A mother embracing her son as he cries.

How to Prepare for a Shelter Hearing

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) has a hotline where people can report incidents of domestic violence involving children. The DCF takes these reports very seriously. They send out investigators to check on the kids and the situation. If the investigators determine that the allegations have merit, they will remove the children from the home.

What Is a Shelter Hearing?

A shelter hearing is held after the DCF removes children from their home because of concerns of abuse or abandonment. After removing the kids from their homes, the DCF has temporary custody of the children. A shelter hearing will be held within 24 hours of the kids being removed from their home. Shelter hearings are designed to determine whether the DCF should retain temporary custody of the children or the kids should be returned to their home.

What Happens During a Shelter Hearing?

Prior to the shelter hearing, the DCF provides the judge with an affidavit with a description of their findings and the allegations they’ve made against the children’s parents or guardians. During a shelter hearing, the judge will review the information provided by the DCF to determine if there was probable cause for removing the children from the home.

In addition, important issues such as placement, the children’s educational and medical needs, and visitation are addressed during shelter hearings. If the judge determines that the DCF had probable cause to remove the children, the kids will either be placed with a family member (if it’s safe) or in foster care.

If you’re facing a shelter hearing, the best way to prepare is to discuss your situation with an experienced dependency defense and child custody attorney. These attorneys have helped others through this process and know what to expect. They can help you prepare and ensure that you have a legitimate opportunity to regain custody of your kids.

Schedule a No-Obligation Consultation with Our Experienced Child Custody and Dependency Defense Lawyers

If the DCF has taken your children, you don’t have time to waste. Your shelter hearing will happen much faster than you realize, and you need to be prepared. Our experienced child custody and dependency defense attorneys at Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa can make sure that you are prepared and in the best possible position to get your kids back.

We understand what it takes to help parents regain custody of their children. Our legal team has years of experience successfully helping clients with shelter hearings, dependency defense, and other child custody matters.

To learn more about Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa, and why we’re the right choice to help you with your shelter hearing and dependency defense, read our clients’ reviews.

For more information about shelter hearings and dependency defense in Florida, or to speak with our experienced family law attorneys about your situation, give us a call at (305) 853-9161 or contact us online today for a no-obligation consultation.