Grandparents and Juvenile Dependency Cases: The Essential Basics You Need to Know
If you are a grandparent concerned about your grandchild’s welfare, you may be wondering what your rights are in juvenile dependency cases. In California, there are three types of parents in juvenile dependency cases: biological or legal parents, de facto parents, and guardians.
This blog post will explain what each of these terms mean and how they can affect your case.
What is a Juvenile Dependency Case?
A juvenile dependency case is a legal proceeding in which the California Juvenile Court system becomes involved when it appears that a minor child has been abandoned, abused, or neglected by their parent or guardian.
The Juvenile Court can order that the child be placed in foster care, with a relative, or in a safe environment. The Juvenile Court can also order that the child be placed on probation and monitored by a social worker.
What are Biological or Legal Parents?
Biological or legal parents are the child’s natural parents or the parents who have adopted the child. In most cases, these parents have the legal right to make decisions about their child’s welfare, including decisions about medical care, education, and other matters.
However, in some cases, the court may find that these parents are unfit to make these decisions. In these cases, the court may appoint a de facto parent or guardian to make these decisions on behalf of the child.
What is a De Facto Parent?
A de facto parent is an adult who has been shown to have assumed the role of a parent in the child’s life, even though they are not biologically related to the child. They are an adult, other than a legal or biological parent, who has been shown to have assumed, on a day-to-day basis, the role of parent to a child.
A de facto parent may be someone who has been caring for the child regularly, providing financial support, and/or making decisions about the child’s welfare.
In order to be appointed as a de facto parent, the adult must demonstrate that they have formed a significant bond with the child and that it would be in the child’s best interests to appoint them as a de facto parent.
What is a Guardian?
A guardian is an adult who has been appointed by the court to make decisions about the child’s welfare on behalf of the biological or legal parents.
The court may appoint a guardian if the parents are unable or unwilling to make these decisions themselves. In some cases, a grandparent may be appointed as a guardian if it is in the child’s best interests.
What is a Foster Parent?
A foster parent is an adult who has been approved by the court to provide temporary care for a child.
Foster parents are typically used in cases where the child cannot be safely returned to their home, but it is not yet determined if they will be placed with a guardian or de facto parent.
In some cases, a grandparent may be approved to serve as a foster parent.
What Should I Do if My Grandchild is Involved in a Juvenile Dependency Case?
If you are a grandparent who is concerned about your grandchild’s welfare, it is crucial to understand your rights in juvenile dependency cases.
You deserve to have a lawyer who will help you fight to get your grandchildren back. If you are dealing with a juvenile dependency case, DCFS case, or CPS case in Orange County you need the juvenile dependency attorneys at ALL Trial Lawyers by your side.