CPS has taken my children, what can I do?
Child Protective Services is given a lot of authority in the Texas Family Code to remove children
from homes that CPS investigators deem as unsafe. CPS cases are initiated
after CPS receives a report of
child abuse or
neglect. The report can come from a variety of sources, such as a treating doctor,
a police officer, a school teacher, or in some cases a person with a grudge
against the child's parents.
When CPS receives the report of child abuse or neglect they will attempt
to investigate the facts of the report. This is an important time life
of a CPS case. Most people will attempt to cooperate with the CPS investigation,
and not realize that everything they say to the CPS investigator will
be used in an effort to remove their children from their home.
This is a critical time for any person that is being investigated by CPS
to hire legal counsel that is experienced in defending CPS cases.
At this point in time CPS will remove your children if you tell them too
much information that might lend any credibility to the child abuse allegations,
or they will remove your children if you attempt to not cooperate with
their investigation of child abuse. CPS investigators will attempt to
bully parents into voluntarily giving up custody of their children by
threatening to place the kids in
foster care. What the CPS investigators fail to mention to parents is that they are
REQUIRED to first try to place children with
relatives of the parents, not into foster care. But if parents do not know this,
they will fall for the CPS investigators threats out of fear of their
kids being placed in foster care.
It is actually fairly easy for CPS to get custody of your children if you
are not proactive in defending yourself. If CPS decides they want custody
of a child, they will draw up an affidavit describing the alleged abuse,
they will go to court with their lawyers (usually without informing the
parent of the court date), and they will tell the judge the facts only
most favorable to their case to remove your kids.
Once CPS has this court hearing, they will get the judge to sign an order
to remove your children and place them with someone else. From the date
CPS removes your children you have ONLY 14 DAYS to prepare to fight CPS
to win custody of your children back.
The Show Cause hearing will be held in 14 days to determine if there is
any evidence of abuse or neglect. If a parent can win this hearing, the
court will order the children returned to the parent and the CPS will
be dismissed. If the parent loses this hearing, their children will usually
remain in CPS custody for at least 1 year, and sometimes up to 18 months.
While the children are in CPS custody, the parent will be required to
take parenting classes, allow inspections of their home, participate in
psychological testing, individual counseling and therapy and family therapy.
If a parent refuses these services, they can have their
parental rights to their children permanently terminated.
For these reason, it is critically important to hire an aggressive and
experienced CPS lawyer to fight for the return of your children.
I have represented parents in CPS cases for over 10 years. I have been
very successful in not only have parents children returned at the show
cause hearing, but in also having
CPS sanctioned with one of the largest monetary sanctions against the agency in Texas
history for improperly removing children. You can read more about that
case in this
Houston Chronicle article.
If you are being investigated by CPS and need an experienced Houston area
please call me today.
Here at the
Dennis M. Slate, Attorney at Law, we offer a full range of family law and legal services including
child custody and
grandparent visitation and
custody, etc. We have
3 Houston area locations including Deer Park, Houston, and Porter, Texas. Call our offices today
and we can set an appointment with an attorney: (281) 407-9254.