Juvenile Court Issues

Juvenile Court cases can involve children that are not being treated appropriately by the adults who are responsible for them. Some of those issues are addressed below:

D&N - Dependency and Neglect: This is defined as an act, or failure to act, on the part of a parent or caretaker that results in the death, serious physical or emotional harm, or sexual abuse, which places the child in an imminent risk of serious harm. When these issues arise the Juvenile Court will point or order the assistance of a Guardian ad Litem. A Guardian ad Litem is an attorney for the minor child or children. It is their job to advocate for what is in the child or children's best interest.

Guardianships: A guardian is a person who has the legal authority and the corresponding duty to care for the personal and property interests of another person. Usually, a person has the status of guardian because the individual is incapable of caring for his or her own interests due to infancy, incapacity, or disability. Many times children determined to be dependent and neglected are put under the care of a legal guardian.

Parental Termination: If the dependency and neglect issues are not resolved correctly the parents' rights may be terminated. This can be done voluntarily or involuntarily. Courts and judges make decisions about terminating parental rights based on a variety of factors. Birth parents' rights must be terminated before a child can be adopted.