Juvenile / Dependency

The Maricopa County Office of the Legal Defender serves as court appointed counsel for indigent parents in Dependency and Severance cases. The Office provides representation for the parents from the beginning of the court action through family reunification or guardianship/termination. For further information, please refer to the sections outlined on this page, and/or consult with the attorney assigned to the individual case.

  1. Dependency
  2. Severance
  3. Hearing Types
  4. File Retention
  5. Common Terms
  6. Common Abbreviations


A "dependent child" is a child who is in need of proper and effective parental care and control and has no parent or guardian who is willing or capable of exercising that care and control. 
A dependent child could also be a child who is destitute, or who is not provided with the necessities of life, including adequate food, clothing, shelter or medical care, or where the home is "unfit" by reason of abuse, neglect, cruelty or depravity by a parent, guardian or other person having care or custody of the child.