When most parents hear the words Child Protective Services (CPS), it immediately fills them with dread — this is for a good reason. If your child is taken away from your home by CPS, it can be an extremely stressful, emotionally-draining, and time-consuming situation for all involved.
Here in Texas, filing a motion to dismiss a CPS case is not always as straightforward as it might seem. Being an experienced family law attorney, I get many questions about how to file a motion to dismiss a CPS case. I also help many families in Texas that need my assistance with CPS cases. Let’s review the necessary steps to find the best way to restore your family!
Why is CPS In Your Family’s Life?
In general, CPS works with state and local level services to provide protection to children suspected of experiencing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or neglect.
CPS is obligated to investigate any and all complaints about abuse or neglect of a child, and they have been granted certain authority up to and including the removal of a child from the home if clear evidence warrants this. Anyone from a neighbor to a teacher to another family member can file a complaint, which CPS must follow up on.
As CPS becomes actively involved in your family’s affairs, they will either let the child stay in the home or take action to try to remove your child immediately. Parents need to remember that this is not a malicious action towards them personally. It may seem that way, especially if you do not believe that you are being treated fairly. However, CPS is ultimately concerned about the welfare of a child. It’s important to stay level-headed during this stage.
Heading to Court in a CPS Case
If CPS files a lawsuit, then you will be obligated to attend a court hearing. You will need to gather information and evidence to support your argument as you attempt to get the CPS case dismissed.
This next part is extremely important. Do not attend a CPS hearing without a lawyer, preferably one experienced in the ins and outs of family law in Texas. You want to be best-positioned to answer questions and provide evidence clearly and not in a defensive manner. I can help you understand how to navigate this situation.
Then, after appearing in court, you will be given a certain set of dates and times to appear yet again in court. Be absolutely sure you have all future court dates recorded so that you continue to meet your obligations.
You cannot miss any court dates involving a CPS case. Be sure to plan ahead to make sure you will be there. You don’t want to jeopardize your chances of regaining full custody of your child.
Future CPS Hearings and CPS Office Meetings (if Needed)
There are several steps involved in a CPS case. Sometimes the legal process may last up to a full year if your child has been removed from your home.
- Removal of your child – Day 1
- Adversary hearing – typically Day 14
- Status hearing – typically Day 60
- Initial permanency hearing – typically Day 180
- Permanency hearing – typically Day 270
- Trial, dismissal, or extension of the CPS case – typically Day 360
Even after the year is up, CPS and the court can still continue to monitor the home situation:
- Dismiss, monitor continuance, or go to trial – typically Day 540
- Dismiss or go to trial – typically Day 720
These dates may be subject to change, and it is possible for your case to end or be dismissed within this timeline.
For each of these hearings, be sure to bring any and all accumulated paperwork with you for every hearing. Remember: CPS can dismiss your case at any time they feel the child is in no real danger or if all agreements, services and requested tasks have been completed.
A judge can also dismiss a case if CPS fails to provide sufficient evidence of abuse or neglect. A quick dismissal can happen for several reasons, especially if it’s found that a vengeful family member is spreading false information, which unfortunately happens more than people think.
Dismissal paperwork can be filed immediately if you have evidence to dispute the accusations or if you feel that you were falsely accused of abuse or neglect. The paperwork needs to be highly accurate and state relevant reasons for the dismissal.
I can help you file the motion for dismissal on the path to getting the case closed. I will ensure accuracy and speed so that you won’t have to worry about CPS interfering with your family again.
Why Blair Parker Law is the Right CPS Defense Attorney for You
A visit by CPS and the subsequent legal proceedings is never ideal. The invasive questions, the accusations, and sheer frustration of the whole process can wear down even the strongest parent.
Over the past decade, I have helped parents in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County get their CPS cases dismissed. I will use every bit of Texas law to help you get through your situation.
If you are ready to file a motion to dismiss your CPS case, call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your situation. I’ll work hard to protect your family and pursue restoration!