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Dependency Law

Tampa Dependency Lawyer

In Florida, a dependency case arises when the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) believes a child is being abused, neglected, or abandoned. These cases can be complex and emotionally charged, involving investigations, court hearings, and potentially the removal of a child from their home. If you are involved in a dependency case, it is crucial to have experienced legal representation to protect your rights and the well-being of your child. Contact our compassionate Tampa dependency lawyers for guidance and support throughout this difficult process.

Dependency Lawyer Tampa

Florida Dependency Law

Florida dependency law is designed to protect children from harm and ensure their safety and well-being. When DCF receives a report of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, they will investigate the allegations and may file a petition for dependency if they believe the child is at risk.

The dependency process typically involves the following stages:

1. Shelter Hearing: If the child is removed from their home, a shelter hearing will be held to determine if there is probable cause to keep the child in protective custody.

2. Arraignment: The parents will be formally notified of the charges and given an opportunity to respond.

3. Disposition Hearing: If the court determines the child is dependent, a case plan will be developed outlining the steps the parents must take to regain custody.

4. Judicial Review Hearings: Periodic hearings to assess the parents’ progress and determine if the child can safely return home.

5. Permanency Hearing: If the parents are unable to meet the requirements of the case plan, a permanency hearing will be held to determine the child’s long-term placement.

The dependency process can feel overwhelming and mentally taxing, but our Tampa dependency attorneys are here to help. We will advocate for your rights, work towards reunification with your child, and ensure that the best interests of your family are protected.