Misty D. Parks Owner/Partner Milazo Law, P.C.             
200 Ninth Ave. S. Franklin, TN 37064   Initial Consultation Free (615) 255~9155

Child Abuse and Neglect

Child Abuse & Child Neglect Attorney Franklin, TN |Columbia, TN

Tennessee Code Annotated §37-1-102 defines a dependent and neglected child as:
        (A) Who is without a parent, guardian or legal custodian;

      (B) Whose parent, guardian or person with whom the child lives, by reason of cruelty, mental incapacity, immorality or depravity is unfit to properly care for such child;

      (C) Who is under unlawful or improper care, supervision, custody or restraint by any person, corporation, agency, association, institution, society or other organization or who is unlawfully kept out of school;

      (D) Whose parent, guardian or custodian neglects or refuses to provide necessary medical, surgical, institutional or hospital care for such child;

      (E) Who, because of lack of proper supervision, is found in any place the existence of which is in violation of law;

      (F) Who is in such condition of want or suffering or is under such improper guardianship or control as to injure or endanger the morals or health of such child or others;

      (G) Who is suffering from abuse or neglect;

      (H) Who has been in the care and control of one (1) or more agency or person not related to such child by blood or marriage for a continuous period of six (6) months or longer in the absence of a power of attorney or court order, and such person or agency has not initiated judicial proceedings seeking either legal custody or adoption of the child;

      (I) Who is or has been allowed, encouraged or permitted to engage in prostitution or obscene or pornographic photographing, filming, posing, or similar activity and whose parent, guardian or other custodian neglects or refuses to protect such child from further such activity; or

      (J)  (i) Who has willfully been left in the sole financial care and sole physical care of a related caregiver for not less than eighteen (18) consecutive months by the child's parent, parents or legal custodian to the related caregiver, and the child will suffer substantial harm if removed from the continuous care of such relative

     Typically a Petition to Declare a Child Dependent and Neglected begins with a referral made to the Department of Children's Services hotline at 1-877-237-0004.  If you believe that a child is in danger you may make a referral to the Department of Children's Service 7 days a week 24 hours a day. 

     Misty D. Parks
has represented numerous clients in Dependency and Neglect proceedings, both defending against Petitions filed by the Department of Children's Services or the other parent to a minor child and pursuing Petitions on behalf of a parent of a child or concerned relative.  These types of cases often involve issues of child abuse (either physical or mental), domestic violence in the home or substance and alcohol abuse issues of a caretaker that interfere with their ability to properly care for the child/children. 

     An attorney can help protect your rights as a parent concerning custody and visitation with your child and can help to devise a plan of action to return the situation to the status quo.  Likewise, prosecuting Dependency and Neglect proceedings takes a lawyer that is knowledgeable in the statutes, rules and procedures regarding this very specialized area concerning custody and visitation with a child.  For example, Emergency Orders may need to be submitted to the Judge for signature at the time of filing, there must be a probable cause hearing held within 72 hours of the filing of the Petition, and a final hearing within 30 days at which the burden of proving the allegations is clear and convincing evidence. Once a Judge has found a child to be Dependent and Neglected then a custody and visitation arrangement must be made based on the best interests of the child.  No matter the circumstances a Dependency and Neglect proceeding is a very serious issue as the custody and visitation with a minor child is in question, Misty D. Parks is experienced working with you and your family to ensure that you understand what is expected of you every step of the way and working to protect your interests and the welfare of your child/children.

Serving Clients in:  Franklin, TN; Brentwood, TN; Fairview, TN; Williamson County, TN;
Maury County, TN; Spring Hill, TN; Mt. Pleasant, TN;Columbia, TN;  Marshall County, TN; Lewisburg, TN; Lawrence County, TN; Lawrenceburg, TN; Pulaski, TN; Giles County, TN; Nashville, TN; Davidson County, TN; Rutherford County, TN; Murfreesboro, TN; Smyrna, TN; and surrounding Middle Tennessee Area.

By Misty D. Parks