Family Law

Abuse, Neglect & Dependency

Experienced Abuse, Neglect & Dependency Representation in Portage County

Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency

Families are the cornerstone of our society, but sometimes a separation of child(ren) and family occurs when the safety and welfare of a child is potentially at risk. When the State is forced to intervene inside a home on behalf of a child for the reason of abuse, neglect, and/or dependency, a child may be separated from his/her home and family until a case plan with the county children protective agency is complete. This ensures the risk has been removed and the child may successfully return home. There are several outcomes that may occur, including foster care, depending on the ability of the parent(s) to address the risk and concerns of the State.

Abused Child

A child who exhibits evidence of physical or mental injury other than by accident. Ohio Revised Code §2151.031

Neglected Child

A child who is abandoned by the child's parents or who lacks adequate care because of the parents' failure to provide care. Ohio Revised Code §2151.03

Dependent Child

A child is without adequate parental care, such as to warrant the State assuming the child's guardianship for the child's protection. Ohio Revised Code §2151.04

An abuse, neglect, or dependency action commences with the State filing a complaint in court, alleging that a child is abused, neglected, and/or dependent. Along with the complaint, the State may seek a temporary order from the court removing the child from a dangerous environment or for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment.

Parents or guardians are notified of the filing of the legal action and receive a copy of the complaint along with any motions for temporary orders. The court schedules the case for an adjudication hearing where the court will determine whether the allegations of the complaint are true.

If a juvenile court finds that the child is abused, neglected, and/or dependent, the court has broad discretion to fashion a disposition which protects the child. Among the many dispositional alternatives available, the court may place the child in protective supervision, into the custody of the Children's Services Board, into the custody of a relative or foster parent, or the court may impose a planned permanent living arrangement.