Author Archives: jefhenninger

Parental Alienation in New Jersey

Parental alienation can play an important role in New Jersey DYFS cases.  In one case, our client was alleged to have abused the child.  Eventually, it was determined that these allegations were false and that it was the other parent coached the child into making false statements.  As a result, the other parent was found to have abused the child.

DYFS experts can also use parental alienation to limit contact with that parent.  Consider the case of DYFS v. B.M. in which the court noted:

Dr. Lipton opined that it might be possible to allow defendant to have some unsupervised visits with the child. However, he acknowledged that defendant’s history of parental alienation might pose a problem, and to that extent, unsupervised visits could represent “a high risk situation” for the child. Asked directly, Lipton did not recommend that the child be returned to defendant’s custody; he opined it would be counterproductive to the child’s interests.

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=6024717966563231641&q

Regardless of what side of the case you are on, if your DYFS case involves parental alienation, you need a lawyer that understands both the DYFS procedures and parental alienation.  Call us anytime at 1-855-9-JEFLAW.

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DCPP Established Findings Can Be Appealed

DCPP Established Findings Can Be Appealed

An allegation is “established” if the preponderance of the evidence indicates that a child is an “abused or neglected child” as defined in N.J.S.A. 9:68.21, but the act or acts committed or omitted do not warrant a finding of “substantiated”. Disclosure of an established finding is authorized in more limited circumstances than a substantiated finding. However, our courts have found that an established finding is significant and is accompanied by “longstanding adverse consequences”. For example, it may affect certain employment opportunities related to children, the right to adopt or serve as a resource parent, and impact possible future DYFS proceedings. As a result, the Appellate Division found on February 1, 2017 that an administrative hearing is required to contest the Division’s conclusion abuse or neglect is established.

If you have been established at any point, call our team of DYFS lawyers right away at 1-855-9-JEFLAW to discuss your appeal rights.

Unexplained Injuries in DYFS cases

Unexplained Injuries in DYFS cases

Allegations of physical child abuse can take many forms but they often falls into two categories: cases where someone witnessed a parent or caregiver abuse a child or cases where there are injuries to a child that could only have been caused by abuse. That second set of cases can be described as unexplained injuries. While there are other things that could have caused these injuries, the parents usually report that nothing happened. Without any other explanation, the only other cause left is abuse. That’s why we call them unexplained injuries. Shaken baby syndrome is a subset of these cases but unexplained injuries can involve older children.

If DYFS suspect you of injuring your child, you should call a lawyer immediately/. Anything you do or say will be noted and that can be twisted and turned around against you. Quite often, they do not look for other explanations. For example, we had a client that was accused of harming her child. Our client said the child fell of a bike but DYFS said it was abuse. We found that there was dirt inside the handle bars of the child’s bike that was consistent with our client’s story. Our DYFS defense lawyers then hired an expert to support this theory. The report was submitted to DYFS and the case was dismissed the day before the trial was to begin.

The lesson learned here is that you cannot assume that DYFS will perform a full and fair investigation into this case. If you had to bring your child to the doctor’s office or hospital and DYFS was called regarding these injuries, you are likely a suspect even if they don’t come out and say that. If that happens, your next call should be to a DYFS defense attorney. Call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW to discuss your case.

Shaken Baby Syndrome in DYFS cases

Shaken Baby Syndrome in DYFS cases
Shaken baby syndrome is common DYFS issue but it can unlike any other set of allegations. That is because the procedures are different and the science involved is very complex. In plain English, Shaken baby syndrome is when an adult shakes a baby which results in injuries. The reasons why people shake babies may vary but it is often out of anger and frustration. Most of the time, the adult does not understand how fragile the baby is and does not think that their actions caused any injuries because the child may not exhibit any signs of being injured. In fact, in many cases the baby falls asleep as a way of coping with the pain. Its only when the baby wakes up does a parent or caregiver realize that there is something wrong and the child is brought to a doctor.

Because there is often a delay between the actions and the discovery of the injuries, time lines become crucial to winning or losing the case. A doctor will determine a range of times that the injuries occurred. Anyone that hanlded the baby within that time period will be a suspect and DYFS will likey bring all of those people to court. If there is even a chance that you are in this potential pool of suspects, it is important that you call a DYFS defense lawyer before you say or do anything. The simplest comment by you could be used to paint you as the prime suspect.

Hiring a lawyer to defense you against shaken baby syndrome allegations will not make you look guilty. Chances are, you are already a suspect anyway. Before you say or do anything, call our team of tough, smart defense attorneys at 1-855-9-JEFLAW. We’ve successfully handled these cases and we will fight for you. There are a number of defenses that can be used to help you. There are other explanations including medical conditions that could have caused these injuries. Let us go through even possible explanation to protect you.

What Does an Order to Investigate Mean?

What Does an Order to Investigate Mean?

DCPP can file an Order to Investigate in Superior Court if they want to force you to do something that you have refused to do. An Order to Investigate is a preliminary step before they file a complaint against you. If the judge concurs with the DCPP on their application, the judge will grant the Order to Investigate, which means you now must comply with DCPP’s demands. If you don’t, DCPP may file a complaint against you which may include a removal of your children. If you do comply, you may give them the evidence to file a complaint against you which again can include placing your children in foster care. Sounds like a no win situation right?

Well before you just throw in the towel or just handle this by yourself, call our team of tough, smart DCPP defense lawyers. DCPP cannot just do whatever they want. There are restrictions in what they can ask for and what the judge can order. Furthermore, there is a legal standard that they must meet. In other words, they just don’t get to request anything for no reason. However, the problem is that a lot of people don’t challenge these applications. Unless you hire a lawyer, you will be alone in court as there is no public defender available.

Don’t go through this alone. Our team of experienced lawyers will work to fight for you and do everything possible to dismiss the order to investigate and get DYFS out of your life. Call our NJ DCPP defense lawyers at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). This 24/7 toll free hotline will connect you to smart and tough lawyers, ready to fight for you and your rights.

What are NJ DYFS Care & Supervision Cases?

What are NJ DYFS Care & Supervision Cases?

Anytime you have to deal with DYFS, it is a serious matter. During a care and supervision case, your child remain in your home while DYFS provides various services for you to do to ensure the house is a safe and secure environment. Substance abuse testing and psychological exams are just a couple of services the Court may ask you to do over time.

Just because your child has not been removed from your home, does not mean that your parental rights cannot be terminated. It is important to hire an attorney who will fight very hard for you to get your Care and Supervision case dismissed. Our team of experienced and tough NJ DYFS lawyers will be able to guide you in the right direction, and help determine whether the services you have been asked to do are fair and just, as well as help show that you deserve to maintain your parental rights. We are here to help you keep your child, so let us handle DYFS.

Call our New Jersey DYFS attorneys on our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). You’ll be connected with one of our smart and dedicated attorneys, who are here to work to help you keep your child and prove that you are a fit parent.

