Representation For Children And Parents In Dependency Proceedings

In theory, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) protects vulnerable children from abuse, neglect and abandonment. In fact, the DCF routinely oversteps its boundaries, trying to dictate how parents should raise their children. In our experience, the DCF is more likely to become involved with poorer families, operating under the wrong-headed idea that families with fewer financial resources are less able to love and provide for their children. This approach can have extremely damaging consequences for children and parents.

When DCF representatives believe that a parent may be harming his or her children, they may start dependency proceedings. If the DCF has begun dependency proceedings against you, it is incredibly important to work with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. Nothing less than your family's future could be at stake. For example, your children could be placed in foster care for a long time. In the most serious cases, you could lose your parental rights.

At Escobar & Associates, our Tampa dependency proceedings lawyers fight to keep together. Our law firm has handled hundreds of these cases and has helped many parents preserve their parental rights.

What Is A Dependency Proceeding?

When the DCF claims that a parent has abused, abandoned or neglected his or her children, it will start dependency proceedings. If your child is taken from your home by the DCF, you have the right to an emergency hearing within 24 hours. This is known as a shelter hearing. In this hearing, the court will decide only whether the DCF has enough evidence to remove your child from your home.

Even if the DCF wins the shelter hearing, you still have options. You will have the right to another hearing. This is known as the dependency hearing. Our law firm will help you prepare for your dependency hearing, making a complete investigation of the facts. In many cases, the facts simply do not support accusations of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Our lawyers will get to the bottom of what happened and argue forcefully to the court. When necessary, our law firm can represent grandparents or other relatives who can take on temporary custody instead of placing the children in foster care. Every step we take in your case will be designed to help you and your family move forward from this traumatic event.

Contact Escobar & Associates

The earlier you contact our law firm, the more we can do to help your family. Call or email to set up your free initial consultation.

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