If you decide to fight to keep your parental rights, you will have the best chance of winning if you get a lawyer right away. You must give your lawyer all of the information you can, stay in touch and work with your lawyer, and carefully follow his or her advice. You must attend all court dates, evaluations, and scheduled visits with your child, as well as any therapy and substance abuse counseling sessions, meetings, medical appointments, and parenting classes DYFS asks you to attend. You must keep proof of your attendance and the progress you have made in solving the problems that led to the removal of the child for your lawyer, DYFS, and the court.
Defeating an action by DYFS to terminate your parental rights requires a lot of time and hard work. You may lose your case even if you work very hard and do everything that you are asked to do. You must be willing and able to commit your best efforts to defending your parental rights, or you will almost surely lose. The trial, alone, is likely to require you to be in court a number of days.
Being the defendant in a termination of parental rights action is frightening, stressful, and very difficult emotionally. However, you must not become discouraged or refuse to deal with the situation. You must start from where you are at this moment and do your very best to keep your family together, if that is what you want.
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Copyright © 2011 Legal Services of New Jersey
This information last reviewed 10/28/11