Custody, Care and Supervision with DYFS in NJ

Custody, Care and Supervision with DYFS in NJ

In New Jersey, DYFS can file a complaint against you accusing you of abusing and neglecting your child, where they will then request Custody, Care and Supervision of your child. DYFS will maintain custody of your child until you have proven that you are a fit parent, and you can appropriately raise your child. Custody, Care and Supervision can still be requested by DYFS if your child’s health and safety is in danger, even if you are not accused of abusing or neglecting your child. Once again, you may lose custody of your child until the you prove to the court that you can raise your kid safely and healthily.

Whatever the case may be, be sure to contact our NJ DYFS defense attorneys to help defend you and your case. Times like these are scary, so let our experienced team handle it. We can fight for you and work to help bring your child back home by showing that you are a fit parent, and you can appropriately raise your child. Our team can help protect your rights, and will fight for them as if they were our own.

Call our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) and speak to one of our New Jersey DYFS lawyers. We are here to help you and your family, so don’t wait.

Simple Assault and DYFS in New Jersey

Simple Assault and DYFS in New Jersey

In New Jersey, simple assault can be committed in three ways. While each of these ways are different, they all result in a person being injured, or the intent to injure was present. Below are a few ways someone can commit simple assault:

  1. One way a person can commit simple assault is by either attempting to cause bodily harm to another, or actually causing someone to suffer a bodily injury. This injury must be caused either purposely, knowingly, or recklessly.
  2. Another way simple assault can be committed by someone is if they negligently injure someone with the use of a deadly weapon.
  3. Finally, the third way a person can commit simple assault is by putting another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

If DYFS has accused you of simple assault, they can remove your child from your home. If this is happening to you, call our New Jersey DYFS attorneys at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). Our team of tough, smart, and dedicated lawyers will help you fight to keep your kids at home. We know this time is tough, so call us so we can help you out.

Sexual Assault and DYFS in New Jersey

Sexual Assault and DYFS in New Jersey

Sexual assault in New Jersey is also known as rape. New Jersey defines sexual assault as the penetration of a victim by physical force or coercion, or if the victim has been physically or mentally incapacitated. Sexual penetration is constituted as vaginal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, or anal intercourse between two people. This also included the use and insertion of the hand, finger, or object into the anus or vagina either by the defendant or their instruction.

Sexual assault is a severe crime, so don’t go through this alone. Our team of experienced and smart lawyers can help you through this process, and fight for your rights. If you have been accused of sexual assault, and DYFS is looking to remove your child from the home, or has done so already, we can work to help get those charges removed. Our NJ DYFS attorneys are here to help you, your child, and work to help get these sexual assault charges dropped, so don’t face DYFS and Court alone.

Call our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) to speak to one of our smart and hardworking child abuse defense lawyers. We will fight for you!

New Jersey Aggravated Sexual Assault and DCPP

New Jersey Aggravated Sexual Assault and DCPP

Aggravated assault in New Jersey is categorized six different ways. Being accused of aggravated assault is a very serious crime, and there is no statute of limitations. Below are the six types of aggravated sexual assault:

  1. The victim must be at least 13 years of age, but no older than 16 years of age. The defendant must have also known that he had a familial relationship with the victim, a supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim, or he was the victim’s parent or guardian.
  2. The defendant had penetrated the victim during a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault, burglary, arson or criminal escape.
  3. The defendant was armed while committing the act of sexual penetration. The defendant also threatened verbally threatened the victim, or gestured to use the weapon to gain the sexual advantage.
  4. Sexual penetration is committed and the defendant is aided or helped out by one or more other people, and they had used physical force or coercion.
  5. The use of physical force or coercion by the defendant resulted in severe personal injury to the victim.
  6. The victim was physically helpless, mentally defective or mentally incapacitated, and the defendant knew or should have known these conditions. Physical helplessness means that the victim was unconscious or unable to flee or communicate their unwillingness to act.

In all of these cases, the defendant had to have sexually penetrated the victim, and use these acts to purposely sexually arouse, degrade, or humiliate the victim, or to gratify themselves. If you have been accused of aggravated sexual assault, our team of smart, tough, and experienced NJ criminal divorce lawyers will help. If DCPP is after your child due to your aggravated sexual assault accusations, our team can attack your case from many different angles. We will work hard to help you bring your child back home, and to help protect you from these aggravated assault allegations.

Contact our NJ DCPP attorneys by calling 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). This number is our 24/7 toll free hotline, which will connect you with one of our lawyers who is ready to fight for you and your rights.

Endangering the Welfare of a Child and DYFS in New Jersey

Endangering the Welfare of a Child and DYFS in New Jersey

If you have a legal duty to care for a child, or assumed responsibility for the care of a child, and are accused of engaging in sexual conduct with this child which could damage or impair their morals, you may be charged for endangering the welfare of a child. You may also be charged for endangering the welfare of a child if you cause the child harm by neglecting or abusing them. In order to be considered a child, this person must be under the age of 16.

Endangering the welfare of a child can also be charged if the defendant is accused of photographing or filming a child in a prohibited sexual act. If the defendant is accused of knowingly, to name a few, selling, manufacturing, transferring, publishing, filming, and disseminating any reproduction which depicts the child engaging in the prohibited sexual act.

If you have been accused of endangering the welfare of a child, you should not take it lightly. Put yourself in a good place by contacting our team of NJ defense attorneys. When accused of such an act, DYFS will be involved, and they have the power to remove your child from the home, and they can even remove your parental rights. Let our team work to help you defend your rights and work to have these endangering the welfare of a child charges dropped.

Contact our team of New Jersey DYFS lawyers by calling our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). Call us today!

DCPP Child Endangerment in New Jersey

DCPP Child Endangerment in New Jersey

Child endangerment in New Jersey is when any person who has a legal duty to care for the child is accused of engaging in sexual contact or harms the child through abuse or neglect. If the defendant had committed these acts willfully and intentionally, he could be charged for endangering the child.

Another way someone could be charged for child endangerment is if they were accused of consuming controlled substances in the presence of the child or operated a vehicle while the child is inside when intoxicated. In this instance, the child is considered to be in immediate danger of serious injury or death, which means DCPP will end up stepping in.

Child endangerment charges are nothing to fool around with, as they can result in serious penalties, and even the loss of parental rights. If you are facing a child endangerment accusation, our team of smart and tough NJ DCPP defense attorneys will help. When putting your child in danger, you run the risk of having your child taken from you and never seeing them again. Our experienced lawyers will work to bring your child back home.

Call our 24/7 hour toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) to speak to one of our experienced lawyers who are eager to help you.

Criminal Sexual Contact and DCPP in NJ

Criminal Sexual Contact and DCPP in NJ

Being convicted of criminal sexual contact in New Jersey means that the defendant is guilty of committing acts of sexual contact with the victim and the defendant has used physical force or coercion but the victim has not received a severe personal injury. If the defendant has purposely touched themselves in an intimate region while in the view of another person who the defendant knew was there, that also constitutes as criminal sexual contact.

