Dependency

Parents' Rights Are My Priority

In some cases, claims are made that parents or other adults are not responsible enough to take care of children due to abuse, neglect, drug use or abandonment. When this happens, the Department of Children and Families investigates those claims and may have children removed from their parents' care.

If it has been alleged that you are not responsible enough to take care of your children, you need a lawyer who understands the family court system to look out for your interests. My name is Susan Winterberger. Through my work with parents in dependency cases, I have been recognized by the Florida Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office. I am prepared to bring that skill and experience to your situation.

How An Attorney Can Guide You

The process of DCF hearings is complex. There are several separate hearings throughout the process:

  • Shelter hearing. At the first hearing, the child has already been removed from the home, as DCF believes that they are in danger. The shelter hearing will determine whether the child may return home. If the court determines that the child may stay in the home, but only conditionally, the process will continue with an arraignment hearing.
  • Arraignment hearing. Here, the parent will need to enter a plea. As an attorney experienced in not only family law, but also dependency law, I can examine your situation and decide which plea is right for you.
  • Adjudicatory hearing. If the parent enters a plea denying the allegations, there will be a trial.

The process continues with several more hearings as necessary.

The Help You Deserve To Protect Your Parental Rights

This complicated process can be hard to navigate without help. Having a lawyer on your team can make it easier and give you the peace of mind you need during a difficult time. To meet with me, call my Crestview office at 850-398-4355.