JUVENILE COURT AND CASES WITH DSS

ABUSE, NEGLECT AND DEPENDENCY AND CASES WITH DSS

Since 2005, much of our practice has been dedicated to helping parents involved with the Department of Social Services. These parents—and their relatives—are going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We believe that guidance based on experience makes a crucial difference in helping parents have a complete roll in their children’s lives. We are in court on an almost daily basis, fighting to help parents through this process. Contact us to see what we can do to help you.

 

We also regularly represent non-parent relatives in these matters, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and legal guardians. We can help your voice be heard.

 

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS

Termination of Parental Rights actions (“TPRs”) are one of the most challenging areas of juvenile law. The law makes many specific demands that the TPR is filed properly. There are thousands of Court of Appeals decisions that interpret and direct the entire process. Experience matters. We have handled dozens of TPRs, both defending the parents and pursuing the termination for the petitioner. Please contact us to discuss the merits of your case. No matter what side of the case you are on, we can help.

 

GRANDPARENTS AND OTHER RELATIVES

Relatives of all kinds frequently tell me that they feel like their voice is not getting heard in court. Our goal is ensure that non-parent relatives can share their perspective with the court, whether that involves asking for custody of the children or something smaller. Effective representation in and out of court can make a substantial difference in the children’s lives.

 

ADOPTIONS

Adopting a child is both a wonderful thing and a challenge. The process is more complex than it may initially appear, so having experienced representation is crucial. Whether there is an agreement, or in circumstances where consent is not possible, we can help get you through the whole adoption process. We also strive to do so in a cost-effective manner. We also seek mutual agreement whenever possible, in the interests of reducing strife and costs.

 

Often, those seeking to adopt must first get the biologic parents’ rights terminated in order for the adoption to be able to proceed. Please see our section on TPRs above.

 

JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
AND CRIMINAL COURT

If your child gets charged with a crime, you can feel powerless to help them get through the process successfully. Our goal is to help the child and the parent have a positive interaction with the juvenile court system, including by recommending alternative services and fighting against the charges, if appropriate. The goal of juvenile court is not to punish, but to help the child get back on track. We have helped dozens of families solve the problems they are faced with and to be stronger afterward.

EMANCIPATIONS

Emancipation from their parents is a special option available to some teenagers, when the circumstances are right.  Judging when emancipation is appropriate is something that requires experience and an understanding of this narrow area of the law.  Contact us to schedule a consultation, to evaluate your case.

RESPONSIBLE INDIVIDUALS LIST (RIL)

Certain individuals under investigation by DSS receive letters telling them they are being placed on the Responsible Individuals List based on something they are accused of.  What this means and what to do about it is confusing.  Handling a hearing in court to reverse that decision is something we can help you with.  Contact us to discuss your options on how best to proceed.