If officials suspect that your children are experiencing neglect, they may remove them from your home. A court hearing is sometimes necessary to evaluate the situation.
According to the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, hearings usually take place in a civil court. Legal officials require these proceedings so that they can understand your children’s living situation.
How many hearings do you attend?
A court may require several hearings to understand the welfare of the children. During the preliminary action, you can usually bring evidence to demonstrate that your children are safe in your home. An investigator also provides evidence. After listening to both testimonies, the judge usually moves either to dismiss the case or to continue the judicial proceedings. If a judge ruled that your children should live with a family member, for example, this official will periodically review the situation. You may also have to make changes at home. A judge usually wants to see that you are complying with the court’s requirements.
What happens during a hearing?
The judge usually hears several different testimonies about your children’s safety. You and your representative answer questions about your home life. A figure such as a guardian ad litem or an advocate generally makes a recommendation based on what they think is best for your children. The judge uses all of this evidence to decide whether your children should return to your home and what steps you may need to take.
Sometimes, a judge could require you to bring significant documentation to a hearing. You may want to finish preparing these documents the night before so that you can focus on the proceedings.