When a CPS investigation turns into a series of court hearings to determine the future of your relationship with your child, it is a very stressful situation. You want the tools and knowledge to know how to fight CPS in court and form a strong defense against arguments presented by CPS – I can help you with that.
Let’s start, though, by unpacking how the legal process works when your CPS case advances to this stage of being heard in a Texas court. Then, I’ll provide you with insight on what it takes to win back your child and get CPS out of your life for good.
How the Courts Approach a CPS Case
1. The Adversary Hearing
The Adversary Hearing is typically your first attended hearing once a court allows CPS to place your child in foster care. This hearing is required to happen within 14 days of CPS removing your child. However, the court can grant up to 7 days of delay in certain situations.
It’s crucial to work with a family law attorney such as myself to help you prepare for this hearing. It is an essential first step in your mission to regain custody of your child. CPS will explain to the judge the reason(s) for removing your child. Then, we will offer a counterargument against the claims. We will also make the argument that it is safe for your child to return home.
It will be up to the judge to determine whether CPS provided enough evidence for them to be granted custody of your child. If the court believes that CPS did not satisfy their obligation, then the judge does have the authority to dismiss the CPS petition.
However, if the court believes there is enough evidence to support their claims, then a judge can assign CPS the role of Temporary Managing Conservator (TMC) of your child. This means that CPS will temporarily have custody of your child.
2. Status Hearing
If CPS retains custody of your child, then a Status Hearing will be set for within 60 days of TMC being awarded. In this court hearing, the judge will review the status of the child and the permanency plan.
The Court is obligated to warn you that your parental rights may be terminated unless you’re willing and able to provide your child a safe environment. This is in accordance with the Texas Family Code that states that the Court must inform each parent in open court that your parental rights could be “restricted or terminated” unless you demonstrate that you are capable of creating an environment that is safe for your child.
3. Permanency Hearings
Once the judge grants CPS custody of your child, your first Permanency Hearing will take place around 6 months or 180 days after the ruling. During this hearing, the judge will go over your child’s status once again as well as the Permanency Plan.
Permanency Hearings will continue about every 4-10 months following the first one but can be more frequent if the court desires. CPS must also file a report and serve it to each party at least 10 days before each permanency hearing. We will review this report together to ensure that you clearly understand what it contains.
The court will go over your case to be sure that you are meeting your obligations to create a safe environment for your child. The judge may return your child if you are able to prove that your child will be safe in your home environment and that this is in the best interest of the child.
During Mediation, all parties of the case, including CPS, meet with a mediator about the legalities of the case. The discussion will center on how to resolve issues that have come up during the case. Either party can request mediation, or the court itself can choose to order mediation. It can take place at any given time during the case and at any given place.
You must keep in mind that a mediator is not a judge. A mediator will listen to all arguments from both sides in hopes of coming to a solution, but this individual will not make any financial decisions about the case. The selected mediator should act in a neutral manner and should not take sides. Anything said during the mediation hearing is confidential and cannot be told to the judge nor used in court against you.
5. Trial or Final Hearing
It is required by Texas law that a judge issues a “Final Order” within one year of the date that CPS was granted TMC. The judge is able to grant only one extension of six months under remarkable circumstances. During the final hearing, the judge will usually hear from witnesses and review more evidence.
The trial will ultimately determine your fitness to be a safe parent and provide a safe environment for your child. Once the trial is over, the judge will sign a Final Order that will clearly state the outcome of the CPS investigation:
- Returns your child back home to you
- Appoints CPS or someone else as your child’s managing conservator
- Terminates your parental rights
How I Help You Fight CPS in Court
At each stage of the CPS court hearings, I will work in your best interest to present compelling arguments and defend your parental rights on the path to returning your child to your home.
I understand how CPS works. I understand the tactics that their court attorneys use to try to attack parents and keep the court proceedings going. They are very experienced in court, which is why you need expert legal support to help even out the playing field.
Trying to fight CPS on your own could leave you in a difficult situation. That’s why you want to work with an experienced family attorney that can help you present the best possible case for why your child should be returned to your family as soon as possible.
I’ll help you gather the appropriate evidence and proof that supports your position as a fit parent capable of providing care and the right environment for your child. We will work together to fight back against CPS in their attempts to interfere with your family.
Find Legal Support for Your CPS Case
To help you form the best possible defense against CPS when an investigation advances to court hearings, talk to me today about your situation. I am ready to provide you with expert legal representation before, during, and in between the court hearings.
I have helped countless families with CPS cases in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County as they fight CPS in court to win back their child. I can do the same for you. If you need help fighting CPS now, then contact me today to get started!
Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your CPS case. I’m ready to help you better understand how to fight CPS in court!