Top Fenwick Island, DE Child Abandonment Lawyers Near You

Child Abandonment Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Fenwick Island, DE

11 South Race Street, Georgetown, DE 19947

Child Abandonment Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Fenwick Island, DE

6 North Railroad Avenue, Georgetown, DE 19947

Child Abandonment Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Fenwick Island, DE

26 The Circle, PO Box 250, Georgetown, DE 19947

Child Abandonment Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Fenwick Island, DE

16 North Bedford Street, PO Box 824, Georgetown, DE 19947

Child Abandonment Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Fenwick Island, DE

8 West Market Street, Georgetown, DE 19947

Fenwick Island Child Abandonment Information

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Find a Child Abandonment Attorney near Fenwick Island

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 Delaware.

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 Delaware?

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.

When to Hire a Lawyer

It is in your best interest to get legal help early on in addressing your situation. There are times when hiring a lawyer quickly is critical to your case, such as if you are charged with a crime. It may also be in your best interest to have a lawyer review the fine print before signing legal documents. A lawyer can also help you get the compensation you deserve if you’ve suffered a serious injury. For issues where money or property is at stake, having a lawyer guide you through the complexities of the legal system can save you time, hassle, and possibly a lot of grief in the long run.

The Importance of a Good Consultation

The goal of an initial consultation is to find an attorney you are comfortable working with and someone who can help you understand your options under the law. Seek to understand the relevant legal experience the attorney brings to your case. While it is not realistic to expect an attorney to resolve your legal issue during an initial consultation, you should gain a level of comfort with his/her ability to do so. A good consultation can clarify issues, raise pertinent questions and considerations for your case, and help you make an informed decision towards resolving your legal issue.

Types of legal fees:

Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney’s hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.

Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.

Flat fee: For “routine” legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.

Common legal terms explained

Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.

Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.

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