When it comes the taking care of the vulnerable members of our society, such as children and the elderly, California law has strict measures in place to prevent abuse and neglect. As a result, parents who are found to be at fault when a child has been abused face serious consequences.
While no one wishes to separate a child from their parents, at times, the situation may leave the court with no choice but to order the immediate removal of the child from the custody of the parents.
Such cases are very sensitive and require an attorney with experience and compassion for the victims.
If you are facing a juvenile dependency case in Diamond Bar, CA, contact All Trial Lawyers. Here, you will find all the help you need to defend your rights and overcome this difficult situation.
What Is a Juvenile Dependency Attorney?
A juvenile dependency attorney is a lawyer who fights for the rights of the parents or guardians of a child who has been taken out of their home and placed in Child Protection Services (CPS) custody.
It is the job of a juvenile dependency lawyer to prove that removing the child from the custody of the parents was unlawful and an infringement on the rights of the parents to raise their child. The attorney is also responsible for advocating for family reunification as soon as possible.
What Constitutes Child Abuse or Neglect
Before the CPS can take a child away from its parents, clear evidence of abuse or neglect of the child has to be demonstrated. However, due to the many different parenting methods, it can be challenging to determine what is abuse/neglect and what is usual punishment or parenting.
The state of California provides clear guidelines on what can be deemed abuse or neglect, such as the following:
Neglecting to give the child food, medical care, shelter, clothing, or supervision
However, even with these guidelines, it is not easy to clearly say that a child has been abused or neglected without looking at the individual circumstances of each particular case.
For this reason, parents or guardians who need to defend their parenting in front of a California court should utilize a juvenile dependency attorney.
An experienced attorney will work hard to ensure the child is returned to the parents as soon as possible before suffering any lasting effects from the period of separation.
Child Dependency Case Proceedings
In Diamond Bar, CA, when the CPS authorities are notified of possible child abuse or neglect, they are swift to act on this information in case the child may be in a difficult or life-threatening situation.
The procedure is usually the same in most cases and proceeds as follows:
Child Removed From Home
Removing a child from its home is not something that is done lightly and is only considered when the CPS or the police officers attending the scene are convinced that it is in the best interest of the child to do so.
Even so, the child will only be taken out of the home if a juvenile court judge has finished reviewing the case and recommends this as the best course of action.
In most cases, after a child is removed from the home, they will go into foster care if a relative cannot be found. With a juvenile dependency lawyer fighting for them, parents may be allowed visitation rights, but only if the judge decides it is safe for the child and the reason behind the request is family reunification.
Soon after the child’s safety has been confirmed, the court process to determine whether the accusations of child abuse and neglect are founded. CPS may file a petition to have the child declared a dependent, at which point the court will initiate family reunification proceedings.
Families may be required to attend court periodically so the judge can determine how well the children are faring, a process that can last many years. The parents may choose to have a different lawyer while volunteers represent the children.
The ultimate goal of juvenile dependency lawyers is to see the family reunited. There are many ways to achieve this, which include:
Parents being asked to attend a school or look for employment
Parenting and household maintenance classes
Treatment for substance abuse as well as regular testing
The Rights of Parents
Throughout the process, the juvenile dependency lawyer fights for the parent’s rights at all costs. While cases of child abuse need to be handled delicately to ensure the child’s safety, the parents also need to be protected.
If the parents believe that physical discipline is necessary for proper parenting, they have a right to do so. However, this must not become physical abuse, so any form of discipline must be done in moderation and should not result in the child’s physical injury.
Other non-physical punishments should also not cause mental or emotional abuse of the child. If parents want to keep their children out of school, they must provide an acceptable home-schooling alternative.
Find A Compassionate Lawyer To Assist You!
Proper family reunification is challenging if the juvenile dependency case is handled poorly. This is why it is crucial to hire a compassionate lawyer to oversee the case without causing lasting animosity between parents and their children.
With many years of experience helping the residents of Diamond Bar, CA, get through similar circumstances, All Trial Lawyers is the go-to law firm for all juvenile dependency cases.
Call All Trial Lawyers immediately and schedule a free consultation if you have to fight for the right to keep your child.
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