A Dependency is when the State, usually through Arizona Department of Child Safety, removes your child, or regulates the contact with your child due to allegations of unfitness.  Arizona defines a Dependent child as one who is in need of proper and effective parental care and control and has no parent or guardian, or the parent or guardian is not willing to exercise or is incapable of exercising care and control.  Specifically A.R.S. § 8-201(14) states:

a.       A Dependent child means a child who is adjudicated to be:

i.          In need of proper and effective parental care and control and who has no parent or guardian, or one who has no parent or guardian willing to exercise or capable of exercising such care and control.

ii.       Destitute or who is not provided with the necessities of life, including adequate food, clothing, shelter or medical care.

iii.       A child whose home is unfit by reason of abuse, neglect, cruelty or depravity by a parent, a guardian or any other person having custody or care of the child.

iv.      Under eight years of age and who is found to have committed an act that would result in adjudication as a delinquent juvenile or incorrigible child if committed by an older juvenile or child.

v.        Incompetent or not restorable to competency and who is alleged to have committed a serious offense as defined in section 13-706.

 The State has to prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence, which is an extremely high burden of proof. Matter of Appeal In Cochise County Juvenile Action No. 5666-J, 133 Ariz. 157 (1982).  In Dependency actions, qualified representation is necessary to protect your rights.  If a Dependency has been filed against you, contact us to defend your parental rights.