Representation You Can Trust; Attorneys You Can Rely On.

St. Petersburg Family Dependency Attorney

Providing Aggressive Legal Representation

Florida takes cases involving possible harm to a child very seriously. If a person is accused of abusing, neglecting, or abandoning their child, a protective investigator will look into the matter. Depending on what their investigation reveals, several outcomes are possible. The investigator may decide that the allegations are unfounded and allow the child to remain in the home. However, if they determine that the child is at immediate risk of harm, they can remove the minor from the home, and the case will be sent to Family Dependency Court, where a judge will decide what happens next.

If a protective investigator removed your child from your home or if you are going through legal processes with dependency court, you have the right to have an attorney represent you throughout your case. At Fleming Law Group, we know how these matters can affect your family's well-being and future. That is why we provide compassionate and effective counsel. When you turn to us, our focus will be on protecting the best interests of you and your child and helping keep your family together. We recognize that this can be a scary time, especially because your child may be placed with someone else or in a foster home. That is why we will act with sensitivity and urgency to seek a favorable result on your behalf.

To schedule a free case consultation with our family dependency lawyer in St. Petersburg, call us at (727) 202-4858 or contact us online today.

What Happens in Alleged Child Abuse/Neglect Cases?

When allegations of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment are made, the state acts quickly to remedy the situation. Although criminal charges may arise, when a Family Dependency Court takes a case, it is not concerned with imposing criminal penalties for the alleged conduct. Instead, its focus is on determining whether it's safe to allow the child to remain in the home (or to return the child to the home if a protective investigator has removed them).

Depending on the situation, the case may go through various steps, which generally include the following:

  • Shelter hearing: If the child was removed from their parent's care, the case will be scheduled for a shelter hearing. During this proceeding, a judge will decide whether the child should be returned to the home, sent to a friend or family member who can provide the necessary care, or placed in a foster home.
  • Arraignment: During this phase, the allegations against the parent are explained. Typically, before the hearing, the parent will have reviewed the formal complaint with their attorney.
  • Mediation: The case may be set for mediation, which allows all parties involved to tell their side of the story and seek to resolve the matter before the case goes to trial.
  • Trial: If mediation does not work or the parent wants to contest the allegations against them, the case will be scheduled for trial. At this hearing, both sides may present evidence to support their claims of whether or not harm has occurred and what actions will serve the child's best interests.
  • Disposition hearing: Depending on what the judge determines at trial, they may take one of several actions. They could return the child to their parent’s care, place the child in a safe home, and/or order the parent to complete services to address the issues that led to the child’s removal.

At Fleming Law Group, our St. Petersburg family dependency attorney can represent you throughout the legal processes. We know criminal and custody law and can help you understand your legal options. Throughout your case, we will work aggressively to protect your parental rights.

Assisting with Your Court Order

If a child is removed from their home, the court may order the parent to complete services before their child is returned to their care.

Before regaining custody, the parent may be required to:

  • Complete a psychological evaluation
  • Get drug tested
  • Participate in drug or alcohol abuse programs
  • Attend parenting classes
  • Maintain gainful employment
  • Remain involved in their child’s life through supervised visits

Failure to abide by the court-ordered conditions can result in permanent termination of parental rights and the child being placed for adoption.

Speak with our St. Petersburg family dependency lawyer about your situation as soon as possible. We know what the Department of Children and Family expects of parents. We can use that knowledge to help your case.

Reach out to Fleming Law Group

Being investigated and going to dependency court because of alleged misconduct against your child can be emotionally taxing. Our team will help relieve some of the burdens by skillfully and carefully handling all aspects of your case. We can be your loyal advocates working hard to protect your parental rights and your family’s future.

For sound legal counsel from our St. Petersburg family dependency attorney, call us at (727) 202-4858, or submit an online contact form, and we’ll respond promptly.

Why Choose Fleming Law Group?

  • 24/7 Accessibility

    There is always an attorney in the office and there is no time that we cannot be reached. We are always available via email or phone at
    any time.

  • Honest Guidance

    Our attorneys are not out for their best interest, but for yours. Our clients receive personalized care that is focused solely on them and their unique case.

  • Unique Backgrounds

    As former prosecutors, both Attorneys Fleming and Bettker have unique perspective in the courtroom and stay one step ahead of
    the opposition.

  • Decades of Experience

    Our attorneys have more than 40 decades of combined experience. Over the years, we have gained a renown in our field for our results and care for our clients.

“Mr. Fleming got me an incredible result for my case. I have worked with many other lawyers in the past and thought he represented me the best. He also stays in touch with me since my troubles to make sure everything is ok. He also has a great people working with him. They are always so nice to me when I call and I get return calls right away.”

- Kip
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