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DYFS – Emergency Removals

DYFS – Emergency Removals

When DYFS is involved you should seek legal assistance. DYFS can initially become involved as a result of an anonymous report, a doctor’s report, a teacher’s report, or police involvement. These are by no means the only ways DYFS can be alerted to a problem concerning the parenting of minor children.

Sometimes parents also contact DYFS to gain advantage in a custody dispute. If the allegations are unfounded, the courts can use this against the parent who called DYFS. It is inappropriate to use DYFS as a weapon in a divorce if there is no basis.

Many DYFS responses do not result in a court action. However, your name can still be placed on a Central Registry without court action. There are some recent, new regulations which expand the social worker’s analysis of the case. Counsel can help you react appropriately.

DYFS will conduct an initial investigation. It is not too early to seek the advice of counsel at that stage. Frequently, parents are angry and try to fight the DYFS worker because of the sudden invasion of one’s rights to care for their own children. This is a mistake.

Jacqueline F. Pivawer of Helfand & Associates, located at 575 Route 10 East, Suite 1, Whippany, Morris County, New Jersey, has had years of experience representing parents who are involved with DYFS. Before the case ever goes to Court, Jacqueline F. Pivawer can assist and consult with parents as to how to respond and what to do to show that DYFS is not needed. It is well worth the time and effort to learn what is needed to properly handle DYFS involvement.

If the case is considered more serious, Jacqueline F. Pivawer has represented parents in all abuse and neglect proceedings, including defense for fact findings, permanency hearings, and termination of parental rights trials.

Emergency Removal

If there is an emergency removal of a child by DYFS without a court order the parents or guardians will have an opportunity to appear in the appropriate Superior Court Chancery Division, Family Part within two days. When a child has been removed, DYFS has the authority to obtain a medical screening of the child. A parent needs legal representation for all appearances concerning an emergency removal. The parent is afforded a trial or fact finding hearing. The court must state the grounds for its determination as to whether the child has been abused or neglected. At the conclusion of the dispositional hearing, the court will either (1) suspend judgment, (2) release the child to the custody of its parents, (3) place the child, (4) make an order of protection, (5) place the respondent on probation, or (6) require that an individual found to have abused or neglected a child accept therapeutic services.

Jacqueline F. Pivawer of Helfand & Associates is a skilled trial attorney and has prevailed in removal proceedings to get the child reunited with its parents. DYFS must present sufficient facts to sustain its Complaint. The “minimum degree of care” in reference to an abused or neglected child refers to conduct that is grossly or wantonly negligent, but not necessarily intentional.

If a child in injured or can be physically, mentally, or emotionally impaired because a parent failed to use caution to prevent the harmful exposure, it can be considered abuse and neglect. Cases such as exposing a child to Domestic Violence can result in DYFS intervention, trial, and a finding of abuse or neglect.

Jacqueline F. Pivawer at Helfand & Associates has years of experience in prosecuting and defending municipal court cases and domestic violence matters. This experience is especially valuable in defending parents in DYFS cases. Often issues of drug dependency and municipal court offenses carry over into DYFS cases.

Our Offices
  • Whippany Office
    575 Route 10 East
    Suite 1
    Whippany, New Jersey 07981
    Phone: 973-428-0800
    Fax: 973-428-0830
  • New York Office
    420 Lexington Ave.
    New York, New York 10170
    Phone: 646-213-9053
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  • "Without Tanya and her time, the really unpleasant experience of getting divorced would have been even worse. They were able to settle the matter very quickly and helped me fit this into my tight schedule allowing me to leave to move abroad for my dissertation research on time without having to delay the trip because of the divorce. They also did all of it within my very tight budget. Thank you so much for your help and dedication to my legal matter!"  - AG

  • "Tanya and her Associates are outstanding! What I admire most about Tanya is her knowledge of the law with her keen negotiation skills to foster mediation. Her strategies efficiently resolve conflict leading to the resolution of cases. She and her team have an outstanding work ethic, know what data are needed, and get the job done. It is a pleasure to work with such wonderful professionals."  - Tara, Whippany

  • "I found Ms. Helfand's knowledge and tenacity most reassuring during the ordeal of my divorce. She was steadfast in her guidance and was very effective in her negotiations on my behalf. I would recommend her without a second thought."  -Jonathan

  • "Ms. Helfand was very professional and helpful with our bankruptcy case. Her advice was very useful and helped us make the proper decisions for our situation. In addition, she was very supportive during a very difficult time for us. Finally, she set very specific fee expectations and there were no surprises when it was completed. I would use her services again and would recommend her, without question."

  • "She is Incredible, very quick responding to the other party. Very professional and courteous. I highly recommend her. She has a great passion and love for every single case."

  • "Tanya and her team were very professional handling my divorce proceedings. She was very proactive in making the other attorney finally get the process moving forward. I would recommend her to anyone looking for legal services."  -Scott

  • "Ms. Helfand strategized & processed, both, my Divorce & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. As both cases were emotionally and legally challenging, Ms. Helfand proved to be an empowering Mentor along the path to clarity for which I am truly grateful.I highly recommend her legal expertise to anyone who is seeking a confident, savvy & caring attorney to become at peace with self and any legal matters."  -Vas

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