DCF Lawyers Pinellas County, FL

T he Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) or the local Sheriff’s Office Child Protection Investigators investigate all allegations of child abuse or child neglect.

Based upon their investigations, the State of Florida can bring two types of legal actions against parents:

Dependency Actions

As soon as DCF or local law enforcement contacts you, you should contact Saint Petersburg family law attorneys who can assist you during the investigation stage.  A dependency action is a legal process brought by the State of Florida.  If a parent is reported for suspected child neglect or child abuse, the child protection investigator must investigate the claim.  The investigation could lead to removal of the children from the family home and temporary placement in foster care.

If you are accused of child abuse or neglect in a dependency action, you need to immediately contact skilled, caring legal counsel to help you get your children back or to defend you against the allegations.  At Barnett Woolums, P.A., in Pinellas County, Florida, we are skilled in representing parents in these actions and are ready to aggressively defend you.

Termination of Parental Rights

The State of Florida can bring legal action to permanently sever parental rights so that a child becomes eligible for adoption. Grounds for termination of parental rights may be:

  • Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest
  • Abuse or neglect
  • Felony conviction/incarceration
  • Failure of reasonable efforts
  • Abuse or neglect or loss of rights of another child

  • Sexual abuse
  • Child’s best interest
  • Child in care 15 of 22 months (or less)
  • Felony assault of child or sibling
  • Murder/manslaughter of sibling child

The following are conditions where an action might be brought, but are not grounds for termination of parental rights:

  • Alcohol or drug-induced incapacity
  • Failure to maintain contact

  • Failure to provide support
  • Failure to establish paternity

If your parental rights are being threatened, contact us today.  We’ll fight to protect your parental rights.