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How to Get a FINS Petition

By Contributor ; Updated April 18, 2017

How to Get a FINS Petition. Teens can be a handful and sometimes become uncontrollable. If your teen is staying out all night and being generally defiant to the point that you can't control him, you may need some help. A Family in Need of Services (FINS) petition may not only save your sanity but save your teenager's life. This court-ordered petition will make your child accountable to you and the court system. Your rules become the judge's rules.

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Call your juvenile court offices to see what the guidelines are according to your state. A FINS petition is usually only for troubled or highly at-risk teenagers, not for the average rebellious teen.

Fill out the appropriate paperwork, which asks your reasons for seeking a FINS petition on your teenager. This is a serious situation and shouldn't be entered into just because your teen isn't taking out the trash.

File the petition with the juvenile court. You will be given a court date in which to appear before the juvenile judge. In most cases, the judge will order counseling and possible anger management classes for your teen. Depending on the offense, the judge may order a stay in juvenile detention or house arrest.

Show up for court. The court will also appoint an attorney for your child to make sure the FINS petition is in his best interest. In some cases where the home environment is unstable, the judge may order the teenager to stay with a relative or in a facility until things can be worked out with the family.


Your teen will be routinely and randomly drug-tested by the court system. The FINS petition does not go on your child's criminal record, and it won't affect his ability to obtain employment, join the military or get into college.


Any violations of the FINS petition or judge's orders could land your teen in juvenile detention.

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