Tag Archives: child protection

The role of Guardian ad Litem taking shape:

Family Court Judges and Domestic Relations Commissioners have long used private, independent lawyers to facilitate resolving custodial and timeshare disputes in divorces. These lawyers are appointed by the judge as a Guardian ad Litem who is to, in some manner or another, look out for the children involved. The role of that Guardian ad Litem (or GAL) can be a confusing and ambiguous thing. However, the Supreme Court of Kentucky has issued… Continue reading

Posted in Child custody, child protection, Divorce / Dissolution of Marriage, Divorce lawyer tactics, Evidence, Family Law, Time-share | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is Environmental Neglect of a Child

I finished a five hour long hearing (known as a CAPTA hearing) appealing the finding of neglect by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Protection and Permanency (“Cabinet”). I will not know the outcome of this for at least thirty (30) days and even then the recommendation by the hearing officer will not be final. So, I do not want to comment on this specific case. However, it was an “environmental neglect” investigation that resulted in a finding of neglect and I discovered in the hearing that the investigation worker did not even know the regulatory requirements for…. Continue reading

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A Time of Renewal

….So, if you, a friend, or a family member is going through a family law crisis, please let them know my name. I would be glad to meet with them and see if I am the right attorney for them. Continue reading

Posted in Child custody, child protection, Divorce lawyer tactics, ethics, Family Law, Life & Law, Solo - Small Firm Practice, Time-share | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cabinet for Health & Family Services encounter a limit on their authority

The Cabinet can no longer base a finding of abuse or neglect merely on refusal to sign a plan and parents should not cave to the threat of legal action for mere refusal to sign. Instead, “the risk of harm must be more than a mere theoretical possibility, but an actual and reasonable potential for harm.” Make no mistake: I want parents to be held accountable and for the Cabinet to be able to keep children safe from abuse and neglect, but they cannot have unchecked power and discretion in pursuing their mandates. Parents do have rights in this country. Continue reading

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Best Practice in Dependency, Abuse & Neglect Matters

I am writing this to correct any idea that I inadvertently promoted that being adversarial with the Cabinet is the way to win your case (I mean adversarial in the sense of ones attitude rather than in the sense that the court process is an adversarial process). Those criticisms are designed mainly for a global change in the system through political action; they are not meant to fuel a personal vendetta in an individual case. Continue reading

Posted in child protection, Family Law, Life & Law | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Stall Tactic – Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

Kentucky sets forth the grounds for a court involuntarily terminating parental rights in KRS 625.090. The statute basically gives the essential elements, all of which much be proved by the heightened standard of “clear and convincing” evidence: the child has … Continue reading

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Accountability by the courts

A decsion rendered by the Kentucky Court of Appeals on May 16, 2008 reveals that the appellate courts are prepared to hold the Cabinet for Health and Family Services accountable in termination of parental rights cases. There are very few … Continue reading

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