A Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) case usually involves allegations of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment, and may sometimes lead to parental rights termination. Knowing that you are going to be involved with the Department of Human Services and/or Juvenile Court is scary. Hiring an experienced Iowa juvenile law attorney is an important step you can take to protect your rights and your child.
At the Olberding Law Office, I've been offering comprehensive legal guidance and reliable representation in juvenile law matters, including CINA and delinquency cases for 35 years. I'm available to review the surrounding circumstances, conduct a thorough investigation, and have represented parents, children, or other concerned individuals. I will fight compassionately to protect my client, ensure that his or her voice is heard, and always act in my client's best interests.
My firm, Olberding Law Office, is proud to serve clients in Nevada, Iowa, and the surrounding communities of Story County, Boone County, Marshall County, Hamilton County, and Hardin County.
A child is considered to be "in need of assistance" if there are reasons to believe that the minor child is experiencing abuse, neglect, abandonment, developmental disability, or mental disorder, and the parents, custodian, or guardian are unable or unwilling to provide adequate care for the child. For Iowa courts to consider a child as one that is in need of assistance, the state and the Department of Human Services (DHS) must establish the following elements:
If the state or local Department of Human Services proves that the child is in potential physical danger, a judge may order the removal of the child from the current home environment. The removal order may be issued with or without a hearing. Should a child be removed without a hearing, a formal hearing must be scheduled within ten days after the removal. If a child is removed, the state will file a petition alleging the child is a child in need of assistance.
Even if the judge refuses to remove the child or removal is not sought, the state can still file a CINA petition.
Adjudication is the second stage of CINA proceedings. During the adjudication hearing, the judge will review the facts of the CINA case and determine whether:
The disposition hearing is typically used to determine what is done to and for the child and what is required and expected from the parents. Depending on the court's conclusion, possible outcomes include:
Furthermore, a review hearing will be held by an Iowa court at least every six months to review the progress of the parents, the child's condition, and the child's placement if he or she was removed from the parents.
The aim of the juvenile court is family reunification. However, if reuniting the child and parents is not an ideal option, a juvenile judge may enter a decree to terminate parental rights. Once the parental rights have been terminated, the child will be eligible for adoption in Iowa.
A bridge order is a transition order that allows the transfer of jurisdiction related to CINA cases. The Iowa juvenile court would hold a hearing and determine child custody, physical care, and visitation order.
Pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.103A, the juvenile court may close a CINA case by transferring jurisdiction of the child's custody, physical care, and visitation to the district court through a bridge order if all of the following criteria are met:
CINA cases are emotionally and mentally stressful for both parents and children. Having an experienced attorney represent you and help you through the court process can make the process easier, smoother, and maybe even faster. With 35 years of experience in Juvenile Court, I have represented parents, children, and other concerned individuals. Please contact Olberding Law to see if I can help you.
Any case that involves children is emotionally and mentally stressful for both parents and children. Having an experienced attorney represent you and help you through the court process can make the process easier, smoother, and maybe even faster. With 35 years of experience in Juvenile Court, I have represented parents, children, and other concerned individuals. My firm proudly serves clients in Story County, Boone County, Marshall County, Hamilton County, and Hardin County, Iowa - so call or reach out today to learn how I can help with your case.