In order to be proven guilty, the touching must have been intentional, and the court must be given proof beyond a reasonable doubt that it was intentional. If the touching was found to be done intentionally with the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim, or the defendant was sexually aroused or received a gratifying feeling from it, then they will most likely be found guilty of criminal sexual contact.

Our team of smart and tough NJ DCPP lawyers can work to help you out. If DCPP is looking to, or has removed your child from your home because you have been accused of criminal sexual contact, we will fight for you and your child, doing all we can to help bring them home. We believe in your rights, and we want to protect them, and we want to work to help have these criminal sexual contact charges dropped. Call our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) and speak to one of our experienced attorneys who is ready to fight for your rights.

Aggravated Assault and DYFS in NJ

Aggravated Assault and DYFS in NJ

In New Jersey, aggravated assault is when an injury is either caused purposely, knowingly, or recklessly, and a person has either attempted to to cause or has caused bodily injury on another person. Many aggravated assault cases involve the use of a deadly weapon, and the the defendant has acted under “circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.” This means that the defendant acted in a way that a result in injury was probable, not just merely possible.

If DYFS has accused you of aggravated assault, that may result in the removal of your child from your home, as it is seen as an unsafe place to live. If you are facing these allegations, be sure to contact our team of experienced NJ DYFS lawyers on our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). Our lawyers will fight for you and work to help you have these charges dropped. Don’t wait, be sure to contact us right away so we can get to work!

How Can New Jersey Terminate My Parental Rights?

How Can New Jersey Terminate My Parental Rights?

As a parent, you have the right to see your child, as well as make decisions for them and receive information about them. With that being said, if you, as a parent, are seen as a threat to your child by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) and the state of New Jersey, you have your parental rights terminated. When your parental rights are on the line, it is important to call our team of DCPP lawyers ASAP.

The termination of parental rights starts when DCPP starts a civil action by filing a complaint, which is also called a guardianship complaint. Here, there may be a number of hearings and possibly a trial, which is used to see if the complaint by DCPP is justified. If deemed justified, the parent may have their parental rights legally terminated if it is what’s best for the child.

Fight DCPP and New Jersey with Our Help

Leading up to the termination of parental rights are a number of orders given by the Court that have either failed or were ignored by the parent. On top of that, the Division must be able to prove that the parent is an unfit parent and that the child will continue to be harmed by the parent. It must also be shown that reasonable measures were taken in order to maintain the relationship between the parent and child, and that these actions failed or were ignored. Finally, DCPP must prove that terminating the rights of the parent will do more good than harm to the child and their well being.

Having your parental rights terminated is a serious matter, and should not be taken lightly. If you are being faced with the possibility of having your parental rights terminated, contact our team of tough and smart NJ DCPP attorneys. When your rights are terminated, there is no getting them back, which is why you need an experienced attorney on your side from the start to help you keep these rights. We will work hard to help defend your rights, and use our knowledge of New Jersey’s policies and statutes to prove you are fit to be a parent.

Call our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) as our team we will fight for your rights.

Kinship Legal Guardianship (KLG) in New Jersey

Kinship Legal Guardianship (KLG) in New Jersey

Kinship Legal Guardianship, also know as KLG, is when a caregiver assumes responsibility for the child, but the parents of the child can still have contact with them. If the parent of the child has lost their parental rights or custody of their child, it will be very tough to get them back, which is when a KLG steps in. With that being said, if the parent of the child regains custody, they can oppose the caregiver’s court order. When applying for kinship legal guardianship, the caregiver must let the parent’s of the child know, as well as everyone else who has legal visitation rights with the child.

A caregiver must have taken care of the child, and living with the child, for 12 months in order to be considered a KLG. When one becomes a kinship legal guardian, they assume the same responsibilities as the child’s birth parent. Below are a few rights and responsibilities a KLG would have for the child:

  • Making decisions about the child’s care
  • Consenting to medical treatment
  • Making plans for the child’s education
  • Applying for services for the child
  • General responsibility for ensuring the child’s safety and well-being

If the caregiver has been granted kinship legal guardianship, the birth or adoptive parents will lose custody of their child. As long as the parents have not lost their parental rights, they can still visit their child, refuse that your child be adopted, and even refuse they change their name. DYFS may ask the Court to award KLG to foster parents in certain situations. If this is happening to you, call our NJ DYFS attorneys today. We can help fight these requests and work to help you keep custody of your child. By using our experience and knowledge, we will help you through these legal processes, fighting so that your child can stay at home with you.

Call our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) where you will be connected to one of our smart and tough lawyers, determined to fight for you!

Specific DYFS Situations

Specific DYFS Situations

New Jersey takes child abuse and neglect very seriously, which is why DYFS is so big and strong. When it comes to DYFS, there are many different situations they can play a role in. From divorces and custody involving DYFS, to hospitals and DYFS working hand-in-hand, the protection of children is everywhere. Below are specific situations our law firm can help you with:

  1. DYFS doesn’t have to follow any rules when the case is not in court
  2. A DYFS unfounded letter may not mean that you are out of the woods yet
  3. The Hospital can test the Meconium to detect drug use during pregnancy
  4. Don’t let DYFS allegations impact your child custody case
  5. Dealing with DYFS involved custody cases in New Jersey
  6. Dealing with false DYFS allegations in New Jersey
  7. What to do when DYFS / DCPP requests a substance abuse evaluation
  8. Dealing with a divorce in New Jersey with DYFS allegations and investigations
  9. Dealing with DYFS in New Jersey when you have a child with autism
  10. DYFS (DCPP) and domestic violence allegations in New Jersey

Our team of NJ DYFS attorneys is well diversified, and is very knowledgeable about all of the DYFS situations mentioned above. We are here to help you fight to keep your child at home, as well as help keep your parental rights. Our team is full of determined lawyers, eager to help you.

Keeping your family happy and protected is our number one goal, so be sure to call our New Jersey DYFS attorneys at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529), our 24/7 toll free hotline.

What is a Preliminary Hearing?

What is a Preliminary Hearing?

In a preliminary hearing, judges will decide whether or not DYFS should continue with the case, as well as if the child should live at home while the case continues. If there are satisfactory supervisions, or the abusive parent leaves the home, the judge may allow the child to stay at home. During this time, the judge may also order certain services such as psychological evaluations, substance abuse testing or treatment, or domestic violence services. Over time, these service providers will provide reports to the court with recommendations.

Have Our NJ DYFS Attorneys by Your Side at a Preliminary Hearing

When at a preliminary hearing, our NJ DYFS attorneys will fight for you and your child. We are a team of experienced, smart, and tough attorneys, who will help guide you in the right direction. This hearing is crucial, as it can show the court and DYFS that you are fit as a parent, and that your child is safe at home. Our team will work to fight for you and your child, and to help them remain at home. Having our tam by your side from the start is crucial, so be sure to call our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). We’re excited to fight on your behalf.

