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Questions about Department of Social Services (DSS)

The Department of Social Services (DSS) provides a range of services to families. DSS plays a large role in child protection, foster care, child support, child placement, and family counseling. Many people are unaware of the services DSS has to offer and have questions about the types of DSS. Family Lawyers on JustAnswer can answer your DSS questions quickly and affordably. Below are five of the top DSS questions answered by the Experts on JustAnswer.

Can the Department of Social Services discuss personal matters of child support without contacting the person in question?

Many people are unaware that their personal information can be used by DSS to gain insight on certain matters. One of these circumstances would be child support modification. The Department of Social Services usually has a right to discuss personal matters of child support that relate to your earnings or other issues that can impact the child support amount. DSS regularly checks with employers to see if there is a need to increase child support amounts. Usually if a person’s salary has remained the same or has not gone up by more than 10%, they usually do not modify the child support.

How can a person fight the DSS over false allegations?

If you think that false allegations have been made by DSS, the first step would be to gather as much credible proof as possible that the allegations are false. The more evidence that you have to prove that the allegations are untrue, the better chance you have to succeed. Even though DSS has the burden of proof, it is in your interest that you assume that you have the burden to prove the allegations untrue. Realistically, this is often what is expected of you. If you find yourself in a situation that requires legal insight, you can ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer to evaluate the details of your case and provide Expert legal insights.

Is it legal for a DSS representative to use information from a person’s last job to base the amount of current child support?

DSS can use information from your last job to base your current child support. Usually this is done when there are discrepancies in pay. If you are currently not working or making significantly less, the Child Support Enforcement can base your support on your last wages. You have every right to go before the judge and contest the amount, since you are no longer at that job. If you are not working or you make much less, the judge may rule that you pay child support based on what you could be making if you were to get a job in the field that you normally work in.

Can DSS keep a father from seeing his children based on the children’s claim of having seen their dad drink beer?

Child Protective Services help prevent harm to children that may be a result of intentional physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, exploitation, or neglect by a person responsible for a child’s health or welfare. If they believe that the drinking is a problem, they have the authority to make a determination based on that issue. Sometimes, a child may say something that could be taken out of context. It is the responsibility of DSS case workers to determine whether or not there is a problem. If you believe the judge made a decision based on a wrong decision by DSS, you could appeal the decision. Many times, it can be tough assessing the possibility of the judge seeing your appeal favorably. An Expert’s assessment and insight in such a situation can point you in the right direction. A simple solution would be to ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer for their Expert opinion.

If DSS is involved with a custody issue, would a person have to wait for the case to go to court before obtaining a pro bono lawyer?

The answer to this question is usually yes. You would normally have to wait for DSS to take you to court before you would be entitled to assistance from the state. It is only once the case is filed that the state would pay a pro bono lawyer appointed by the court.

Dealing with DSS can be confusing and frustrating if you don’t have all the answers. If you need legal insight on how to handle DSS questions, ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer. Experts on JustAnswer handle many of the tough questions about the DSS system and can offer an option for each unique problem.
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