Whether you are being investigated by the Florida Department of Children and Families, or if your children have already been removed due to allegations of child abuse or neglect, having prompt legal advice can affect the outcome of your case. The Department of Children and Families has tremendous state power, therefore, knowing your rights and having representation by an experienced dependency attorney is essential in such proceedings. Attorney Salisbury has been practicing dependency law for over 20 years and has represented numerous parents, children, and extended family members in investigations and in dependency court proceedings.
Attorney Salisbury understands the intricacies of the stages of a dependency case which may include:
- Investigation by the Department of Children and Families
- Petition for Shelter and Shelter Hearing
- Petition for Dependency and Adjudicatory Trial
- Petition For Termination of Parental Rights and Trial
“Parties” to a dependency case include the parents, the Department of Children and Families, the Guardian ad Litem Program, and the children. Florida Statute §39.01(50) speaks to those who are not a “party” to a case but rather a “participant” and states, “any person who is not a party but show should receive notice of hearings involving the child, including the actual custodian of the child, the foster parents or the legal custodian of the child, identified prospective parents, and any other person whose participation may be in the best interest of the child”. Pursuant to Florida Statute §39.509 grandparents may seek to become participants and request grandparent visitation
Our firm provides legal representation to a variety of individuals in dependency actions including but not limited to, parents, guardians, custodians, grandparents, foster parents, prospective adoptive parents, children, special needs children, and private petitioners in termination of parental rights proceedings.