If DYFS is in anyway involved in your life, you have the right to get an attorney and you should. Some people think that there is no reason for a DYFS attorney if there is no court case. Others think that getting a DFYS attorney will make them seem guilty. You must understand that DYFS can turn your entire life upside down. Getting an attorney right away can not only help you end the case right away, but it also be a lot cheaper than if you wait. Hiring an attorney for an out-of-court DYFS case is much cheaper than hiring one if the case is already in court.
Going to Providers that DYFS Suggests
DYFS comes out to your house due to allegations about you and/or your family. After performing an initial investigation, they may ask you to get any number of evaluations with providers that they choose. You have the right to get your own provider and you probably should. I've seen too many of DYFS' providers abuse my clients and hype the problems. Contrast that to my providers who issue an honest opinion that is usually much better than DYFS' providers. Caution: Let your attorney handle this for you or else you could wind up in court.
Getting Into a Fight With DYFS
Fighting with DYFS on your own is probably always a losing battle. They have a ton of power and getting them upset with you will only make things worse. If they take your children, you will have to go through a prolonged court battle to get them back. I'm not saying you should just give in, but only a professional can make the right moves in your case. Trying to fight with them alone is a recipe for disaster.
Thinking that the DYFS Case is No Big Deal
I hear this all the time. Well I thought it wasn't a big deal. Or, I thought they would just go away after I explained it to them, took the test, let them interview my child, etc, etc. This is usually the reason why people: do not hire an attorney, submit to DYFS interviews and evaluations, and do not make the right moves early on to help end the case quickly.
Thinking that the DYFS Case Will be Limited to Just the Primary Issue
This catches a lot of people off guard. DYFS comes in for an allegation of child abuse. They see that the child is fine and now they are just going to pack it up and leave right? Not so fast. Once Pandora's box is open, anything is possible. I've seen many cases where one evaluation led to a number of other evaluations which led to several other treatments which led to children being taken away. For example, parents are being investigated for alleged shaken baby syndrome. Father is ID'd as the suspect and Mother has done nothing wrong. Nevertheless, Mother has to get evaluated. These evaluations raise a number of issues as to the Mother's fitness. Even though there are no other allegations involving the older child, he is evaluated and recent school issues now make the case all about problems with the older child even though he was never the subject of the initial investigation.
Additional resources provided by the author
Hiring a New Jersey DYFS attorney can help you avoid all of these mistakes but as indicated, hiring one right away is the key.