Days in Court: Child Welfare Hearings

Days in Court: Child Welfare HearingsThe Child Welfare Litigation Process

When a child is removed from the home by CPS, the family court must oversee the case. The court will hold a series of hearings to review the decisions made by the CPS agency (Division of Child Protection and Permanency in New Jersey) and to make decisions about what will happen to the child. These hearings are significant, so let’s go over a few points you should keep in mind when preparing for them.

  • You have a right to an attorney when facing Title 9 or Title 30 proceedings; always exercise this right.
  • You need to attend all your child welfare hearings, so you can tell your side of the story before any decisions are made.
  • If you fail to appear at your hearings, the judge can make decisions without you.
  • Different hearings have different purposes. Some will cover limited issues while others will look at several issues so the judge can make a decision. Make sure you understand the purpose of your hearings.
  • You may have the right to appeal decisions the judge makes at certain hearings. You file the appeal after the hearing. Speak with an attorney if you want to appeal a decision made by a judge.
  • Your child may be present at some of the hearings.
  • The family court will send you notice of every hearing you have to attend.
  • If you have an attorney, he or she can speak on your behalf at the hearings if you want.
  • You also have the right to speak directly to the judge and provide evidence to the court.
  • Contact your caseworker or your attorney for information about your hearings.
  • Your caseworker can also arrange for transportation to your hearings.

You will have to go to several hearings throughout your case. These hearings ensure your rights are respected and protected and that the decisions made are fair and in your child’s best interests. They are also opportunities to provide the court and the DCP&P with information that can help them make informed decisions about your family. Your voice matters. When engaged in child welfare litigation, it’s wise to work closely with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney who can ensure your rights are protected. Every hearing is a chance to demonstrate your dedication to your family, and an attorney can help you do that.

Are you involved in child welfare litigation? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can advise you of your rights and help you defend yourself against the DCP&P. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.


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