Dependency law involves a child in need of shelter outside of the custody of his/her legal guardian’s custody. These proceedings stem from probable cause that the child is being abused, neglected, has been abandoned, or is at risk for one or a combination of the three.
If the court decides that a preponderance of the evidence shows one of these four elements are present, the child will be deemed a dependent of the state. In which case, the parents will be tasked with completing a series of court orders unique to the situation in order to keep the child under their care, or return the child to the provisional home.
In the event that the case plan outlining what is required of the parent is not complied with, more permanent dependency actions may be taken by the court, including:
- Permanent guardianship
- Placement with a fit and willing relative
- An alternative permanent living arrangement
This area of law can certainly serve to protect children who are in harms way, but as defense attorneys, we know better than most that there are instances where even good parents face these proceedings. With the right approach, we can ensure that your child remains with you, or in a worst case scenario, rightfully returns to your care as soon as possible.