Top Moulton, AL Child Abandonment Lawyers Near You

Child Abandonment Lawyers | Decatur Office | Serving Moulton, AL

517 Bank St NE, Suite D, Decatur, AL 35601

Child Abandonment Lawyers | Decatur Office | Serving Moulton, AL

107 Grant Street, PO Box 1474, Decatur, AL 35602

Child Abandonment Lawyers | Decatur Office | Serving Moulton, AL

445 East Moulton Street, Suite 203, PO Box 655, Decatur, AL 35602

Moulton Child Abandonment Information

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Find a Child Abandonment Attorney near Moulton

Child Abandonment Cases

A child may be deemed abandoned in a variety of ways ranging from leaving an infant on a doorstep to parents being unwilling to provide care, support or supervision of a child. The exact situations that count as child abandonment vary from location to location, so it is best to contact a local attorney know precisely constitutes child abandonment in Alabama.

What Is Child Abandonment?

Child abandonment typically refers to an offense in which one or more parents knowingly and intentionally deserts a child without regard to the welfare of the child or fails to provide the necessary and required care of their child, leading to gross neglect.

In less grave circumstances, child abandonment cases can also be brought against defendants on the basis of more technical matters, such as leaving the child in the care of a non-relative or non-custodial guardian for more than three to six months without making contact or providing financial support to said child.

How to Prove Child Abandonment

In more egregious cases of child abandonment, it is evidently clear to investigating authorities that child abandonment has taken place such as eyewitness accounts, no parent present, no guardian present, the child living in squalor or suffering from obvious malnutrition.

However, in many cases, the nuances surrounding a child abandonment case may actually be a matter of contested facts or circumstances between the prosecution (representing a private plaintiff, whether a spouse, ex-spouse or family member attempting to annul parental rights of the alleged offender) and the defendant.

In these cases, the prosecution typically looks for firmer evidence that meets the requirements for termination of the defendant’s parental rights and any further penalties belonging to the alleged abandonment according to state statutes. For example, illustrating via a lack of messaging and/or money that the defendant likely did not make any effort to contact or support a child legally under their care.

How Many Days Away Is Considered Child Abandonment?

The answer to this question depends entirely on the state in which the plaintiff is pursuing charges. In some states, a definite time frame is not laid out in contested cases where a parent may be making “token” or “incidental” visits to the child they are legally responsible for, fostering no meaningful relationship over a long period of time, etc. However, if the parent(s) cannot be found by authorities after a 60-day search period in more obvious cases of abandonment, that is the legal deadline before charges can be filed.

In other states, if the child has been left without proper documentation (birth certificate) by the legal parent(s), or if the parent(s) have left the child in the care of another person for at least six months with no material support or connection, or if the plaintiff themselves has been caring for the child for one year without any material connection being made from the defendant to the child this can be grounds to form the elements of a child abandonment case.

In general, these rules apply more broadly to most states, with the vast majority of U.S. jurisdictions having enacted similar statutes regarding the practice of child abandonment.

Can You Go to Jail for Child Abandonment in Alabama?

Yes. Child abandonment is a serious offense and those convicted of it are likely to face incarceration as well as monetary fines.

What Is the Penalty for Child Abandonment?

The penalty for child abandonment depends both upon the state statutes relevant to the case (which state the case is being tried in) as well as the severity of the situation surrounding the abandonment, with a focus on the particulars.

In certain states, child abandonment can be classified as either felony or as a misdemeanor. The former can result in a possible six-year prison term, while the latter can see those convicted facing up to a year in jail in addition to a fine of $2,000.

Can a Lawyer Help With Child Abandonment Charges?

If you are facing charges related to child abandonment, your first step toward resolving the matter should be to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

A skilled attorney familiar with child abandonment cases, case law and the precedent established by former state court judgments is an invaluable asset in protecting yourself. A lawyer familiar with these matters can advise you as to how best to proceed with your case.

A conviction related to child abandonment can lead to a lifelong criminal record, and so it is vitally important to secure adequate legal counsel before proceeding.

Are You Facing Child Abandonment Charges?

If you have been charged with the crime of child abandonment, you need legal representation. Each state has its own child abandonment laws categorizing child abandonment as either a felony and other states may categorize it as a misdemeanor. For information regarding the penalties and punishment for violating child abandonment laws, contact an attorney.

How an Attorney Can Help

An attorney can often resolve your particular legal issue faster and better than trying to do it alone. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors. You should seek out an attorney whose practice focuses on the area of law most relevant to your issue.

Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation

  • Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
  • Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
  • Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
  • Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.

Points to Consider Before Hiring a Lawyer

Experience. Regardless of the type of legal matter you need help with, an experienced attorney will usually be able to get you better results.

Competence. Determine an attorney’s expertise by asking about their track record for the issue you need help with resolving.

Fit. There are plenty of good attorneys out there; make sure you find one you are comfortable working with.

Common legal terms explained

Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.

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