What is Dependency Court?
The Juvenile Dependency Court is the division of the Circuit Court in each respective county, that has the responsibility for hearing cases involving children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Constant changes in our child protection laws have resulted in an increased review of these cases by judges. Dependency Court was established to improve the manner in which these children alleged to be abused, neglected or abandoned, move through the court system and to address these unique challenges.
The Dependency Judge or General Magistrate presides over dependency arraignments, judicial reviews, status hearings, motion hearings, conducts trial on issues of child custody, divorces, and child support. Parents are appointed an attorney if their income meets the requirements for indigency.
If you feel that a child is being abused, neglected or abandoned, please call the Florida Child Abuse Hotline at 1 (800) 962-2873.