Carlsbad, and San Marcos, we are ready to help.
Get in touch with us today to discuss your case during a complimentary consultation. Call (760) 621-7101 or contact us online.
Seek Comprehensive Representation
Each juvenile dependency case is unique, but one thing is the same: It’s important to attempt to keep the family together during the litigation process. Our priority is getting your child back.
We frequently are able to put together a plan of services to resolve your family’s issues. We may be able to help you obtain a temporary placement with a family member or have a relative join the family and help with caring for the child.
Juvenile Dependency Goals
If your child becomes a dependent of the court, the court will make orders for you, your child, and a social worker. The court may allow your child to live in your home under court supervision or your child could be placed outside your home. If reunification efforts aren’t ordered or if they fail, your child could be adopted.
The goal of these proceedings is to protect children and preserve or reunify families whenever possible. Initially, the court must determine whether the allegations of child abuse or neglect are true and whether the child should be removed from the home and made a dependent of the court. If it’s not in the child’s best interest to reunify the family, the goal is to provide a permanent placement for the child.
Juvenile dependency cases start with the involvement of the Child Protective Services (CPS) due to charges of child abuse or neglect. If CPS takes your child out of your home, they will file a petition in Juvenile Court stating the allegations.
During the Detention Hearing, the judge will decide whether your child should be returned to your home. If not, you normally will be able to visit your child and the court will tell you where and how they can get help so the child can return.
At the Jurisdictional Hearing, the judge decides if the allegations in the petition are true. The parents or guardians may admit the petition is true, they could decide not to disagree with the petition or they can dispute the petition. Both sides give the Court evidence at a hearing and the judge decides if the allegations in the petition are true or not.
If the judge decides the petition is true, the Court will probably make your child a dependent of the court. You control over your child will be limited and the child may be removed from your custody. A case plan will be worked out. It will list services to try to reunify the family, as well as services to achieve legal permanence if reunification fails. For parents, following the plan and proposed timeline are key to achieving reunification.
If the judge decides the allegations in the petition are true, at the Disposition Hearing, the Court will state what should happen with the child.
The judge can:
- Dismiss the case
- Let the child live with a parent on “family maintenance” with the social worker and the judge supervising the child
- Take the child away from the parents and send him/her to live with a relative, foster parent, or group home and offer the parents family reunification services
- Take the child away from the parents and not offer family reunification services to get their child back – there will be a hearing in 120 days to decide where the child will live permanently
At each stage, the judge will consider whether the child should go back home and the reunification services required so the child safe will be safe while reuniting the family. There is a finite period of time for the family to be reunited. If the reunification efforts fail, the juvenile dependency case may end with the termination of your parental rights.
If you have any questions about juvenile dependency laws or procedures, contact Fischer & Van Thiel today at (760) 621-7101.
Over 15 Years of Experience
Available 24/7 By Appointment
Complimentary 30 Minute Consultations
Committed to Protecting Your Rights
Serving Your Children’s Best Interests