How to prepare for a DODD hearing in a DCPP case
The nature of a DODD hearing is that it is an emergency and thus, there is little time to prepare. However, that doesn’t mean that you should not do your best.
The first thing you should do is find a lawyer. Since you’ll only have a short period of time to find a lawyer and find some money, this can be difficult. Since we do this so often, our lawyers are available 24/7/365 and we can accept payments over the phone. While you are more than welcome to set up an in person appointment, this is sometimes not possible because there is next to no time between the phone consult and the DODD hearing.
The best way to prepare is to understand what to expect. That’s the purpose of this post. There are two basic issues that must be dealt with at the DODD hearing. The first is the placement of the children. Will they return home with you, go to a relative or stay in foster care? The answer to that question depends on the allegations in the case and availability of suitable relatives. Having an attorney that has the knowledge, experience and the relationships to get this done will go a long way. If you plan on having the children go to a relative, having that relative there will be very helpful.
The next issue to deal with will be services. In the DCPP context, services are the things you will need to do to fix your situation. Examples of services include psychological evaluations, substance abuse evaluations, drug treatment, domestic violence counseling, individual therapy, etc. What services you should do, when you should do them or if you should even do them will vary based upon a number of factors. This includes the strategy in the case, the allegations, your lawyer’s style, etc.
What makes DCPP so interesting is that every case is different. There is no one way to handle a given case. An experienced lawyer develops a feel for a DCPP case that cannot be taught. The bottom line is that you need a strategy going into the DODD hearing. You cannot just wing it and see what happens. If the DODD hearing is not handled the right way, success for the rest of the DCPP case may be hampered and/or delayed.
Call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW to discuss your DODD hearing and how we can help you.