Child Protective Services Lawyer in Texas
What do I do when Child Protective Services (“CPS”) contacts me?
Call us immediately! The best way to handle CPS is to have an attorney negotiate with CPS early on so that any “safety plan” is as narrowly tailored as possible to address the children’s safety. Delays in contacting a knowledgable child protective services attorney can really put you at a disadvantage. If the State seeks removal of child through the court system, the expense of resolving the issue increases. The best plan of action is to retain a qualified local child protective services lawyer near you to negotiate quickly with the State to avoid the removal process from starting.
Child Protective Services (“CPS”) just showed up and says they want to remove/take my children?
CPS routinely overreacts to a situation out of fear. They do not have a lot of time to understand the real situation and they will pressure good, loving parents into forfeiting their children by claiming the only solution is immediate removal or foster care. This causes many good, loving parents to concede to the removal of the children to a family member to avoid the children being placed in foster care. However, all too often CPS is making a veiled threat to make the CPS case worker’s job easier. If the parent agrees to the removal, then CPS is not required to seek court intervention to remove the child. If you find yourself in this situation, do not agree to removal, until you have spoken to us. Often times, we are able to intercede and prevent the removal with less onerous measures.
Should I agree to removal of my kids if they are going to stay with a family member?
Once the children are removed, it is more difficult for us to have the children returned because the State starts to establish a status quo with the new custodian of the children. The removal process can take months and the dynamics of the situation can change. In some instances, the individual the parent voluntarily chose to place the children with decides they want permanent custody of the children. Sometimes the child’s new custodian starts to intentionally sabotage the relationship between the parent and child. Over time, this can result in the custodian being appointed primary custodian and the parents being appointed possessory conservators. Possessory Conservators are often required to pay child support to the new custodian so the financial incentive to alienate the children from their parents can motivate some custodians to intentionally alienate the parents.