According to the Maricopa County Superior Court website, “[t]he mission of the Juvenile Court is to fairly and impartially decide cases and administer justice through the comprehensive delivery of services to children and families, victims of crime and the community so that: children reach their full potential; victims of crime are restored; and families and the community function in the best interest of children.”
At Owen & Perkins we practice four areas of juvenile law, specifically dependency, guardianship, termination of parental rights, and adoption.
- Typically a dependency involves the removal of a child from his/her parents’ care because the child is in need of proper and effective parental care and control, and the child has no parent or guardian, or the parent or guardian is not willing to exercise or is incapable of exercising care and control.
- In Arizona, a guardian may be appointed by the court when someone other than a legal parent wants to take over parental responsibilities for a child. The legal parents must consent to the guardianship, or the guardianship must to be granted while the child is in the State’s custody. The legal parents’ rights are not terminated in a guardianship.
- Termination of Parental Rights
- Any person or agency that has a legitimate interest in the welfare of a child may file a petition for the termination of the parent-child relationship. This may include a relative, a foster parent, a physician, DCS or a private licensed child welfare agency. For the Court to grant a termination of parental rights, the filing party must prove the reason for the request and that termination is in the child’s best interest.
- Any adult resident of the state of Arizona is eligible to qualify to adopt a child in Arizona. An Adoption Certification may be required before a person can adopt a child. The legal parents of the child must either consent to the adoption or their rights to the child must be terminated prior to the adoption being granted. Adoptions are final and allow the adopting person to step into the legal role of the child’s parents.
If you have an issue regarding dependency, guardianship, termination of parental rights, or adoption, it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney. Contact Owens & Perkins for a free 30-minute guardianship consultation at (480) 630-2464.