Going up against any governmental body can feel like a monumental task. One of the worst fears a parent can have is to be wrongfully targeted by Child Protective Services (CPS) and possibly lose custody of their children.
Even though CPS helps thousands of children nationwide find better lives away from their abusive homes, no system is perfect. In the nightmare scenario of a wrongful abuse or neglect allegation, you need an experienced attorney to get you through the process and ensure your family’s stability. Keep reading to find out more about how to get a CPS case dismissed through the Texas legal system.
Need immediate assistance getting your CPS case dismissed in Texas? Contact my office right away at 979-267-7660!
Don’t Be Discouraged and Keep Fighting CPS
CPS will try to intimidate families who are not familiar with parental rights in Texas. If you are the victim of a wrongful accusation, it is important never to give up. You can fight a wrongful or mistaken CPS case, and you can win.
In many circumstances, the best way to beat the case is to go for a dismissal. In Texas, a Child Protective Service case may be dismissed should the judge deem there to be a lack of evidence to warrant such an investigation or indictment, or if CPS is satisfied that certain circumstances are met.
Specific to the region where I practice family law, the Texas Department of Family & Protective Service reports that investigations in the Greater Houston area result in the removal of a child a very small percentage of the time:
- Brazoria County: 4-12% alleged as victims
- Fort Bend County: 9-12% alleged as victims
- Harris County: 11-12% alleged as victims
These recent statistics show that the vast majority of families are able to prove their innocence when threatened with an investigation. One of the keys to a dismissal is disproving accusations of abuse and/or neglect.
What Constitutes Abuse and Neglect?
Texas law defines the actions (or lack of actions) that constitute abuse. Essentially, abuse is determined when a parent:
- Physically or emotionally injures a child
- Subjects a child to something emotionally harmful
- Fails to prevent emotional or physical harm
- Perpetrates or allows sexual harm to come to a child
Along with abuse, neglect is one of the reasons a CPS case may be enacted. Neglect is defined as:
- Leaving the child in a harmful situation
- Failing to remove the child from a harmful situation
- Failing to provide for the basic welfare of the child
CPS must prove the existence of neglect to obtain a court order that grants the removal of the child from your home.
Providing Evidence to Counter CPS
When fighting a CPS case, it is important to understand the investigation process. When a report of abuse or neglect has been made, CPS will often send investigators to the child’s home to speak with the parents and the child about the abuse.
The CPS worker will often ask to enter the house to perform an investigation. While you do not have to submit to their request, CPS workers will aggressively try and convince you to allow them to enter.
Keep in mind that Child Protective Services cannot remove a child from the home without a court order. If you believe CPS is threatening your parental rights, contact me immediately! Bringing an experienced family law attorney into the picture will allow you to maintain your parental rights at a time when CPS wants to take advantage of the situation.
How to Get a CPS Case Dismissed
If CPS believes they have obtained evidence of neglect or abuse, it is important to counter with additional evidence that proves why their suspicion is incorrect. School records, health records, and eyewitness reports are likely to be collected during an investigation, so providing information explaining or dismissing any supposed evidence is the best way to fight back.
While this sounds like a very difficult endeavor, fighting a CPS case is not hopeless. The first step towards dismissal is requesting that your case be reviewed or requesting that a CPS order granting the department custody of the child be modified by a judge.
No matter how difficult the situation may be, stay focused on your rights as a parent. And keep in mind that you can get a CPS case dismissed in a court of law to prevent further harm to your family. I can help you form a strong CPS legal defense to protect your parental rights.
Take Action Today to Protect Your Family!
Remember that CPS is not on your side. It is their duty to remove children from dangerous homes, and when they suspect that your child is in danger, they will try to do just that. If you believe CPS has wrongfully targeted you, it is of the utmost importance to work with a family law attorney that knows the ropes and can help you get a CPS case dismissed.
I have been practicing family law for nearly ten years as my sole practice area so that I can provide tailored representation for you and your situation in the family courts.
I serve families in Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Harris County to ensure that your parental rights are protected throughout the process. If you need protection from CPS, I urge you to contact either my Angleton office at 979-267-7660 or my Sugar Land office at 281-944-5485 as soon as possible. Time is of the essence. Don’t let CPS take advantage of you during this difficult time!