What is a Permanency Hearing?

What is a Permanency Hearing?

A permanency hearing will be held if the case stays open for more than a year. At this hearing, DYFS will present you with a permanent solution which gives your child a steady, long-term living arrangement. Here, you have the right to offer the court an alternative plan. DYFS has the ability to file a separate court case to terminate your parental rights if they believe your house can’t become a safe place to live.

Our New Jersey DYFS Attorneys Will Work to Help Dismiss the Case

Our team of tough and smart New Jersey DYFS attorneys can work to help you get your child back, as well as guide you down the right path. If you lose this hearing, the court will allow DYFS to file a complaint to terminate your parental rights. Therefore, we will need to do anything we can to get the case dismissed at this point. We will work to help you bring your child back home. Call our 24/7 toll free number at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529), and our lawyers will be happy to fight for you and your child.

What is a Fact-Finding Hearing?

What is a Fact-Finding Hearing?

After the discovery period comes a fact-finding hearing, which is very similar to a trial. Here, DCPP will present evidence of the claims against you, and then you get the opportunity to present a defense. The best way to prepare for this type of hearing is to do so with one of our New Jersey DCPP attorneys, as you can rely on them to protect your interests.

The fact-finding hearing is designed to see if the accusations of child abuse and/or neglect have occurred or not. If the judge finds that you have in fact abused or neglected the child, DCPP may receive a court order which says that you must comply with certain services such as psychological evaluations or domestic violence services.

Don’t Face NJ DYFS Alone, Call Our Team

At the fact-finding hearing, our lawyers will cross examine the witnesses, attempt to limit their evidence, and/or introduce our own evidence to get the case dismissed. Having a lawyer by your side is crucial at this stage, as this hearing sets the tone for the future. With one of our hardworking and smart lawyers by your side, we can help you understand your rights in this situation, as well as help fight for your parental rights. If your child had been removed from the home, we can work to help have them returned soon. Be sure to reach out to our team of NJ DCPP lawyers and we will work to help you and your child. Call our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) to speak to one of our dedicated attorneys, who are ready to fight for you.

What is a Dispositional Hearing?

What is a Dispositional Hearing?

Once the fact-finding hearing is over, the judge will decide if you have abused or neglected your child, and why they have decided that outcome. If the judge finds you guilty of doing so, another hearing called the “dispositional hearing” will occur. The dispositional hearing will most likely occur immediately after the fact-finding hearing. Here, the judge will give you a list of steps you must complete, like participation in counseling and other betterment programs. While these steps are being completed, the judge will decide if your child will live with you at home or not. After the dispositional hearing, you have 45 days to file an appeal of the results found in the fact-finding hearing.

Let Our New Jersey DCPP Lawyers Fight For You

It is important to contact our team of New Jersey DCPP attorneys, as we can guide you and protect you from unfair orders given to you, as well as help you appeal what was founded in the fact-finding hearing. DYFS can request a number of things from you that are unfair, and with us by your side, we can help deem them to be fair and just. Our NJ DCPP lawyers will work to help you fight to get your child back! If you are facing a dispositional hearing, contact our experienced team by calling our toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529).

What Happens When DYFS Files an Order to Show Cause and Complaint?

What Happens When DYFS Files an Order to Show Cause and Complaint?

These papers show that DYFS believes you have abused or neglected a child, and DYFS may request that the child be removed from the home temporarily. When filed, an order to show cause and complaint will also let you know that you are required to appear in court at a certain day and time.

If DYFS removes your child from your home due to an emergency before first going to Court, which is known as a DODD removal, on the next business day, DYFS must file a Complaint. Here, you are entitled to a preliminary hearing at the time the Complaint was filed.

If DYFS has filed these papers, it is important to contact our team of experienced and tough NJ DYFS attorneys, as being protected and properly guided from the start is crucial. If your child is removed from your home, it is important to fight it right away, as gets more difficult to bring them home the longer you wait. Our team can work to help you have these charges dropped, and make sure you and your family are unharmed. Going through this alone can make things worse, so call our team at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) and we’ll be happy to fight for you.

What Happens During the Discovery Period?

What Happens During the Discovery Period?

Discovery is the period where both sides gather additional information to defend their case. This occurs once the judge decides the case should move forward. It is also possible for the judge to schedule a status conference after the preliminary hearing. This way, the judge can keep an eye on where each party is in the discovering process.

During this period, your DYFS caseworker will continuously evaluate you, your home, as well as the facts that are in your case. The caseworker and the law guardian or investigator will also check up on the child to make sure they are doing alright.

Our NJ DYFS Attorneys Can Help You Through the Discovery Period

Not only will our NJ DYFS attorneys work hard to provide strong evidence for your case during this period, but we will also give you advice on what you should and shouldn’t do. As mentioned, caseworkers will check in to make sure your child is safe, and our team can provide helpful tips on how to handle certain situations. Contact our NJ DYFS lawyers so we can help you out during this crucial period. The discovery period is when each side gathers the necessary information, so it is crucial to have our smart and determined team on your case. Our experienced and smart team will fight to help you have these charges dropped, so call our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529).

What are Review Hearings?

What are Review Hearings?

If you have been ordered to complete services at the dispositional hearing, there will be additional review hearings so that the court can monitor your process. It is crucial to obey the orders given at the dispositional hearing, as these hearings are to see whether or not the current orders are being followed or not, and whether or not new orders should be made.

Through the review hearings, it is important to have an experienced attorney by your side. Our hardworking team of attorneys can help defend you, your child, and your rights at these hearings, and we can correct any false information that has been given. Review hearings are important to show the court that you are following their orders, so if this case gets handled poorly, you may end up losing your child.

Call our team of New Jersey DCPP attorneys at our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). We will fight for you and develop a plan where we will work to help get your child back.

FAQ for DYFS Attorneys

Our New Jersey DYFS attorneys will fight for you, your child, and your rights. We are here to guide you on what you should and should not do when dealing with DYFS. People have many questions about DYFS, their case, and what they can or cannot do. With help from our team of experienced lawyers, we can help you answer these questions with ease.

Below are some frequently asked questions and concerns we receive from our clients, and we hope these answer many of your own and help put your mind at ease:

  1. How long does a DYFS case last?
  2. Should I do a DYFS hair follicle test?
  3. Should I give DYFS a urine test?
  4. Will DYFS talk to my kids at school?
  5. How do I prevent DYFS from talking to my children?
  6. Should I complain about my DYFS case worker?
  7. How can I get my kids out of foster care?
  8. Should I let the DYFS case worker into my house?
  9. Should I hire a private lawyer for my DYFS case?
  10. Will hiring a lawyer for DYFS make things worse?
  11. Do I have to sign the HIPPA form from DYFS?
  12. What is a safety protection plan?
  13. The school called DYFS on me.
  14. How to find out who called DYFS on me?
  15. My neighbor called DYFS on me.
  16. DYFS showed up to my house with the police.
  17. Do I have to let DYFS in my house?
  18. Is DYFS allowed to speak to my kids?
  19. Should I do a DYFS substance abuse evaluation?
  20. Will hiring a lawyer make DYFS come after me?
  21. Should I comply with DYFS (DCPP)?
  22. Can eating a poppy seed bagel make you fail a drug test?
  23. Is DYFS allowed to interview my child at school?
  24. Do I need a lawyer to help me with my DYFS / DCPP case or investigation?
  25. What are my rights with DYFS / DCPP?

