Representation You Can Trust; Attorneys You Can Rely On.

St. Petersburg Child Placement Lawyer

Protecting Your Parental Rights

If a Department of Children and Families (DCF) protective investigator believes that allegations of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment against you are substantiated, they may take your child from your home. Your child may be placed in the care of a friend or family member or a foster home. Before you can be reunified with your child, you must attend several family dependency court hearings and fulfill the requirements of a case plan. Unfortunately, if you are unable or unwilling to complete services or comply with court orders, your parental rights may be terminated, and the court may determine permanent placement for your child.

At Fleming Law Group, our St. Petersburg child placement attorney understands the importance of keeping children and parents together. We also recognize that the requirements and processes involved in a family dependency matter can be complicated and confusing. That is why we work hard to protect parent's rights and work toward solutions focused on the family’s best interests. When you turn to us, you will receive compassionate guidance from a lawyer who genuinely cares about how your case resolves and will seek to help you maintain custody of your child.

To learn more about child placement processes in family dependency matters, call us at (727) 202-4858 or contact us online today.

Permanent Placement in a Family Dependency Case

In Florida, if a child is considered a dependent (meaning the court has taken jurisdiction of them), they may be removed from their parent's care. The court then focuses on finding a permanent placement for the child. Permanent placement does not necessarily mean that the parent loses parental rights and the child will live with a relative, non-relative, or adoptive parent. Rather, it means that the child is given a stable and safe environment to live in, which may or may not be with their parent.

Permanent placement may include:

  • Reunification with the parent
  • Adoption
  • Legal guardianship (with a relative or non-relative)
  • Permanent placement with a relative
  • Permanent placement in a specified living arrangement

If you are involved in a family dependency matter, our child placement lawyer in St. Petersburg can help you understand how and when the court will determine permanent placement.

Case Plan Development and Requirements

After a child is removed from their parent's care, a DCF worker will develop a case plan outlining the services the parent must complete to seek reunification. The parent has a right to be part of the case plan development and receive information about what is required of them.

The terms of the case plan and what services the parent must participate in depend on the situation. Generally, the conditions concerned with helping the parent address issues that led to the alleged child abuse or neglect and creating a safe home environment for the child to return to.

The case plan will detail:

  • The services the parent must complete
  • The frequency of services
  • The deadline for completing services
  • The location of services

It is important for parents to comply with the conditions of their case plans. The DCF worker will note any unwillingness to complete services, which may negatively impact the parent when it comes time for a judge to decide permanency.

Fleming Law Group is here to explain your obligations under a case plan. We will ensure that you are aware of the steps you need to take to complete services and what you must do should you be unable to comply with the requirements because of barriers.

Parent Visitation Rights

If a child has been removed from their parent's care, the parent has a right to maintain consistent and meaningful contact with their child. However, visitation may be denied if the court determines that parent-child communication would endanger the child's health and safety.

Grandparents Rights

The maternal or paternal grandparents of a child taken under the court's jurisdiction have visitation rights. As long as contact between the grandparent and grandchild is in the child's best interest, the grandparents may visit under conditions ordered by the court. For the most part, grandparents may maintain affectionate relationships with their grandchildren and can correspond with them through letters, gifts, and cards.

Even if parental rights are eventually terminated, grandparents are still entitled to visitation with their grandchildren. However, if the grandparent allows contact with the child and the parent when the court prohibits such, grandparent rights would be terminated.

Our child placement attorney recognizes that loving and supportive relationships between grandparents and grandchildren are essential to the child's growth and development. At Fleming Law Group, grandparents' rights are very important, and we do what is necessary to ensure that these rights are protected. If you are a grandparent of a child under the jurisdiction of the court, speak with us about how we can help establish a visitation plan to protect your family's best interests.

Legal Guidance for Child Placement Matters in St. Petersburg

The outcome of a family dependency case can profoundly affect your family structure and relationships. At Fleming Law Group, we are prepared to guide you through this emotional time and be your advocate throughout your case.

For the legal representation you need to protect your rights, call us at (727) 202-4858 or submit an online contact form today.

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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