If you believe that your child is being neglected or abused, you may take the child’s other parent to Juvenile Dependency Court. This court is set up specifically to hear cases in which children are suspected of being mistreated or harmed. These cases are not taken lightly, and parents facing these types of allegations may lose custody of their child. If you are facing this type of dispute, it is important to consult an experienced Orange County juvenile dependency lawyer. With over 20 years of experience, the juvenile attorneys at the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz are committed to protecting the interests of parents and children who seek their help.Juvenile Dependency Matters in Southern California
The prospect of losing a child in a juvenile dependency matter is deeply stressful. The matter typically begins when a child is removed by Child Protective Services (CPS) from an individual’s home, due to allegations of abuse, neglect, endangerment, drug abuse, or abandonment. The three steps in this situation include the removal of the child, their placement into a Safe Home or Foster Care, and the designation of visitation rights by the court.
It is important to note that these matters are handled in a specific Juvenile Dependency Court. These are Superior Courts at the County level that are designed to protect the safety and welfare of children by hearing and deciding cases involving children who have allegedly been physically or emotionally neglected or abused by their parents, legal guardians, or other caregivers.
In California, if your child has been removed, the first hearing must take place no later than the end of the next court day after the petition is filed. At the detention hearing, the court will determine whether the child will be released from protective custody. At this time, the child must be released unless the court finds that the county has made a prima facie showing of a risk of harm sufficient to justify the child’s continued detention. The parent or guardian should present any relevant evidence and call any witnesses to refute the county’s case.
If CPS has detained a child because of certain serious concerns, they will remain in protective custody for another 15 days until a jurisdictional hearing. If, after this hearing, the child continues to remain in protective custody, the next step of the process involves a dispositional hearing, a six-month hearing, and 12- and 18-month permanency hearings. At each of these stages, a parent may be able to get their child back if they can establish that it would be safe for the child.Consult a Juvenile Dependency Lawyer in Orange County
At the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz, our Orange County juvenile dependency attorneys can advocate for your rights and pursue a fair resolution in your case. We understand how stressful these situations may be, and we can handle your case with careful attention. We represent people in Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, Dana Point, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Orange, Irvine, and Newport Beach, as well as other communities. Call us at 949-735-9266 or contact us online to set up a consultation with a child custody attorney.