Tennessee Dependency and Neglect Proceedings Attorney
Brighter Day Law’s Legal Team Handles Dependent and Neglect Cases in Chatham, Davidson County, Montgomery County, Sumner County, Robertson County, Williamson County, Wilson County, and Throughout Middle Tennessee
In Tennessee, the Department of Children’s Services and private parties such as relatives, teachers, or even neighbors and family friends can file a petition to the Juvenile Court on behalf of children who are alleged to be both dependent and neglected. The court will have jurisdiction in these proceedings and they are designed to safeguard the physical and emotional well-being of dependent and neglected children. For assistance with such cases or if you or a loved one know of a dependent child suffering from neglect, contact Brighter DaySM Law’s Tennessee dependency and neglect proceedings attorney today.
Table of Contents
- Understanding the Laws that Apply to Dependent and Neglect Cases in Tennessee
- Bring Forth a Dependent and Neglect Case for a Victimized Loved One with Our Tennessee Dependency and Neglect Proceedings Attorney
- Removal of a Child from Their Home or Transferring Custody in a Dependency and Neglect Case
- Obtain the Guardianship of a Child with Our Tennessee Dependency and Neglect Proceedings Attorney
- Contact Brighter Day Law’s Tennessee Dependency and Neglect Proceedings Attorney for Assistance with Your Case
- Frequently Asked Questions
Understanding the Laws that Apply to Dependent and Neglect Cases in Tennessee
As per Tennessee state law, dependent and neglected children are those who meet any of the following criteria:
- They are without a parent, guardian, or legal custodian;
- They have a parent, guardian, or someone they live with but that individual is not fit for caring for and fulfilling the needs of the child, whether due to cruelty, mental incapacity, or depravity;
- They are unlawfully kept out of school;
- They are under the unlawful or improper care, supervision, custody, or restraint by a person or institution of any kind;
- They are under the care of an individual, whether a parent, guardian, or custodian who refuses or neglects to provide the child with the medical care they require;
- Their health and/or morals are in danger of harm due to inappropriate or improper guardianship or a lack of supervision;
- They suffer from outright abuse and/or neglect or are allowed, encouraged, or permitted to participate or engage in acts such as prostitution or pornography.
Bring Forth a Dependent and Neglect Case for a Victimized Loved One with Our Tennessee Dependency and Neglect Proceedings Attorney
If someone you know is a minor dependent and is neglected, you can petition for the case to be heard in court. However, the burden of proof will rest on you and you must provide clear and convincing proof that the child in question is, in fact, a dependent and is neglected. Similarly, if you find yourself in a position of having to defend against such a petition that was filed against you, you will have to submit proof that the allegations being made against you are untrue.
In any dependent and neglect case where the court finds that a child meets the dependency and neglect definitions outlined by the law, the court can then move on to dispositional proceedings. This is when the court decides on a custodial arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. There are many factors that the court will consider when making these determinations, so speak with our Tennessee dependency and neglect proceedings attorney for a comprehensive walkthrough of the rules that apply to specific cases and what to expect once your case is filed until the case is closed.
Removal of a Child from Their Home or Transferring Custody in a Dependency and Neglect Case
In some cases, a child may be removed from their parent’s home by the Department of Children Services. The parents may even have their parental rights terminated or suspended. The DCS is required by law to act when a child is abused, has been in foster care for 15 of the previous 22 months, or was abandoned under the age of one.
The custody of the dependent and neglected child can also be transferred to someone else besides the parents if the child has no parent, guardian, or legal custodian, or has such caregivers who are not fit to care for them or they meet any of the dependency and neglect definitions provided above.
Obtain the Guardianship of a Child with Our Tennessee Dependency and Neglect Proceedings Attorney
Brighter DaySM Law’s Tennessee dependency and neglect proceedings attorney can help you find or appoint a qualified individual to be the permanent guardian of a dependent and neglected child. This person can be any individual that has an appropriate and significant relationship with the child. The state can make these determinations – after gathering input from DCS – if the child is in state custody. Otherwise, the relatives or non-relative caregivers who have the physical or legal custody of the child may file for becoming the child’s permanent legal guardian.
The appointed individual must be emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially compatible with the child and must be able to provide the child with a safe and permanent home. They must also express their commitment to raising the child until the child is at least 18 years old, and they must be willing to comply with court orders regarding the parental rights of the child’s biological or legal parents.
Contact Brighter Day Law’s Tennessee Dependency and Neglect Proceedings Attorney for Assistance with Your Case
Dependency and neglect cases can be traumatizing as well as physically and emotionally draining – both on you as well as the children involved in the case. For expert assistance from our dependent and neglect attorney, contact us today. With an expert understanding of Tennessee family law, our team can help you navigate the legal landscape so that you can resolve and come to a suitable determination for a dependent and neglected child in a dependency and neglect case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. The modification or termination of a guardianship order can be requested by a child’s permanent guardian, the child themselves if they are over 16 years old, the child’s legal parent(s), the state, or the court. Any determination regarding modifications or the termination of an existing order will be based on any new evidence provided by the petitioner and the best interests of the child.
Photo or video evidence as well as eyewitness testimony, doctor’s statements, and the personal or criminal histories of neglectful and/or abusive caregivers can all be used in dependency and neglect proceedings. This evidence can be difficult to gather – and it can be difficult to defend against if it is brought forth against you – so speak with our Tennessee dependency and neglect proceedings attorney for expert handling of your case.