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Child Dependency, Abuse & Neglect

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Child Dependency, Abuse & Neglect


Child Dependency, Abuse and Neglect cases are among the most frightening in Family Court. When allegations of dependency, neglect or abuse are made, its essential to have a zealous, fearless and experienced attorney by your side. This is true whether you are a parent seeking to protect your child or facing wrongful or malicious/ false allegations of abuse.  For 5 of the 11 years that she served as a prosecutor, Meridith handled all dependency, neglect and abuse cases brought in McCracken County.  This background gives her invaluable experience in all stages of dependency, neglect and abuse cases and the critical knowledge necessary to protect your interests. 

When charges are made to the Child Abuse Hotline, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is statutorily obligated to conduct a timely investigation.  The Cabinet must investigate some charges within forty-eight hours, while in other cases, the Cabinet has up to thirty days in order to complete its investigation.  The investigative social worker has the right to interview all relevant parties.  This includes the ability to interview a child without a parent’s consent.  In the event that the investigative worker is seeking to interrogate a suspected wrongdoer, it is essential to have counsel present when the initial investigation of Abuse and/or Neglect is undertaken. 

In the event that the Cabinet files a Petition, the initial court date is scheduled for a temporary removal hearing.  This is perhaps the most important hearing during the pendency of the case.  At the temporary removal hearing, the Court decides whether to allow the child to remain with the parent, to place the child in the temporary custody of a friend or family member, or, in the most serious cases, to place the child in foster care.

 A Family Court is obligated to conduct a bench trial to determine whether the allegations in the initial petition are true.  Proper investigation and preparation are essential in order to make certain that the trial is conducted in a fair and reasonable manner.  If the Court finds that the allegations are true, the case is continued for a final hearing called a disposition.  At that time, the Court may order the Parties to participate in rehabilitative services in order to maintain placement in the home or achieve reunification with the child. 

Contact Meridith at Clymer Law Today 

If you or someone you care about face allegations of child dependency, neglect or abuse, you are not alone, contact Clymer Law and speak to Meridith for the zealous, fearless and experienced defense representation you need.  For a free initial consultation, call Clymer Law at (270) 551-5400 or CLICK HERE to send Meridith a message. 


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629 Washington Street

Paducah, KY  42003