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Juvenile Dependency Attorneys in Beverly Hills

Representation for Sensitive Family Law Matters in Los Angeles County

Juvenile dependency is the area of law that seeks to protect children who may have been abused or neglected by their parents through court intervention. When the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) suspects that a child is being mistreated or abused, the parents may face a case in Juvenile Dependency Court.

At each stage of the proceedings, a parent or dependent child has the right to contest the social worker's recommendation and set the matter for trial. In juvenile dependency matters, all decisions are made by hearing officers instead of juries. When representing parents in juvenile dependency proceedings, Sherman & Fung focuses on helping our clients regain custody of their children as quickly as possible.

Juvenile dependency law is extremely complex. Working with an experienced Beverly Hills juvenile dependency attorney can help ensure that you have the best opportunity to maintain custody of your children.

If you have questions about juvenile dependency, contact our office at (213) 372-0992.

How Juvenile Dependency Works

If a report is made to DCFS that your child has been abused or neglected, DCFS will initiate a child abuse investigation on your family. The referral may come from an ex-spouse, neighbor, teacher, or law enforcement. DCFS will begin by assessing the level of endangerment to your child. They may show up at your home unannounced or they may contact you to schedule an interview at their office.

It is crucial that you have a skilled Beverly Hills juvenile dependency attorney representing you at this stage of an investigation in order to document your statements and protect your rights. Our top priority is to prevent removal of your children from your custody or to prevent a substantiated referral of abuse or neglect.

De Facto Parent Status

In order to be granted de facto parent status, a person must establish that he or she has assumed the role of a parent, has cared for the child, and has developed a substantial interest in the care of the child for a substantial period of time. Foster parents do not have the same rights as biological parents in dependency cases.

However, if de facto parent status is granted, the de facto parent has the right to:

  • Be represented by a lawyer
  • Be present during court proceedings
  • Present evidence
  • Assert and protect his or her own interest in the child

De facto parent status is a good option for foster parents and relatives who have a child in their care and believe that the case is heading in a direction that is not in the child’s best interest.

How Our Firm Helps with Juvenile Custody Cases

Being threatened with the loss of custody can be devastating, especially with how quickly these cases progress. Quite often, a case begins with an emergency detention from the parents' custody by a social worker, followed by a detention hearing no more than three court days later. From there, the case will progress to a jurisdiction/disposition hearing, 6-month review hearings, and potentially termination of parental rights.

When we take on a juvenile dependency case, we:

  • Strive to make sure our clients are treated fairly by the social worker
  • Ensure that Social Services provides the evidence to support their petition
  • Help our clients avoid unnecessary hurdles in regaining custody of their children
  • Represent grandparents and relatives who wish to provide a permanent plan for a child or gain custody of a child while the child’s parent completes their reunification plan
  • Represent foster parents and prospective adoptive parents who wish to adopt a child placed in their care
  • Help by providing recommendations, answering your juvenile dependency questions, and handling juvenile dependency forms

Why Hire Sherman & Fung?

At Sherman & Fung, we have decades of experience representing parents, grandparents, relatives, legal guardians, foster parents and prospective adoptive parents in thousands of juvenile dependency matters in Los Angeles County. Our unparalleled skill, vigorous advocacy, and dedication to every family’s well-being enable us to reach successful outcomes for our clients.

If you are facing any of these situations, please reach out to us at (213) 372-0992 so we can begin assisting you with your juvenile dependency matters.

Hear Stories from Families We've Helped

  • Many times she proved her knowledge and dedication to my case.

    “Many times she proved her knowledge and dedication to my case.”

    Burton

  • Beatrice was able to get my visitation with my kids raised to 3 days a week.

    “I thank God I choose Beatrice K. Fung”

    Andre

  • She has integrity and the tenacity to back her clients completely.

    “She continues to offer guidance on issues as they come up.”

    Margaret

  • Professional, responsive, intelligent, open-hearted and exactly who you want on your side.

    “I'm not being dramatic when I say we would have lost custody if Bea was not on our side.”

    Amy

  • They are winners at every stage of the legal game.

    “Ken Sherman and his associates are uniquely qualified.”

    Leigh