Contact our smart, tough, and dedicated NJ DYFS lawyers for help regarding your case. We can give you the guidance you need, and we will fight to help you bring your child back home. Call our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529), and we’ll be happy to help you.

Cooperating with DYFS in New Jersey

To ensure that children are protected from abuse and neglect, DYFS has the right to do what they have to do. While this, at times, means that the child is removed from the home and put into foster care, that is not always the case. Often times, DYFS is required to work with the parents to develop a safety plan since the parents have the right to change their actions and behaviors to make the home a safe environment for the child.

If the parent doesn’t adhere to the safety plan and does not make changes, then DYFS can take alternative actions. In another blog on our site, we had written about how sometimes DYFS might not be “helping” you out, but when it comes to these efforts, they are legally required to to work with the parents to ensure the child stays in at home.

Our NJ DYFS Attorneys Will Guide You Down the Right Path

It is important to know your rights at times like these, and our team of New Jersey DYFS attorneys will help you. We will guide you in the right direction, and help you figure out what you should and should not do when DYFS approaches you. Sometimes, DYFS makes unfair demands, and they even violate the rights of the parent from time to time, so it is important to have an experienced DYFS lawyer on your side to help you out.

Call our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) and our team of NJ lawyers will be happy to fight for you, your child and your rights as a parent.

Did DCPP Place My Child in a Safe Foster Home?

Having your child removed from your home is scary. Most of the times, DCPP will see if the child can stay with a family member or friend, but sometimes the child is placed in foster care. If your child is placed into foster care, it is important to call our NJ DCPP lawyers right away, as it gets tougher to bring your child back home the longer you wait. If your child is taken to a foster home, your child is in the hands of foster parents who are licensed, and who have been carefully screened. For the time being, they are in good hands, but it is important to act fast to bring them home.

To help ease your mind, here are a list of requirements foster parents must meet:

  • Must be adults over the age of 18
  • Must be healthy and in good condition to watch over the foster children
  • Must have been trained on how to be a good foster parent
  • Must be able to provide the children with a safe home to live in and a nurturing environment
  • Must be committed to taking care of the child and their needs
  • Must work with DCPP to ensure the foster children remain safe

Foster parents go through all of these requirements and more when looking to become one. While NJ DCPP puts these parents through multiple screenings, there are some weaknesses to the system. If you need to get your child out of foster care, contact our smart, tough, and dedicated New Jersey DCPP attorneys on our toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). We will fight for you and your child, and will make sure you understand your rights as a parent.

What To Expect in a New Jersey DODD Hearing

In New Jersey, if the DCPP has investigated an allegation which stated that you have abused or neglected your child, and has discovered that your child is at an “imminent risk of harm,” the DCPP can remove the child from your home right away without a court order. This is what is known as a DODD removal, and once this removal occurs, the DCPP must be before a judge within two court days to ratify, or approve, the DODD.

Feel at Ease in Your NJ DODD Hearing With Us By Your Side

Since these DODD hearings happen so fast, it is important to act quick and contact an attorney who will be prepared to defend you. Our NJ DCPP lawyers are available at all hours of the day, making them easy to reach. Experienced lawyers will help you understand your rights in this situation, and will also be able to the devise a strategy you’d need to enter a DODD hearing. Our team of experienced lawyers can work to help you get your children back.

A mishandled DODD hearing could hinder your chances of having a successful DCPP case as it moved forward. Don’t drop the ball from the start, and let our New Jersey DCPP lawyers handle the DODD hearing, so that you are in good hands from the start. Be sure to call our 24 hour toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) to get in contact with one of our dedicated, tough, and smart lawyers who will work with you to bring your children home.

NJ DYFS and the Impact of Incarcerations on Parental Rights

New Jersey has a very broad definition of child abuse or neglect, meaning that a child can be abused or neglected by their parent in several ways. While many factors go into the termination of parental rights, incarcerations may affect decisions made by DYFS when it comes to the termination of parental rights as well.

Many people question the how the Court views incarcerations when deciding whether or not a parent deserves to have their parental rights terminated. Most of the time, if a parent has established a relationship with their child before the term of incarceration, they are more likely to maintain their parental rights. With that being said, if the child is younger, and the relationship between the parent as child is not strong or sturdy, there is a greater chance the parent may lose their parental rights.

Our New Jersey DYFS Attorneys Will Represent You

Even if the parent-child relationship is strong and has been great for years before the term of incarceration, that doesn’t mean DYFS won’t terminate the parent’s parental rights. Throughout the incarceration, the parent must remain in contact with DYFS, offer themselves up for the necessary rehabilitation and treatment, show that they still desire to be a positive influence in the child’s life, and much more.

Just because a loved one is incarcerated, you should not think that their case is hopeless. Our team of tough, smart NJ DYFS attorneys can still represent them in court. Without adequate representation, they are at risk to have their rights terminated. Call us today on our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) to discuss the case to see how we can help them.

DYFS NJ Might Not Be “Helping” You Out

Many times, New Jersey DYFS claims that they are helping you out, and you are inclined to cooperate with them. This “cooperation” may stem from the fear of being viewed as uncooperative by the judge, or maybe you became fearful of all the threats DYFS has made if you do not cooperate with them. While the safety and security of your child is important, it is also important to know that helping out DYFS may make things worse. This is why it is crucial to hire an experienced DYFS lawyer who can advise you on whether you should or should not comply with DYFS.

Help Yourself by Contacting Our NJ DYFS Attorneys

If you end up cooperating with DYFS, things will get worse because if a family is not in litigation, they are not a top priority. When out of litigation, DYFS is in no rush, which could lead to a long supervision or suspension of parenting time. There have been instances in where parents have had to face six months of supervised parenting time before the court even thought about loosening the punishment.

To ensure you have the right New Jersey attorney fighting for you, call 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). This 24/7 toll free hotline will connect you to a smart, tough, and hard working lawyer, who will have your back throughout this process.

Will DYFS Take My Child to a Foster Home?

If your child’s needs are not, or cannot, be adequately met, then DYFS is allowed to place your child in foster care. New Jersey DYFS will most likely not put your child in foster care right away. Initially, you will be asked to identify family members or friends who can take care of your child. If there is an immediate need for your child to be placed somewhere, DYFS will either place the child with a family member or a foster home.

If your child has been taken by DYFS and is placed in a foster home, that does not mean they will remain there. Just because a child is placed in a foster home, doesn’t mean that the foster parents can seek the right to adopt that child, as foster care is designed to be temporary care for children. With that being said, the longer your child stays in foster care, the harder it will be to get him or her back.

