This is my third post in a series on dealing with temporary emergency child custody cases in Melbourne, Florida. My last article discussed why parents should avoid taking matters into their own hands when it comes to child custody. In this article I will discuss why it is important to speak with an attorney before contacting DCF. It is important to understand that parents may have time with their child reduced if they make false claims to DCF. In this article I will discuss when parents may wish to contact the agency, but why it is important to speak with counsel before doing so. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak with a licensed family law lawyer.
Florida parents should call the police if their child is truly in danger
DCF is the Department of Children and Families here in Florida and not an emergency response team. Its goal is to ensure the safety of children from abuse, neglect, or abandonment while doing everything they can to keep families together. When a call is made to the Florida Abuse Hotline claiming that a child is being abused, neglected, or abandoned, they will determine if the facts received meet the criteria to be assigned to a child protective investigator. This process may take a few days and does not provide immediate relief from crisis. This means if you believe your child is in immediate physical danger, you should call the police.
Why Melbourne parents should call an attorney before calling DCF
If you do not believe that your child is in immediate physical danger, but are concerned for their overall well-being, it is important to speak with an attorney before contacting DCF. Counsel will assist in determining whether a DCF claim should be filed. It is important to understand that claims are only to be made when the child’s well-being is truly at risk. It is not appropriate to make claims against the other parent simply because you disagree with their parenting choices. Speaking with a lawyer can help avoid the accusation that you are filing false or non-serious claims, which could result in the reduction of your time with the child.
If you have questions about your situation, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer and schedule a consultation. We also serve the cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.