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Dependency

Our Orlando attorneys understand that dependency cases are complicated, and we will fight to make sure your parental rights are protected. If you are a parent needing to be reunited with your children or are a relative of a child and seeking temporary custody, trust the Law Offices of Smith & Kurbatova to represent you and your family's best interest.

THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

The Florida Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) is tasked with protecting children who they suspect are suffering from child abuse, neglect, and/or abandonment. If they determine a case is sufficiently serious, DCF immediately takes action against the parents in question and may even take emergency custody of the children. This begins the dependency process, which starts due to allegations against the parents and ends with determining the children's future home. The decision to remove a child from their parents' home may be permanent or temporary, depending on the circumstances of the case and the court's decision.

THE DEPENDENCY PROCESS

Once DCF files allegations, everything happens quickly. Within 24-hours, a shelter hearing will be scheduled to determine temporary housing for the children until the end of the dependency case. In a short amount of time, circumstances that will affect your family for the following weeks and maybe months are decided; having an Orlando attorney evaluate your file and represent you in court is the best option during a dependency case.

Following the shelter hearing is a dependency arraignment, which must be within 30 days since the children were taken from their home. After DCF has presented parents with a dependency petition that presents the allegations against them, the hearing will take place to determine the State's decision. In order to protect your family and ensure your parental rights are respected, trust a Central Florida attorney who understands dependency proceedings and will guide you through the case. Our boutique firm can provide the personalized attention you need to achieve the best outcome for your family.

CASE PLAN RESOLUTION CONFERENCE

Florida law requires that the State develop a Case Plan with parents, which will address the household's issues. The Case Plan then undergoes a series of hearings and trials to obtain approval and determine if it is a viable plan that will result in the return of the children to their home. If the Case Plan is not followed, parents may lose all right to their children. Considering what is at risk and the complex nature of the entire process, parents should trust in an Orlando attorney to help them through their case. Our firm has the experienced attorneys you need to represent your family's best interest.

During this process, relatives may seek temporary custody of the children to care for them until their parents successfully complete the Case Plan. If so, these relatives will need to hire an attorney to represent their case. Whether you're a parent at risk of losing your child or a relative who wants to help, the Law Offices of Smith & Kurbatova want to assist you through this difficult time. Trust in our skilled Central Florida attorneys from the first day, and we will help ease the struggles and stress of this process. Call our Casselberry office at (407) 477-4143 to schedule a consultation.

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