If your child has been removed from your home, our New Jersey DYFS lawyers will help you. As mentioned, the longer your child stays away, the harder it will be to bring them back home. Therefore, the best move is to try to get your child back at the first court appearance. At our firm, our lawyers are determined and dedicated to make sure you remain the parent of your child. We will help you, so be sure to call 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). This 24/7 toll free hotline will connect you to one of our bright and hardworking attorneys, so don’t wait.

Can a Foster Parent Adopt My Child?

When New Jersey DCPP removes your child from your home, they will initially ask if there are any family members or friends who can tend to your child. If there are no family or friends who are suited to watch the child, then DCPP will place that child in foster care.

If your child is placed in a foster home, their foster parent does not have the right to seek to adopt your child. Foster care is temporary care for children whose parents are unable to care for them at the moment. With that being said, foster parents are not forbidden to adopt a child they are caring for. If the child has been in placement for a long period of time, the foster parents may be able to adopt the child. If the child is eligible for adoption, the Bureau of Children’s Services will consider the application of the foster parents over every other application. This is why it is important our team of DCPP attorneys fight to get the child out of foster care right away!

If you are scared your child may be removed from your home, or you would like to fight to get your child out of foster care, give our New Jersey DCPP lawyers a call at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). Our 24/7 toll free hotline will connect you with a tough, smart, and dedicated attorney who will do everything they can to fight for you and your child. Don’t hesitate, call our law offices today.

Can DYFS Take Away My Parental Rights?

Yes. If you are found to be an unfit parent, your parenting rights can be taken from you by DYFS. There is a four-prong test that must be met, with undoubtedly clear and confident evidence. If these four standards are met, DYFS must request to file a petition to remove your rights as a parent on the grounds of the “best interests of the child.”

Below are the following standards that must be met in order for NJ DYFS to take action:

  1. The parent’s relationship with the child has, or will continue to endanger the child’s safety, health, or development.
  2. If the parent can’t or will not eliminate the harm that faces the child. Also, the parent can’t or will not provide a safe and stable home for the child, and the delay of the placement process will add to the harm of the child.
  3. DYFS attempted to help the parent correct their current circumstances with provided services, as this led to the child being placed outside the home, and the court has examined alternatives to the termination of parental rights.
  4. Terminating the parent’s rights will not harm the child, as much as it would if the parental rights remain in place.

If DYFS is accusing you of these acts, and your parental rights are on the line, you need a lawyer who will fight for you and your rights. Our team of tough and smart New Jersey DYFS attorneys will go the extra mile for you, fighting for your parental rights as if they were our own. Call our NJ DYFS lawyers now at our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) and we’ll be happy to help.

How to Fight False or Exaggerated Child Abuse Claims in DCPP Cases

Child abuse allegations made against you can be very scary, and often can spark panic. When allegations and an associated child welfare case are made against you, a lot is on the line. While these child abuse allegations are scary, they are not always valid, and not all parents deserve the repercussions of these allegations.

Child abuse allegations are very complex, and trying to disprove them alone is extremely difficult to do. It is important to have knowledge of the court, New Jersey’s child welfare agency, and the correct way to challenge evidence presented against you. Finding a DCPP attorney who has years of child welfare experience, like our NJ team, is a great first step toward fighting these false allegations.

False Claims in DCPP Case? We Have Your Back.

Children have often made up allegations, exaggerated certain problems, and even persisted of making up false claims once your wrongdoings have been cleared. Fighting these allegations alone are very difficult, which is why it is important to speak to an attorney who knows what to do in these tough times.

When faced with child abuse allegations, our DCPP attorneys will present you in positive ways, which are otherwise tough to do alone. With an effective testimony and records, which can be presented to show your credibility, the system may begin to swing toward your side. Our team has been through this before, and will fight for you and your rights.

We believe your rights as a parent is one of the most important rights you have. Our team of skilled DCPP attorneys fight like you wouldn’t believe to help you protect your parenting rights. Give us a call on our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529), and we would be honored to help you defend your rights.

What Should I Do If DCPP Takes My Child?

Having DCPP, which was formerly known as DYFS, come to your front door is a scary thing, and it often makes people’s emotions run wild. If child welfare workers end up taking your child from your home, you may get the sense of helplessness, loneliness, and anger. These emotions cause people to do things without thinking, especially when it involved your child. Before reacting without thinking, it is important to understand what your first steps should be in order to get your child back sooner.

While speaking to one of our NJ DCPP attorneys is always the safest move, we have listed a few steps below that you can do right away:

Step 1: Find a Place For Your Child to Go

Oftentimes, child welfare workers will ask you if you have any friends or family who would be able to take care of your child for the time being. Most of the time, putting your child in the hands of family or friends is preferred over putting your child in foster care. So, if a child welfare worker asks you if you know anyone who can temporarily take care of your child, call around and try to find a safe and comfortable place for your child.

Step 2: Pick up the Phone, and Call an Attorney

If DCPP has taken your child from your home, then they have already issued a court order, or they will be pursuing one immediately. This order allows DCPP workers to to remove your child from your home. Once this occurs, contact our attorneys, as they will help you understand your rights and how to defend them. Not only that, but we will also explain how the child welfare process works and what you can expect, so that your mind is at ease going forward.

Step 3: Stay on Top of the Investigation

Before any big decisions are made on the final placement of your child, DCPP will investigate your case. It is important for you to stay involved throughout this process. Be sure to discuss your rights with an attorney, and bring your child back home by working with DCPP to develop a safety plan. It doesn’t matter if you feel like the child welfare workers are with or against you, staying involved and being cooperative will help DCPP make the decision which is best for your child.

Step 4: If You Don’t Like It, Don’t Agree to It

One of your rights is to disagree with the decisions DCPP makes. It is possible to appeal decisions that were made such as substantiated findings, as well as services DCPP would want you to use. While you have the opportunity to work with your case workers to ensure your child comes back home by devising safety plans, sometimes they make requests that are unreasonable and unfair. This is just one reason as to why an attorney is so important, as they can advise you on whether or not you should agree to any decisions or requests.

If your child was taken from you, and you are not sure what the next steps may be, it is important to remain calm and to not overreact. If you are unsure what to do, call our team of dedicated and smart New Jersey DCPP attorneys our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). We will be more than happy to help!

How Do Child Abuse Allegations Affect the Divorce Process?

Child abuse allegations play a very large role in the divorce process in New Jersey, as it mainly affects the custody of the child. When going through a divorce, the judge will look at many factors to decide on who gets custody of the child. If there are abuse and neglect allegations made which are supported by signs of physical trauma, psychological problems, and more, then the custody of the child will be a disputed issue in the divorce. Since custody affects parenting time and child support, it is clear to see how these child abuse allegations get in the way of the divorce process.

