Juvenile Dependency in the State of Florida begins when someone makes allegations against you with regard to abuse, neglect, or abandonment, of one or more of your children and the State investigates those allegations. If the allegations of abuse, neglect, or abandonment by a parent, or a legal guardian, are substantiated, the State of Florida has the power to intervene on behalf of the child, to remove the child from your custody, and to even terminate your right to communicate with your child. This process can lead to the removal of the child on a temporary, or even a permanent basis, resulting in the termination of your parental rights.
You have a constitutional right to raise your own child, and if the State of Florida, or any individual seeks to interfere with your right to raise your child you are legally entitled to participate in all hearings, to aggressively challenge all allegations against you or anyone else, and to be represented by counsel throughout all stages of the process. There are limited time periods to respond to allegations and you are entitled to be informed and notified regarding all stages of the process so that you can regain custody of your child as soon as possible, minimizing the impact on your child.
Courts have the power to adjudicate your child as dependent and remove your child or children from your home, possibly placing the child with a relative, a close family friend, or even in foster care. Richard A. Schurr, P.A. will aggressively advocate for your right to raise your own child, or children, in your own home.
Courts can order all types of services they deem necessary including drug and alcohol testing, substance abuse rehab, psychological evaluations, unannounced home visits, and a variety of other services in an effort to reunify you with your child. However, the Department of Children and Families and the Child Protective Investigators often make recommendations to the court without knowing, or investigating, all relevant facts and circumstances, and without investigating all of the facts, therefore it is vital that you have the proper representation as early in the process as possible. You need to act quickly in order to improve your chances of having your child, or children, returned to you as soon as possible. Once a child is placed in protective custody of the Department of Children and Families, it can become much more difficult to have your child returned to your custody.
Bad faith allegations can occur during a high conflict divorce, or at any time and can be made by any person. Sheltering a child is very serious. As the parent or guardian of a child, acting quickly can mean the difference between reunification, or termination of parental rights. Richard A. Schurr, P.A. has the experience to represent you at all stages of the dependency process including sheltering, arraignment, adjudication, disposition, judicial review, and appeals.