Juvenile Dependency matters can be brought by the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) or by a private citizen. A Dependency hearing is when the natural parents or custodial parents are no longer willing or able to care for the children emotionally, physically, mentally, or otherwise. Usually these cases involve allegations of abuse, neglect, or just unable to provide care. Whether you are a parent accused of abuse or neglect by DHR and they have taken your kids or you are a relative wishing to gain custody of children whose parents are unable to take care of them, we can help.
If you are a parent and your child has been taken by DHR, it can be a stressful, life changing event. If you are being investigated by DHR, you need an experienced attorney to protect your rights. In a juvenile dependency case, sometimes the interests of the State of Alabama may not be the best outcome for your child. Social workers are often expected to make recommendations on hundreds of cases based on a few minutes worth of time with each child and their families. If you are dealing with DHR, it is imperative that you have an experienced attorney there with you at every stage of the process. Mistakes made without an attorney present could lead to you losing custody or worse - having your parental rights terminated.
If you are a relative who wishes to help when the child's natural parents are unable to properly care for their children due to drugs, alcohol, mental health issues, or disability, we can help. In certain circumstances, a court may grant custody to grandparents, aunts, uncles, adult siblings, or other interested parties. To petition for non-parental custody, you must assert that both parents have abandoned the child or are unfit because of abuse, neglect, addictions or mental illness. Obtaining formal custody allows the grandparents or relatives to act on the child's behalf regarding education, health care, and other official matters. Our firm has been able to help several grandparents and relatives get temporary or full custody of children.