Divorce Lawyer Edmonton | Child Welfare Cases in Court
One of the most important things that parents need to understand says divorce lawyer Edmonton. Is that there are many laws that are protecting the welfare of children within the province. This is because children are extremely vulnerable. And cannot protect themselves.
The act that governs child welfare in Alberta is called the child youth family and enhancement act. This act is extremely comprehensive, and lays out all of the rules related to child welfare laws. And can be read in its entirety online for free.
However, if parents or guardians have found themselves to have a complaint about child welfare against them. Divorce lawyer Edmonton suggests they find independent legal counsel. Because they will need to know what their rights are, and how they should move forward.
Because the child youth family and enhancement act takes child welfare so seriously. It actually legally obligates anyone who believes the child is in need of intervention. To report that to child and family services.
This will allow the government agency to thoroughly investigate the claim. In order to discover if this is the case, or if that complaint is unfounded.
However, citizens need to understand. That if they do not make report, and it is proven that they suspected that the child needed help. And they did not report it. They could face legal ramifications.
This is designed in order to protect children who need it the most. Children who have their safety, security or development endangered.
Divorce lawyer Edmonton says ultimately, this means if children are abandoned, lost, or who have run away from home. Or if their parent or guardian has passed away. Is in need of intervention.
But it also means, that if they are being neglected, subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. Or being harmed physically, emotionally or sexually. Either by their guardian. Or if there guardian fails to protect them from that abuse. This also means that they are in need of intervention.
In any of these circumstances, child and family services will launch an investigation. And because child welfare is taken extremely seriously in Alberta. They have extremely broad and far-reaching powers. That they can use to investigate the complaint.
This means they are able to speak to the parents or guardians directly. Speak directly to the child themselves, away from those parents and guardians. As well as come into the home to investigate the being conditions of the family.
It will also be able to speak to third parties, such as teachers, other family members like siblings or grandparents. And people like neighbours who may have witnessed something.
At the conclusion of their investigation. They can either claim that the complaint was unfounded and close the case. Or, they can create a family enhancement agreement. That will help parents or guardians address concerns that were raised by the investigation.
Or, if child and family services believe that the child is in such danger, that they cannot wait for they parents or guardians to fix issues. They can take the case directly to court. Where there will be a trial, and a judge will be called upon to rule on what is best for the child.
Divorce Lawyer Edmonton | What Happens With Child Welfare Cases in Court
There are two different ways that a child welfare case can go to court says divorce lawyer Edmonton. Either after an investigation by child and family services.
They have refused to sign a family enhancement agreement. Which forces the case to trial. Or, child and family services can believe that the child is in enough danger. That they need to take the matter directly to court first.
If child and family services believe that the child is in extreme danger, divorce lawyer Edmonton says what they will first do is apply for an apprehension order
In order to get an apprehension order, they need to go before a judge and present evidence. And that judge will then grant them the ability to temporarily seize custody of that child.
This is truly not the direction that child and family services will want to take the case. They try to preserve the family through any means necessary. However, for serious cases of neglect or abuse. This may be necessary.
Parents or guardians of the child will not get prior warning that there is been an apprehension order filed. And will often receive the paperwork after the fact.
Parents or guardians who have had a child seized due to an apprehension order. Should contact a lawyer. And if they are unable to afford one. There are many different legal organizations across Alberta. That will help parents when they find themselves in this situation.
After they have had a child apprehended. Child and family services will have forty-two days to file a substantive matter. The substantive matter is going to help direct the trial.
And it typically will give parents the option of having a supervision order, a temporary guardianship order, or permanent guardianship order. If the judge does not rule in the parents favour.
However, once the substantive application is filed. There will also be at an initial custody hearing. That will determine who gets custody of the child while awaiting trial.
Child and family services will apply for initial custody. Parents or guardians can either agree to it, or they can oppose it. If they do oppose it, then a hearing will occur. Right in front of the judge.
Both sides will have an opportunity to present their evidence. And then the judge will make a decision on who should have custody based on what is in the best interest of that child.
Once initial custody is granted. Parents or guardians will have to wait to several months or even a year or longer. In order to have their matter before the court.
This can happen very quickly. And be very overwhelming says divorce lawyer Edmonton. Is why parents who find themselves in court with child and family services.
Should contact independent legal counsel. So that they can navigate the legal system effectively.