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Tampa Dependency Attorneys: What is dependency court?

Our Tampa Dependency Attorneys are well versed in issues involving dependency issues and cases. Dependency court is a hybrid court, which is somewhat related to family and criminal law. It’s unique in the sense that it is related to family issues in that it involves minor children and parents. But it is akin to criminal law in the sense that, essentially the State of Florida is prosecuting a mother or father. It is a very controversial court, which is totally foreign to the overwhelming majority of folks. It’s foreign to folks because people expect to battle and fight with their former spouse or significant other, but they do not anticipate the State of Florida would get involved in that family law case.

Dependency court is also unique in the sense that the Department of Children and Families will give individuals two options at the beginning of the case. They can submit to a case plan, and essentially do what the Department of Children and Families wants them to do. Once they’ve successfully completed that case plan, their children are given back to them with no restrictions. This is essentially the equivalent of a “guilty” plea or simply admitting the violations.  They can deny the allegations outright and require the State of Florida to prove those, up before a judge.   This is tantamount to a “not guilty” plea in criminal court.

It’s also important that for such a significant right, such as losing your children, folks are not afforded a jury. Dependency proceedings are also incredibly secretive and private, and difficult for folks without experience in the area to find records, forms, general information and hearing times. Further, they also involve a number of parties that most folks simply have no experience with before.

If you have questions concerning you Tampa dependency case, contact Tampa dependency attorney of the Hackworth Law Firm for a free case consultation.  Given the nature of dependency courts and trying to take folks’ minor children from them, the stakes are simply too high not to have aggressive representation.   We have handled dependency matters throughout the Tampa Bay Area and will work with you to ensure you get your children back as quickly as possible.  We appreciate you taking the time to check out our Dependency Court attorney blog and look forward to hearing from you.