Dependency Lawyers in Ventura, California
You understandably want to do everything possible to avoid losing custody of your child for the rest of your life. You also likely want to do everything possible to avoid having your child taken away from you and placed in a foster home. This can be the end result of your child being placed in a dependency case in California. If you are involved in a child dependency case and are not prepared to handle the aftermath, you could end up losing your child forever. As a result, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of an experienced child dependency lawyer.
The family law attorneys at Land Legal Group have substantial experience representing children in child dependency cases. We know what it takes to obtain a favorable outcome in your child dependency case. As a result, if you are currently facing a child dependency case, you should not hesitate to obtain the services of one of our lawyers.
Reasons to Retain One of Our Ventura Dependency Lawyers
The California child dependency lawyers at Land Legal Group have helped many people successfully navigate family law cases. You can rest assured that our child dependency lawyers are focused on defending your custodial rights. We understand just how serious these cases are and will remain focused on making sure that your case resolves in the best manner possible.
How Child Dependency Cases Proceed in California
California’s dependency courts were created to guard children against being placed in situations where abuse or neglect might occur. If you are a participant in a California dependency case, courts can take your child out of your care and place the child with either a family member or in a foster court. Sometimes, dependency cases result in parents losing their parental rights to a child.
The dependency process commences when a guardian or parent is reported to abuse or neglect a child that is in the individual’s care. Often the process begins when a mandated reporter like a school teacher believes that the parent or guardian has abused or neglected the child and reports this to the Department of Social Services.
Following a report of abuse or neglect, Social Services performs an investigation. A Social Services response worker will go to your home to assess whether the child is living in an unsafe environment. If it’s decided that your child is not safe in your home, the child can be removed from custody and made a court dependent.
For parents, having a child taken away from them is one of the most painful and traumatic events that they can experience. If you face such an event, you should promptly contact a compassionate family law attorney. In accordance with California Welfare and Institutions Code 300, however, a child can be made a dependent of the court if one of the following situations occurs:
- The child experiences serious physical harm
- A substantial risk exists that the child will be seriously physically harmed
- The child has faced serious physical harm or illness as the result of inadequate supervision
- The child has faced serious physical harm or illness due to will neglect of the child’s food, clothing, medical care, or shelter
- The child experiences serious emotional harm as the result of not receiving appropriate care
- The child has been sexually abused or is at risk of sexual abuse
- The parent or guardian failed to stop sexual abuse of the child when the parent knew about it
- The child is below the age of five and has experienced serious physical abuse by the parent, guardian, or any other individual that the parent or guardian knew or should have known was harming the child
- The parent or guardian’s abuse or neglect caused the death of another child
- The child has been without any type of support
- The parent or guardian has freed the child for adoption for a year or 12 months by losing parental rights or because the termination of parental rights has occurred
- The child has been subject to extreme acts of cruelty while at the home
The primary function of dependency courts is to remove children from situations where the child is at risk of either abuse or neglect. Dependency courts can take any of the following actions during a dependency case:
- Order new parental rights that take away time with your child
- Place the child in foster care
- Remove the child from the home
- Require the children live with another family member
- Terminate parental rights
At Land Legal Group, our experienced and knowledgeable Ventura dependency lawyers believe that the bond a child has with a parent is second to none provided that the child is in a safe environment. As a result, our attorneys will fight for you and your rights as a parent or guardian in dependency court.
Child dependency cases are complex and involve several steps which include the following:
- Your child being taken away from your custody
- The child being classified as a dependent of the court
- A detention hearing where the court determines if the child can return to the parent or guardian’s home or if the child will remain in local foster care or with a family member
- If the judge decides that the child should not be returned to your custody, a jurisdiction hearing will be scheduled. Jurisdiction hearings are similar to trials for parents or guardians of the child to respond to the allegations of abuse or neglect.
- Dispositions that occur within 30 days after courts have “sustained”. At disposition hearings, courts review the evidence associated with your case to create a plan for custody of the child. Following these decisions, judges can decide to release a child to custody with the requirement that a social worker monitor and supervise the guardian or parent, order the child stay with a family member, order the child remain at a foster home, or order that the parent or guardian participate in counseling or several other actions.
- Six months after agreeing to a reunification plan, a parent must participate in a review hearing where the dependency court checks in on the progress of the adult and the child.
At Land Legal Group, our family law firm in Ventura, CA also focuses on the following practice areas:
- Same-Sex Divorce
- Child Custody
- Prenuptial Agreement
- Grandparents Rights
- Fathers Rights
- Domestic Violence
- Spousal Support
- Children’s Law
- Child Support
Contact an Experienced Ventura Dependency Lawyer For a Consultation
The dependency process can lead to undesirable results, like losing your child permanently. Before this can occur, however, a person must proceed through a long and complex process. This is why you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced Ventura family law attorneys. At Land Legal Group, our attorneys have substantial experience helping people navigate child dependency cases. We might be able to help make sure that your child is returned to your custody. We invite you to contact our law office today to schedule a case evaluation at (805) 696-2160.