Juvenile Law covers child delinquency issues, certain types of custody issues, as well as concerns of abuse, neglect, and dependency of a minor child. Juvenile courts also deal with certain child support cases, grandparent rights, and establishing paternity. Our office takes juvenile law cases in Montgomery, Greene, Clark, Miami, and Warren County.
Delinquency occurs when a minor child gets involved in a criminal issue. The delinquency process for children under the age of 18 is much different than the criminal process for adults. The main goal of delinquency courts is to rehabilitate the child and make sure they can get their future on track. There are several different programs, classes, etc. that are typically offered to youth who have gotten involved in the legal system. The process can, understandably, be frightening and confusing. Our office can help navigate the system and put your mind at ease when in a very difficult situation.
Custody and Child Support
Custody issues arise when people have conflicting opinions on who a child should live with and who should have decision-making authority when it comes to the child. Child custody cases take place in the juvenile court when the parents of the child are not married, or the custody issue includes an individual who is not a parent of the child (ex. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc.). Our office understands that our clients just want what is best for the child(ren) whom the parties are concerned about—and we help them achieve the best possible result for the kids! We know that your kids are of the highest priority and that the court does not always have all the information they need to make such an important decision.
Juvenile Courts will also make determinations and changes in child support to cases in which the parents of the child or children in custody were never married. Child support is of the utmost importance, and making sure that a child is provided for, while also not taking advantage of the paying party, is a balance that can be difficult to obtain. The court system can be flawed and, though it tries, it does not always do what is in the best interest of the child. That’s where we come in! Our office will make sure that the court sees the entire picture and gets the information they need to do what is best for you and your family.
In many states, if a child’s parents want to refuse to allow a grandparent to see their grandchild, the parents have the right to do so. However, in Ohio, the courts recognize Grandparent Rights. This means that if parents do not wish for a grandparent to see their grandchild, the grandparent can file for visitation with the court. These type of family dynamics can be messy and confusing to the court. Our job is to clear up that confusion and help the court see why our client’s interests are the child’s best interest.
Establishing paternity is important in situations where the parents of the child or children are unmarried. If you are unmarried when a child is born, the child will not have a legal father and the father’s name will not be placed on the birth certificate unless the parents establish him as the legal father. In Ohio, paternity can be established in several ways. First, it can be established at the time of birth in the hospital. It can also be established afterward with the local registrar or local child support agency. Finally, paternity can be established by an acknowledgment of the paternity affidavit. Our office can help you figure out the best and most convenient way to establish paternity based on your situation.
Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Cases
Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency cases arise when there is some concern for the child’s well-being in the current home in which they are living. When allegations arise concerning one of these three issues, the child is typically removed from the home temporarily. The court will often work toward reunification and work with the entire family, as well as anyone else who is frequently involved with the child, to make that happen.
An allegation of abuse means that there has been some type of non-accidental harm that has come to the child. An allegation of neglect means that the court has found one of the following:
• The child has been abandoned by their parent or guardian
• The child lacks adequate care due to the faults or habits of the child’s parent or guardian
• The parents or guardian of the child neglect or refuse to provide proper/necessary food, medical treatment, or other necessities for the child’s health, morals, or over-all well-being
• The parents or guardian of the child refuses or neglect to provided special care that is necessary for the child’s mental condition
• The child suffers from some physical or mental injury that was caused by the omission of the parent or guardian
• The child is subject to out of home care child neglect
When allegations of neglect arise, they are typically focused on the wrong-doing of the parents or guardians—much like allegations of abuse. Dependency, on the other hand, focuses more on the condition of the child, rather than any type of fault by the parent or guardian. A child can be found to be “dependent” in any of the following circumstances:
• The child is homeless, destitute, or without adequate parental care (but through no fault of the child’s parent or guardian)
• The child lacks adequate parental care because of the parent or guardian’s mental or physical condition
• The child’s own condition or environment is such that it warrants the state to assume guardianship of the child.
In abuse, neglect, or dependency cases, it is typical for each party to receive separate counsel to represent their individual interest. This means that the child will have an attorney, and each parent or guardian will have their own representation. Regardless of who our client is, we will work our absolute hardest to make sure that the child and family are safe, healthy, and happy. Courts are often presented a very one-sided view of a very complex situation. Our office helps present the entire story to the court and get the safest and best outcome for you and your children.
An attorney at Arnold & Arnold, Ltd. can provide reliable legal guidance in all areas of Juvenile Law and ensure you receive individual answers based on your unique estate plan. Please contact us with your questions and talk with our Juvenile Law Attorney in Dayton, OH. We look forward to building a relationship and advising you on your legal matters. Our Juvenile Law Lawyer has handled numerous cases in this field of law.
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