Whenever the Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) gets involved in a family affair, emotions tend to run high. It’s completely natural to feel stressed, anxious, fearful, and angry, especially when the CPS is threatening (or has already taken) your children away. Although the CPS is on the side of the child, CPS investigators sometimes make mistakes or misunderstand a situation. Therefore, if the CPS has wrongfully taken your child, you need to contact an experienced Mansfield-Fort Worth CPS attorney to fight for your case, bring your family together, and represent the interests of your child.
At the Law Office of Wendy L. Hart, Houston family attorney Wendy Hart understands that the CPS works to ensure the health and wellness of all children; however, we also understand the pain and frustration of these situations. All parents have the right to dispute the CPS’s decisions, and it’s always important to look at the facts to ensure the best interests of the child. We are passionate about Houston and Texas families, and we will stand by your side during these arduous situations and provide industry-leading legal representation. For a consultation with attorney Hart, call our Mansfield law office today at (817) 842-2336.
The CPS Process (and What You Can Do About It)
If the CPS has started a case involving your family, or CPS investigators have come to your house, it means that someone has made a complaint about your parenting, the child’s living conditions, or the child’s safety and wellness. CPS investigations can be both confusing and terrifying, and it is common to feel like you don’t know your rights in these situations.
When a caseworker comes to investigate an allegation, he or she will:
- Interview the child who is allegedly being abused or neglected. This will be either videotaped or recorded to insist that nothing is forgotten or misheard. The interview will take place at a reasonable place and time, sometimes at school.
- Notify the parents or caregivers of the details of the allegations within 24 hours of the interview with the child.
- Go over the report and ask for explanations of any of the documented injuries, concerns for safety, and potential risks of neglect or abuse that the child could experience.
If the CPS caseworker is investigating you, you have the right to know the details of the accusations made against you. At the same time, however, it is critical that you don’t submit to a CPS interrogation without your lawyer present (or, at least, before talking to a family law attorney). Unfortunately, some CPS caseworkers will twist your words to serve as evidence for the accusations made against you.
Lastly, if a CPS investigator wants to enter your home, remember that they need a court order to do so. If the caseworker doesn’t have a court order, politely (but firmly) tell them that they need one before they can enter your home. Even if you’re innocent of the accusations made against you, always make sure a CPS caseworker has a court order if they want to investigate your home.
Do I Need a Family Law Attorney
The short answer is, “Yes, you need a family law attorney if the Texas CPS is investigating a case against you (or has already taken your child(ren) away).” All parents and/or caregivers have the right to an attorney at every stage of a CPS investigation. Whether you have just found out about the accusation or you’re creating a Child Safety Plan, for instance, an attorney can be an invaluable asset.
An experienced CPS attorney will know how to fight against abusive and overzealous CPS tactics, and will make sure that the CPS is acting completely under Texas and federal laws. More importantly, a good family law attorney will always be on your side and represent your interests.
Contact Wendy L. Hart Today
If the CPS is involved, the most important thing to do is to not panic. You may want to beg the CPS to not take your children away, or frantically explain why your child is living in a safe and healthy environment. Instead, call the Law Office of Wendy L. Hart in Mansfield-Fort Worth immediately. We will always put your interests and the best interests of your child first, and we will fight to keep your family together. Never let aggressive CPS tactics or simple misunderstandings break your family apart, and call attorney Wendy L. Hart today.
Call us now at (817) 842-2336 for a consultation and we’ll discuss the next steps.