It should come as no surprise that the court wants to do what’s best for the child and their safety. Now, this doesn’t mean the abusive parent will never see their child again, but it does mean that he or she may have limited time to spend with their child, all while being supervised. The court may also require that the abusive parent and child spend time together in public places. On top of that, abusive parents may be ordered to counseling or mental health services, and must complete them before spending time with their child. Usually, the court tries to allow limited visitation so that the abusive parent stays motivated to better themselves.

When discussing custody, parenting time, and child support, child abuse allegations come into pay, and affect the outcome of each. These allegations will undoubtedly complicate a divorce, and reaching out to an experienced attorney would be a smart move. In this situation, our attorneys will help you understand your rights, as well as help you reach a custody agreement that is in the best interest of both your child. On top of that, if the court orders you to do certain activities so that you can have visitations, our experienced and knowledgeable DYFS attorneys will be there to ensure that those orders are reasonable.

If you are going through a situation very similar to this, reach out to our team of tough, smart and dedicated NJ DYFS attorneys. Be sure to call our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529), and we’ll be more than happy to help!

What are the DYFS Court Procedures?

What are the DYFS Court Procedures?

When New Jersey’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), which was formerly known as the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), gets a claim that you abused or neglected a child, they will initiate an action against you. Once this happens, you will need to immediately contact a lawyer, as attorney representation is important from the start. Once the case is initiated against you, DYFS will go through several court procedures. Below is a list of the several steps the court usually goes through in cases like these.

  1. File an Order to Show Cause and Complaint
  2. Preliminary hearing
  3. Discovery
  4. Fact-finding hearing
  5. Dispositional hearing
  6. Review hearings
  7. Permanency hearing

This process can be a grueling one, and can fuel many emotions. If you are looking for more clarity about DYFS court procedures, or if you are in need of a tough and smart team of lawyers, contact us through our 24 hour toll-free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). Our hardworking and dedicated attorney’s will be there with you every step of the way.

Understanding Abuse and Neglect Accusations in New Jersey

Child abuse and child neglect are two harmful actions towards children, which threaten the health, safety, and development of a child. Both child abuse and child neglect can result in a child welfare case, so contact a dependable New Jersey DYFS lawyer right away. While both of these actions are harmful to a child, they are both caused by different actions. Below, our NJ DYFS law firm will go into a bit more on how you can differentiate between child abuse and child neglect.

What is Child Abuse?

Children can be abused in many ways. Whether it be physical, emotional, or sexual, child abuse is when a parent or caregiver is harming a child, or putting that child at risk of harm. Abuse can happen once, or it can be a series of events done by the parent or caretaker. Inflicting physical injury, emotionally abusing a child, or involving a child in a sexual act are all examples of child abuse. Any of these can psychologically and physically damage a child.

What is Child Neglect?

Child neglect is just as harmful as child abuse, although it differs in the sense that there is a lack of action by the caregiver. Meaning, if a parent of caregiver doesn’t give their child the proper care needed as a child, such as sufficient shelter, clothing, food, medical care, supervision, and education. While neglect is usually a string of ongoing mistreatment, it can also occur from one instance.

Being able to distinguish the difference between these two terms is very important. It is crucial to understand your rights when discussing your child and his or her safety. If you are facing accusations that you have abused or neglected your child, our team of New Jersey custody lawyers are dedicated and hardworking individuals, determined to help you get your child into the right hands. Call our 24 hour toll-free hotline now at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) to discuss your case.

The Role of a Law Guardian in DYFS Cases

A law guardian is essentially your child’s defender. In legal situations, a child must have his or her voice heard, and in many family law cases, a law guardian can voice the wishes of the child. Law guardian’s are there to not only voice the child’s wishes, but they also serve to protect the interests of the child, independent of the parents’.

In cases involving child abuse, or in the event parental rights may be terminated, a law guardian is appointed. Both the law guardian and investigator will ask the child questions about the case, preparing them for court. If deemed necessary, evaluations like mental health evaluations may be coordinated by the law guardian. Although the law guardian is there to speak for the child, much like an attorney, they do not make the child’s decisions.

The law guardian has allegiance to the child, and the child alone, and has no affiliation with either of the parents or DYFS. Their sole purpose is to understand the wishes made by the child, and must present these wishes, as well as the child’s best interests, to the Court. Finding a skilled and caring law guardian is important, as they are the ones who help the child through the court process.

Consulting with a New Jersey DYFS attorney is highly advised if you are facing allegations of abuse and your parental rights are at stake. A well versed and experienced DYFS attorney can help you defend allegations of abuse or neglect made against you, helping you assert your rights in court. An attorney can also help you find out what the law guardian will say in regard to the child’s wishes, making sure the outcome of the case is fair and your child’s best interests are protected. If a law guardian is making your case difficult, we know how to fight back. Our team will fight for you, and will go to great lengths to make sure your case is strong.

If you are searching for an intelligent and reliable New Jersey DYFS lawyer, please contact our team at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). This 24/7 toll free hotline is made available to you so that you can reach us at any time, further showing our dedication to you.

Does an Attorney Have to Be at My DYFS Child Welfare Meeting?

When it comes to DYFS child welfare cases in New Jersey, we understand how stressful and emotional they can be. Your custody rights are on the line, along with the right to see your kid, and DYFS can be tough to handle without the proper representation. With so much on the line, it is a smart idea to rely on a trusting team of hardworking and dedicated New Jersey DYFS attorneys. If you are facing a child welfare hearing in the near future, you are going to want to be prepared so that you know what to expect when the time comes.

If your child must attend the hearing, they may be appointed a law guardian, who can represent your child in the case. This law guardian cannot represent you if they are representing your child, as this would be a conflict in interest. If you are facing a similar situation, a lawyer can help you articulate your side of the story, as well as your desires. If you believe the evidence against you is incorrect, our attorneys can obtain certain documents you would not be able to obtain, which would help you challenge the findings presented in the child protection investigation. Attorneys can also make sure that any requirements the court put in place are relevant and that they can be reasonably met.

It is important to obtain a lawyer who has experience with DYFS cases, and someone who is willing to go the extra mile to keep you informed and involved throughout this difficult and fearful time. Don’t put this much importance in the hands of someone who can’t handle it, so call our 24 hour toll-free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) and we’ll be happy to fight for you.

How to Appeal Child Investigation Findings

How to Appeal Child Investigation Findings

When it comes to findings in New Jersey, which are the outcomes of child protection investigations, not all are valid. These findings give DYFS the needed information to protect a child, as well as help the court put the necessary protections in place. Although DYFS works hard to protect children and their best interests, everybody makes mistakes, and you may disagree with their findings. If you disagree with what DYFS has found, then you have the right to appeal the findings from a child protection investigation.

