All posts tagged: dcf

Veterans in Family Law Cases

Words cannot describe what a pleasure it is to represent those who serve our country in the armed forces, especially those who have recently returned from some far off place that I’ve only read about, or seen on CNN.  It’s not just the thought of helping someone who has put their life on the line for our national defense; it’s also the organization and discipline they bring to a case from an administrative stand point.  If I need a particular document to prove some factual or legal point during the representation, they get me the document immediately.  If I ask for a piece of information, they will move the earth to obtain and relay the information, often before I am ready to process it.  Unfortunately, most people do not possess that level of discipline. But as with all good things, these otherwise positive traits and life experiences can come at a cost. Armed forces personnel seem to develop a sense of discipline that can, for some, result in an abnormally high degree of frustration when confronted with life stressors that are beyond …

Adopting Children when the Parents do not Consent

Adoptions are joyous and pleasant events for both the petitioners and the child involved. Those who file a petition for adoption are seeking to become legal parents of a child, sometimes for the first time.  However, not every adoption case is uncontested, and on rare occasions, a parent or both parents will refuse to consent to the adoption petition and ask the judge to deny the adoption. Consent is the most important issue in any adoption case. You might even conclude, with a fair amount of accuracy, that it is the only issue since the adoption cannot be granted without consent in one form or another. However, a common misconception is that the parents must express their consent through a signed document for the adoption to be granted. This is not true. In order for an adoption to be granted in Florida or in Alabama, the parents must consent to the adoption.   The easiest and simplest way to accomplish this legal requirement is through a signed and notarized consent to adoption. The standard consent …

Abused and Neglected Children: Who’s watching out for them these days?

I’ve met a lot of foster children over the years.  The vast majority of them are there for reasons that I could explain, but never justify.  Drugs, neglect and worst of all outright abuse put thousands of children in foster care every year.  I could tell war story after heart breaking war story all day, but in the end those children will still end up in foster care.  Still others are abused, but are able to escape foster care by landing a placement with a relative.  While the case is heard in court, and until the case is closed, somebody will be responsible for watching over these children, listening to them, advocating for them at court and, in general, helping them through a terrible chapter in their lives by protecting their best interests.  The person charged with that responsibility is called a Guardian ad litem, or GAL for short. The GAL is simply the most important player in any family law case.  The GAL is appointed to represent the child(ren), and to make recommendations to the court that …