This is the first post in a series of articles which will discuss the handling of Department of Children and Families (DCF) cases in Melbourne, Florida. I have decided to write on this topic as, for obvious reasons, many parents do not know how to proceed after a dependency case has been initiated. It is imperative that a mom or a dad understand their situation so that they may make informed decisions. The goal of this series is to provide information which explains what one should expect from the process. It is also my goal to provide information which will aid in your selection of an attorney. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact us today to speak with a lawyer.
I will be addressing a number of topics over my coming articles. Matters which I will address include:
- What occurs when a report is made to DCF
- What happens if a caseworker comes to one’s home after a report
- How an attorney can assist you in a dependency case
- Why non-custodial parents may wish to retain an attorney
- Dealing with false DCF allegations
I have chosen to address these issues for several reasons. First, a parent should know what to expect after a case is initiated against them. This is due to the fact that, like most things, knowing what to expect from a process makes the path forward easier to follow. Second, one can often expect frequent home visits after a case has been opened. Properly dealing with these visits can be a key aspect to resolving the matter. Third, parents must understand that DCF caseworkers are not “on their side” and that having counsel is crucial to ensuring that their interests remain protected. Fourth, while a Court’s preference is often to place a child with their non-custodial parent, the Judge will not do so if it is against the child’s best interests. The non-custodial parent increases their chances of making a compelling case to the Court by retaining counsel. Finally, and unfortunately, false DCF claims are sometimes made by parents in an effort to gain child custody. It is important for the custodial parent that such claims be dealt with swiftly.
If you or a loved one have had a dependency case initiated then it is vital that you take action. Our Melbourne family law attorneys have experience in handling such matters. We believe that everyone is entitled to aggressive representation and we understand that this is a serious time in your life. Contact us today to speak with a lawyer. 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.