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Questions about Juvenile Law

What is juvenile law?

Juvenile law is the juvenile area of the law that deals with the actions and well-being of persons who are not yet adults. A juvenile is defined as a person who is not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. In most states and at the federal level, this age threshold is set at eighteen years. The acts of juveniles and their legal repercussions can often lead to anxiety for parents and can lead to legal questions like the ones below.

What is the juvenile law in Florida if a child at the age of 17 wants to move out because he/she feels neglected?

In Florida, the child or children can go to the court and petition for emancipation. They will need to prove that they will not be living on welfare, and can take care of themselves once they move out. This would include having a job, a place to live, plan for finishing whatever schooling is left, etc. The courts usually review each application for emancipation on a case to case basis; assess the reasons cited by the child and rule depending on what is deemed to be in the best interest of the child.

How can a minor parent receive custody of their 1 year old child if the other parent is in foster care?

The minor parent that is trying to receive custody needs to file a petition with the juvenile court and seek custody of the child. Many times, if an officer supports the petition and even allows the minor to have visitations at first, the court will see that they are trying to better the parent child relationship and may deem this to be in the best interest of the child.

How can a parent sign over their parental rights on their child to someone in the family?

The exact process depends on the state in which one lives. Normally, the only way for someone to sign their parental rights over to someone else is to petition the juvenile court to grant a guardianship or adoption.

If a child was taken away in the state of Texas and the person wanting to receive custody is in the state of Arizona what do they need to do to file for custody?

The person petitioning for custody would need to contact the Texas Family and Protective Services to check if they could get custody from the juvenile court system. However, since they do not reside in the state of Texas -- which is where the juvenile is -- they might need to get a Texas attorney if the DFPS does not support the petition for custody.

Can someone receive custody of a child that is not born yet?

In most cases the answer is no. Once the child is born, if the biological parent decides to give the child up for adoption then the adoption and/or custody process can begin.

Juvenile law covers a wide range of juvenile topics. The primary objective of juvenile law is to safeguard the best interests of a juvenile. This can result in legal implications for parents, guardians and others. Under many circumstances, whether you need an attorney specializing in juvenile law itself can be a question facing parents and guardians.
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