In Maryland, family members have the legal right to prevent abuse and neglect of minor children. These opportunities allow these adult family members to submit an action in court to protect these children. Family Law Lawyers in Timonium MD help these individuals navigate through these difficult waters without major issues.
An Imminent Risk
The first task for these family members is to contact child protective services. They must establish an imminent risk to the child by the biological parent. This risk could relate to a variety of circumstances. However, the most common is drug or alcohol addiction. The petitioner must show how the biological parent is a risk to the child’s welfare. Once child protective services are contacted, they take action and visit the home. If signs are present that the child is at risk, the social worker can take possession of the child and remove them immediately.
Securing Custody of the Child
The first action that these family members can take is to seek temporary custody of the child. Once the social worker secures evidence of abuse or neglect, the family member has the opportunity to hire an attorney and address the court. By addressing the court, the family member could acquire temporary custody of the child pending a formal hearing. If the judge believes the child is at risk, temporary custody is assigned. However, this family member must have a home for the child and the financial means to support him or her.
The Final Hearing
After one year, the biological parent must appear at a new court hearing. This hearing gives them the opportunity to regain custody of their child. During these proceedings, they must show that they have corrected the issue identified initially. If the risk was related to drugs or alcohol, the parent must show evidence of completion of a treatment program.
In Maryland, any family member who believes a child is at risk has the option to seek custody. These assignments are temporary in the initial stages. However, if the court finds a risk to the child that continues, the individual could acquire permanent guardianship for the child. Individuals who wish to acquire custody should hire Family Law Lawyers in Timonium MD by contacting Maria Caruso.