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What is a Law Guardian in New Jersey?

My Child was Given a Law Guardian in NJ, What does this Mean?

Child Given a Law Guardian by New Jersey DCPP, Need Attorney Near MeA Law Guardian is an attorney for your child, who’s sole purpose is to represent his or her best interests. When a child welfare complaint is made in New Jersey, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency is responsible for investigating the complaint and determining whether the child is at risk of harm. If the Division determines there are some welfare concerns, the Division may proceed to Court in order to obtain several forms of relief such as, compelling the parents to cooperate, placing the child outside of the home, and suspending parental contact with their children. To achieve those ends, the Division has an attorney, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. The Attorney General’s Office has a specific branch devoted to child welfare matters and it is their duty to represent the interests of the Division.

What is a Law Guardian?

In the midst of the harsh accusations being thrown around by the Division alongside the outspoken pleas of the parents, the most important voice in the court room is drowned out. That voice is the voice of the child. The main purpose of child welfare proceedings in the protect and secure the welfare of the child. It is not a criminal proceedings focused on punishing culpable individuals. It is a civil matter designed to protect children and address any welfare concerns. As such, to assist in accomplishing those aims, the child is assigned an attorney to insure that the child’s voice is heard loud and clear and the child’s best interests are being effectively served.

What does a Law Guardian do?

In the midst of the harsh accusations being thrown around by the Division alongside the outspoken pleas of the parents, the most important voice in the court room is drowned out. That voice is the voice of the child. The main purpose of child welfare proceedings in the protect and secure the welfare of the child. It is not a criminal proceedings focused on punishing culpable individuals. It is a civil matter designed to protect children and address any welfare concerns. As such, to assist in accomplishing those aims, the child is assigned an attorney to insure that the child’s voice is heard loud and clear and the child’s best interests are being effectively served.

Accused by DCPP, What are my Rights?

The parents who are being accused of mistreating their child, have fundamental constitutional rights that are entitled to protection. Those rights include: the right to raise their children as they desire and the right to be free from the State interference. Consequently, to insure those rights are being honored and protected, the parents have a right to be represented by competent counsel. Even further, if the parents cannot afford counsel, an attorney will be appointed to them by the Office of Parental Representation. The Office of Parental Representation is an arm of the Office of the Public Defender, who is responsible for defending indigent criminal defendants. Of course, you never know if the public lawyer being provided by the state has the knowledge and experience you need to combat the accusations you’re facing from DCPP.

Child has a Law Guardian from DCPP, What Should I do?

If the court has appointed a Law Guardian to represent your child in a case, you should absolutely to consult with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney. While the Law Guardian will serve as your child’s advocate, you need an attorney who can effectively advocate for you, especially if you are facing allegations of child abuse or neglect. Remember, the guardian is not there to assist the parents. If he or she believes the child’s interests are best served outside of your care, then the guardian will voice that opinion to the Court. With this in mind, it is critical to have an experienced New Jersey DCPP lawyer who can demonstrate to the court that you are, indeed, in the best interests of your child. If you are facing child welfare allegations in New Jersey, please contact our office at (908)-356-6900 for immediate assistance from an attorney who can help. We can be reached anytime to provide you with a free consultation.

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