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Unlike a criminal case, a family case is less confrontational. The question is usually presented on a much smaller scale than one can imagine. If a child is placed in foster care for twelve (12) months or more, a case called a foster review will be filed with the Family Court. The court decides what to do with the foster child. This examination could result in the loss of custody of their child by a parent or the return of a child to their parents. If a child remains in foster care, there must be another hearing within a year. The parent has the right to a lawyer for a foster care examination. If a child has been removed from the parental home due to certain serious problems, the Ministry of Social Services may decide that the problems cannot be resolved within a reasonable period of time, usually 12 months after the removal of the child. In this situation, the ministry can file an application for permanent negligence to ask the court to terminate the parents` parental rights and give the child up for adoption.

Sometimes a child is removed from a home with the permission of their parents or guardians. Unless the parent or guardian has signed a document permitting the eviction, the party is entitled to a hearing on the removal of the child from the home. The Family Court deals primarily with the problems of children and their families. The court hears the following cases: At the end of your hearing, the judge will tell you the next step in your case. If an additional consultation is required, it is usually scheduled for 30 to 90 days. Before your hearing, you need to create a parenting plan. If you and your ex-spouse can`t agree on a parenting plan, you must each submit separate plans. After reviewing the two submitted plans, the judge will issue a final order on the parental plans. When one parent receives primary custody, the other parent is usually granted access rights. However, the courts prefer that lawyers and parents work together to ensure a fair visiting schedule.

The court shall, where appropriate, fix the date. In some cases of juvenile delinquency that do not involve serious acts of violence, probation officers may interview the person who filed the complaint, the police officer and the accused child to see if the case can be resolved without going to court and to decide whether the child should be sent home or temporarily detained. No one can be forced to talk to probation officers at this time. What is said during the interrogation is not disclosed unless the court concludes that it is a crime. A PIN application may be filed (once written approval from the probation service is available) to ask the court at the decision hearing to order the treatment or supervision of the child. Like a young offender, a PIN can be locked up in an institution, placed in a group home, placed on probation supervision or conditionally released. The results and findings of custodial hearings are often summarized in a court order and can be used in the future if necessary. Family Court Clerk State employee, responsible for the offices of the county family court and its operations. If the court was unable to resolve the dispute at a previous hearing, it will hold a longer hearing, which will give the parties time to comment and usually call witnesses to testify. Probation Officer The probation officer works for the county probation department. As a general rule, no probation officer is present in family court unless the judge requests his presence.

Sometimes the judge asks the probation division to gather information about the people involved in a case and report back to the court. Aggressive, creative and compassionate are words that Ben Stevens` colleagues freely use to describe him as a divorce and family law lawyer. Mr. Stevens is a member of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers and is a Certified Family Trial Lawyer with the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is one of only two lawyers in South Carolina to receive these awards simultaneously. He has held numerous leadership positions within the AAML and is currently one of its National Vice Presidents. M. Stevens has a statewide practice and appears regularly throughout South Carolina. Her practice focuses on complex divorce and custody cases. At the hearing, ask your lawyer to lead the entire conversation. If you want to talk, talk to your lawyer first about what you mean.

Even if you want to speak in court, the things you say without talking to your lawyer could hurt your case. Hearings can be quite intimidating, especially if you don`t know what to expect and when custody of your child is at stake. At a custody hearing, a judge decides who the child lives with primarily, who makes the child`s most important life decisions regarding health, religion and education, the timing of visits for the non-custodial parent, and the visit of the grandparents. A judge will look at a parent`s financial situation and resources because a court must ensure that a parent is able to care for a child`s vital financial needs, such as food and shelter. In addition, child support may be determined at the same hearing, or a child support hearing may be based on the information used at the custody hearing. At the first custody hearing, both parents must testify before the judge about their custody proposals. The judge may ask you specific questions to help him understand your case and/or help him decide on the best interests of your child. It is important that you only answer the question that the judge asks you. It is contrary to judicial etiquette to answer your question with an unrelated question. A parent who wants more information about what to expect at a custody hearing should speak to their lawyer or attend a public custody hearing to prepare for the custody case. The best thing parents can do is prepare in advance.

By preparing, a parent is best placed to win their custody record. A judge considers many factors when making a custody decision. In a custody dispute, the court makes this decision based on the best interests of the child. Some cases have only one hearing, while more complicated cases can have up to 10. In the first court case – the first appearance – the judge will briefly review the application and explain the charges or requests for exemption. The judge will also explain what the rights of the parties involved in the cases are, unless the parties are represented by lawyers. In some cases, the judge will hire a lawyer for a person who cannot afford to pay one (see below, „Who Can Get a Lawyer”) and may issue a subpoena for the other person. In certain special circumstances involving serious allegations, the judge may order an arrest warrant. Hearings rarely last more than 30 minutes.

They take place in a courtroom open to the public; Expect other people, including those waiting for their own hearings, to watch. If you don`t understand why you were called to family court, ask your lawyer to explain it. You have the right to obtain a copy of the application from the court. If you have not received it, ask to see a copy of the petition and other court documents. To determine child benefits, whether it is a single or joint custody agreement, a judge must determine a parent`s income. You should be prepared to provide proof of your income to the court. The judge will also consider other financial obligations such as debts or other children that you may consider in their decision. Custodial hearings are usually very short. Most hearings last less than two hours. The length of the hearing depends on how many problems there are in your case. If you only have one small problem to solve, the hearing can last up to 20 minutes.

It is also possible that other people are waiting in the courtroom for their hearings. This might postpone your hearing and it might not start in time. An audience to see how things are going. In general, the court will only give instructions to prepare the case for trial, or orders that have been agreed. If the hearing is the first hearing, it is likely that the court will focus on identifying the contentious issues and determining what steps to take before a final decision can be made – the court does not always resolve the case at the first hearing, although this is possible if the issues are agreed. Inform by mail or in person of a scheduled hearing or other formal legal proceedings. If a judge decides that the things said in the motion are true (proven) and that there is an appeal, a decision hearing is held. The decision hearing begins immediately after the end of the factual hearing or is scheduled for another day. At the decision hearing, the judge decides what to do with the allegations proven at the factual hearing.

Depending on the reason for your hearing, you may also want to present the judge with a proposed parenting plan and plan so that he or she understands what you think is best for your children. Bring enough copies for you, the other parent and the judge. Custody of a child means that a person is legally responsible for caring for the child. Access rights are sometimes granted by the court to persons who no longer have custody of their child but who have permission from the court to see the child at certain times. If paternity is proven or admitted, the judge signs a parentage order, an official court document stating that the person is the child`s father. .