Child Custody and Removal

While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney, please call or email us today.

Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts

Attorney Lombardi handles cases in Juvenile Court involving children charged with crimes or traffic offenses. He also represents parents when their children have been removed from their home because of allegations of abuse, neglect and dependency; usually involving the Department of Job and Family Services (Childrens Services). These are difficult and emotional cases which Attorney Lombardi has successfully handeled over the years.


Juvenile and family courts are intended to protect children and help their parents or caregivers provide for their child's safety and well-being. As you begin and progress through the court process, please remember that you are not alone and are not expected to take on this challenge by yourself. They are also meant to hold the child welfare agency accountable for what it is required to do and to serve as a neutral decision maker regarding what happened factually in a case or how the law should be applied.

Juvenile Dependency Court and Family Law

Both the Juvenile Court and Family Law Courts have jurisdiction over the issues of custody and visitation of children. 

If there is a Juvenile Court Dependency Proceeding pending as to the custody of a child, the Juvenile Court's order takes precedence over Family Court orders, and the Family Court proceedings as to custody and visitation will be stayed.  It is, therefore, important to understand the interaction between the two court systems and their effect on custody, paternity, and dissolution of marriage cases. 

The Family Code governs matters heard in Family Law Court. The Family Law court is not a separate court of the Superior Court System.  Family Court presumes it is in the best interests of children to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents and presumes parental fitness.  In family law matters, parents can stipulate and agree privately between themselves to resolve privately issues of custody, visitation and property. That is not possible in Juvenile Court. 

Juvenile Court is a separate Superior court and its Dependency Proceedings  are governed by Welfare and Institutions Code (“W&I Code”). The purposes of Juvenile Court in Dependency Proceedings is to protect the safety of children. It restricts parental behavior; removes children from unsafe homes; gives children a sense of permanence; provides active leadership in the community. Juvenile Courts do not assume parental fitness due to the very nature of circumstances surrounding dependency proceedings.   The Domestic Violence Prevention Act ("DVPA") applies to both Juvenile Court and Family Law matters.  Hearsay may be allowed in limited circumstances in Dependency proceedings,  but  hearsay would be excluded in Family Law hearings. The Juvenile Courts  have jurisdiction over custody and visitation, but not over support or division of property.  Support and property are handled exclusively by the family law courts pursuant to the Family Code. 

Contact My Office For A Free Consultation

Call me at (330) 296-5252 or contact my office by email to arrange an opportunity to discuss your family law matter at no initial fee.

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240 S. Chestnut St. Suite B. Ravenna, OH 44266

(330) 296-5252

Monday-Friday: 9AM-4PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Richard C. Lombardi

While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney, please call or email us today.

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