Philadelphia Dependency Lawyer
Though parents have expansive authority over how they raise their children, Pennsylvania officials will take action whenever there is evidence that the child is living in an unfit home environment. Such a situation triggers the child dependency system, which lawmakers implemented to ensure all children in the state receive proper care, protection, and support. Weaknesses in these areas could prompt government agencies to get involved with the child’s home life, and the matter could go to court for a judge to decide who will care for a dependent child.
Dependency laws can have a profound impact on your parental rights, potentially even terminating them entirely. Legal representation is necessary from the earliest stages, so trust the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane to advise you and shoulder the burdens throughout the process. Please contact us right away to set up a case review with a Philadelphia dependency lawyer, and read on for some important information.
Reasons for Dependency Proceedings
There is a wide set of circumstances that could result in a child entering the dependency system, which covers acts by both parents and children. A child might legally qualify as dependent if:
The parents do not provide proper care as required by law, place the child up for adoption illegally, abandon the child, or previously had their parental rights terminated with respect to another child.
The child is habitually absent from school, has a record of disobedience, committed a crime at the age of 10 years old or younger, or was otherwise referred to the court. The child may have engaged in the acts, but the conduct could be viewed as a product of the parent’s lack of proper care.
Legal Process for Dependency Cases
No court or government agency can take your children without following proper procedures and meeting all requirements. Once the child is adjudicated dependent, he or she will become under supervision of the court. The child may still live with the parents, who will be closely monitored. Every case is different, but other proceedings may include:
- A shelter care hearing, to determine whether it is necessary to remove the child from the home for his or her safety;
- A permanency hearing, in which a judge reviews the status of a child who is living away from the parents and determines whether to make changes; and,
- A hearing to terminate parental rights, which could result in severance of the legal relationship with your child.
Assistance with Dependency Proceedings
You certainly do not want to be separated from your child or have your rights terminated, and the dependency system offers plenty of opportunities to reunite your family. To avoid harsh outcomes, the court will require parents to follow a plan, which may include classes, therapy, and evaluations. A Pennsylvania dependency attorney can assist you in meeting all requirements, with a goal to regain full parental rights. The Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane will:
- Gather evidence in your favor;
- Review all information officials use to support a finding of dependency;
- Advise you during investigations;
- Coordinate requirements for the family service plan to return your child to your care; and,
- Appear in court for all hearings related to dependency.
Set Up a Consultation with a Philadelphia Dependency Lawyer
It is horrific to think that you could face any of these negative outcomes, but you have the right to counsel and opportunity to defend allegations of misconduct. The Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane will be at your side, throughout dependency proceedings, and we are dedicated to obtaining the best possible result in your case. For more information, please contact our firm to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable Philadelphia dependency lawyer.