Mediation in New Jersey DCP&P Cases

Morristown NJ DYFS Defense Lawyers – Mediation

Mediation Attorneys DCP&P Defense in Morris County, NJ

Lawyers against DYFS NJ

Lawyers against DYFS NJ

The DYFS defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm LLC are ready and able to assist you in dealing with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (known as “DCP&P”) in New Jersey. In fact, one of our attorneys is a former Deputy attorney general in NJ who used to prosecute these cases for the State. Now, he uses his expertise and experience to defend our clients dealing with an allegation of abuse or neglect. Protect your rights, your family, and your future: contact our experienced DCPP defense lawyers today for immediate assistance at 201-556-1570. We represent clients throughout New Jersey including in Madison, Mendham, Harding, and Jefferson Twp. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.

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“It was the absolute best positive experience working with Tom Ercolano and the Tormey Law Group. Tom and his team provided me superior quality service, and he got me the result I wanted. He is extremely knowledgeable and fantastic in court. He made me feel completely relaxed and insured that my needs were met. Tom and everyone at the Tormey Law Group made me feel as if I was their #1 priority and that everyone was invested in me and my case. They were easily accessible, got back to me quicker than I could ever anticipate, were aggressive in court and most importantly, got the job done. Tom, his associates, and his staff are the quality of a law group that anyone would want when hiring a family law attorney, and I HIGHLY recommend them to anyone who is in need of an attorney!”

Mediation in New Jersey DYFS Cases

Although the Division of Child Protection and Permanency is charged with a legal duty to attempt to assist and work with families, technically once DCP&P files a protective services complaint for custody or care and supervision, or when DCP&P files a complaint for guardianship, the Division is the plaintiff and the parents are defendants in a lawsuit: the Division of Child Protection and Permanency versus the Parents. Whether you are involved in protective services litigation or guardianship litigation, the Court will ultimately decide the outcome of your case. The proceedings will occur in a courtroom and the hearing will be recorded, permanently. However, one possible alternative to the adversarial environment of the courtroom is family court mediation during which the parties and their attorneys meet without the judge present, off the record.

During a mediation, a neutral third-party mediator will lead a confidential meeting with DCP&P, the Deputy Attorney General, the child’s Law Guardian, the parents, the parents’ defense attorneys, and possibly the child’s resource or foster parents. Mediation can be used to discuss any and all aspects of guardianship, custody or care and supervision cases but, usually, mediation is geared towards resolving cases that have been open for a while, without having to go to trial. For example, the parties may discuss the parameters for a safe reunification or explore whether or not there are any alternatives to termination of parental rights. Regardless of the topics discussed, what happens in mediation stays in mediation – the mediation will take place in a private room and will not be tape-recorded. The only exceptions to the confidentiality of mediation are that the mediator must report if there is a new allegation of child abuse or neglect or if any participant in mediation threatens another participant. In the event the parties reach an agreement, the mediator will prepare a mediated consent order for the parties’ attorneys to sign. But, if there is no agreement, then all that will be reported to the Judge is that the mediation did not resolve the case.

In protective services cases, topics of mediation can range from what exactly a parent needs to accomplish in order for the child to return from DCP&P’s custody, what additional reasonable efforts the parent may be requesting from the Division in order to achieve or maintain stability, or the parents can mediate which parent will maintain primary physical custody of the child once the Division has deemed both parents to be safe and appropriate parents. In guardianship cases, mediation will generally focus on whether or not the case can be resolved without going to termination of parental rights trial whether by working towards a different permanency plan such as Kinship Legal Guardianship or via a surrender of parental rights to the child’s resource parent. In any mediation, however, one theme will take precedence: the best interests of the child.

Morris County NJ DYFS Defense Attorneys

Mediation can be a useful means of resolving a case without the involvement of a judge. But, as with all DCP&P proceedings, although mediation will not take place in a courtroom, a Deputy Attorney General will represent DCP&P, and a Law Guardian will represent the child. Both the Deputy Attorney General and the Law Guardian will be fully familiar with the laws that control DCP&P cases. If you are involved in DCP&P litigation and your case is scheduled for mediation, you should consider being represented by a knowledgeable DCP&P attorney who is familiar with the case law, statutes, and Court Rules that apply to DCP&P family court matters.

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