Before appealing, it would be beneficial to understand a few things:

  • After DYFS makes their decision, you can only request an appeal of one kind of decision they made. Other findings can be appealed, but substantiated findings are appealed differently than findings that are not substantiated.
  • Once you have received the written notice of Substantiated findings, you must write your request of an administrative appeal hearing within the next 20 days.
  • If the findings are “Established” or “Not Established,” you have 45 days to file your Notice of Appeal with the Appellate Division.
  • While the hearing will be held in front of an administrative law judge, you will have the opportunity to argue your case and prevent evidence that will support your argument.

If you succeed in your appeal, the changed decision will be recorded, and copies of this change will be given to all parties who are interested such as law enforcement or other parties to the case.

Not many parents realize that DYFS makes wrong and uninformed decisions from time to time. If you do not agree with the decisions made in your child protection investigation, our team of highly intelligent lawyers can help. Be sure to call our 24/7 toll-free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529), and we’ll be happy to help.

How long does a DYFS case last?

How long does a DYFS case last?

Every DYFS case is different and how your case will last will be based on a number of factors. These include the people in your case (judge, lawyers, case worker, etc) as well as the facts (or allegations). Some cases are quick while other cases take long time. So while we can’t tell you how long your case will last (without talking to you at least) there are a number of ways to shorten the case.

The best way to shorten the case is to get a good lawyer right way. Too many people wait to see how things go. This is a bad move. The moves made at the first court appearance often set the tone of the rest of the case. If you make the wrong move, you could dig yourself a hole that it tough to dig out of. You can also otherwise delay things. We’ve seen this happen so many times because after several months, the client finally decided to hire us because things weren’t going well. Quite often, the reason for this was because of the mistake made in the beginning of the case. Had we been on the case from the start, the case may have been over by now.

You also need a clear plan and you must follow that plan 100%. You cannot make up your own plan as you go along. For example, if you decide to go to drug treatment, you must do it perfectly. Blowing off several dates will not only delay the case but can get you kicked out of the program.

If you’d like our help to speed up your DYFS cases, call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.

Should I do a DYFS hair follicle test?

Should I do a DYFS hair follicle test?

If DYFS wants you to do a hair follicle test, your case is probably not going well. This is because this test is not easily done and thus, it is rarely used. It is reserved for those cases where there are suspicions about the validity of a urine test or if there are other issues that require closer scrutiny. This test is preferred in those circumstances because the test cannot be adulterated and it goes back much farther than urine. This is also causes a bigger problem because it may not capture current usage but instead reveal prior usage that has since stopped.

If you accept it, you can be putting yourself at great danger. If you refuse, DYFS can take you to court. As a result, your best option is to seek the advice of a DYFS defense lawyer before doing anything. If you are facing a hair follicle test that was requested by DYFS, call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.

Should I give DYFS a urine test?

Should I give DYFS a urine test?

This is a tough one because you rarely have a lot of time to really think about it. If DYFS calls you to take one and you refuse, they will likely use it against you. Of course, if you take one and you fail, you’ll likely be in court. See the dilemma?

But you have nothing to hide right? Well the problem here is that with the DYFS providers you will go to, there seems to be a high chance of false positives. We’ve seen too many people test positive for heroin, cocaine and other drugs when there is no way they ever touched these drugs in their lives. Nevertheless, these false tests caused a lot of problems for them.

Don’t less this happen to you. If you can safely call a lawyer before you make any decision to give a urine test, you should do so. Call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.

Will DYFS talk to my kids at school?

Will DYFS talk to my kids at school?

DYFS will often seek to talk to your children at school. What’s worse is that they won’t give you notice that they are doing this. It’s not until your children come home from school that you learn that someone (the caseworker) pulled them out of class to pump them for information about you. This interview will not be recorded and who is to say if the case worker’s notes are correct?

There are a number of ways you can help prevent this. The best way to prevent this is to hire an experienced DYFS defense lawyer right away. Often times, your lawyer can negotiate with their lawyer to either prevent the children from being interviewed or doing so in a controlled environment.

Call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.

How do I prevent DYFS from talking to my children?

How do I prevent DYFS from talking to my children?

You can prevent DYFS from talking to your children outside of your presence by hiring a lawyer ASAP to help manage the case. A DYFS defense lawyer can negotiate with their lawyer to come up with a plan to close the case. In some cases, DYFS will just go away without requiring any further involvement. In other cases, much more is needed.

If DYFS can be assured through other means that the children are fine, they may forego an interview. Call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.  We can help you prevent the DYFS case worker from talking to your children.

Should I complain about my DYFS case worker?

Should I complain about my DYFS case worker?

This is another tough situation. You don’t want to let your case worker run all over you, but you don’t want to make things worse. I often tell my clients that I am the complaint department. Let me decide what to complain about and what not to complain about.

In most cases, the case worker’s supervisors will stick up for them. If the case worker has done anything wrong, you may run into denials unless you have concrete proof of them doing anything wrong.

The other problem you have is that you are going to be way too emotional about the situation and as a result, they may not listen to you. In fact, you’ll probably make things much worse. If you have a problem with a case worker, call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.

How can I get my kids out of foster care?

How can I get my kids out of foster care?

There are several ways to get your kids out of foster care. In some cases, the children are in foster care due to the allegations against you. If the allegations are disproven, then they should be returned to you.

More often than not, however, the kids are in foster care because of services that need to be completed such as drug treatment. Complete those services and you should be able to get them back. Of course, that’s easier said than done and it take a lot of time.

Your best bet to get them out quicker is to find a family member or friend that can take them. However, you can’t always rely on DYFS to come up with these solutions. You need an experienced defense attorney to come up with a good solution to get the kids out of foster care. If you need help with this, call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.

Should I let the DYFS case worker into my house?

Should I let the DYFS case worker into my house?

This is a tough question because you don’t usually have the time to research the issue when it is presented to you. In other words, if you get a knock on the door from the case worker, you don’t really have the ability to tell them no, let me go research this issue first.

Hopefully, you got some other indication that DYFS is investigating you so you are trying to determine what to do if they come to your house. Like many other issues, we can’t tell you what to do but we can discuss why your lawyer may have concerns with how you handle this.

The concern here is that you don’t know what will happen when they get in there. Will they see something that can cause a problem? Will they count your medication? Will they take an issue with the alcohol you have? Will they talk to your children?

Before you make any big mistakes, call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.

Should I hire a private lawyer for my DYFS case?

Should I hire a private lawyer for my DYFS case?

As a private lawyer, you’d think we’d tell you that yes, you should always hire a private lawyer. However, you’d be surprised to learn that this is not always the case. If you have enough money to afford a private lawyer, you don’t really have a choice. The court will not just give you a public defender; you have qualify for one.

However, some people have family members that can pay for their lawyers and as a result, there is a choice involved. You should not assume that all private lawyers are good and all public defender’s are bad. Some public defenders are really great and they help us create the law that we use every day. There are also many private lawyers that are horrible.

The big issue here is that with a public defender, you are stuck with who you get. With a private lawyer, you get to choose the person in advance to make sure that they are qualified. In addition, you can fire that person at anytime if they do not perform to your satisfaction.

To discuss your case, call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.