Child Protective Services
Custody in Child Protective Services Cases
Receiving notification that you are being investigated by Child Protective Services (CPS) can be terrifying. CPS cases have extensive legal precedent with federal and state laws focused directly at their services. As a result, legal representation is absolutely vital in responding to CPS. This representation is most effective when you seek it out immediately because a strong case will require prompt legal advice and your attorney will need as much time as possible to prepare your case. Equally important is preparing you, the parent, to appropriately interact with CPS.
The Sinclair Law Office, PC has worked with both parents and grandparents seeking custody of their children during CPS cases. We have asserted and defended the rights of our clients to maintain conservatorship (or custody) over their children. When an organization like CPS tries taking you to court, you need an experienced advocate like one of the attorneys at the Sinclair Law Office, PC fighting for you and your children.
Managing a CPS Case
Child Protective Services (CPS) is required to investigate reports of child abuse or neglect. Anyone can report suspected abuse and/or neglect of a child. CPS first must conduct an investigation to look for evidence of child abuse and/or neglect. This investigation can include many different sources of information. For example, CPS may interview anyone who may have information related to the abuse: doctors, teachers, neighbors, relatives, and others. They may inspect your home and request physical examinations of your children by a doctor. CPS may also request documents like police reports, school records, and medical records.
The CPS investigation may produce no grounds for further legal action. In some cases, however, CPS can file a suit affecting the parent-child relationship and request that the court revoke custody from a child’s current conservator or even terminate parental rights. At this point, a parent seeking to preserve child custody must have legal representation, either by private hire or through a court-appointed lawyer. The court will eventually decide whether or not a parent, or parents, can retain custody of their children.
CPS custody cases can very easily become complicated. During the investigation stage, a child may be permitted to stay with a family member or close family friend. If the investigation or legal proceedings last longer than 6 months, then the person who has been caring for the child may have legal ground to seek custody for themselves. This is true even when a court has ruled that the child is safe to return home under the conservatorship of the parents.
How We Can Help
The family law attorneys of the Sinclair Law Office, PC have experience defending parents facing CPS investigations and custody suits. An important part of presenting a successful case against CPS is knowing the complex and dynamic laws related to children. Federal and state laws aimed at protecting children change often. It is imperative that you have legal representation that is experienced facing CPS cases and has maintained familiarity with the constantly changing laws. Our attorneys have both the experience and knowledge to help you.
Even if you think that CPS will not find any evidence of abuse and/or neglect, you should contact an attorney as soon as you receive notice of a CPS investigation. Participating in a CPS interview or consenting to various investigative requests without appropriate legal advice or council may adversely affect your case. Early engagement with your lawyer can make sure that you know your rights and how to assert them during an investigation.