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Family Law Cases in Texas: The Final Stages of a CPS Case

Family Law Cases in Texas: The Final Stages of a CPS Case

In Texas, the culmination of a Child Protective Services (CPS) case is a pivotal moment for families. This concise guide sheds light on the vital final stages of a CPS case under Texas family law, offering key insights and steps for families to prepare effectively. Stay informed and empowered as we explore the essential actions and considerations in concluding a CPS case, ensuring your readiness for this crucial phase in family law proceedings.

Final Stages of a CPS Case: The Status Hearing

A Status Hearing is one of the most critical steps and also part of the final stages of a CPS case. CPS prepares a service plan and holds a hearing within two months of placing your child in temporary care. This hearing discusses and decides whether to adopt the plan as the court’s orders.

The judge requires a plan to ensure all parties, including you, understand the case expectations moving forward. The return of your child to your home hinges on your adherence to the court-implemented plan. The judge monitors this plan and reviews any progress at the hearing.

Your attendance at this hearing is mandatory, as it is a critical step in the CPS case process. Your parental rights are at stake at this stage. Failing to follow the plan and complete the necessary steps could lead to severe restrictions or termination of your parental rights.

Final Stages of a CPS Case: Permanency Hearing

CPS, temporarily named as your child’s managing conservator, holds the Permanency Hearing within six months. The court evaluates the plan in your case at this hearing, aiming to move your case towards some resolution.

The judge will primarily ask if you have been following the service plan at this case stage. Additionally, the judge assesses whether CPS fulfills its responsibilities, including communicating with parties and ensuring your child’s safety and well-being.

Changes may need to occur in your service plan, and if any party asks the court for changes, the judge will ask questions to determine if those changes are justified or necessary. If they are, the judge will amend the service plan to reflect the changes that you or any other party requested.

The Importance of Providing a Safe Environment for Your Child

Family Law Cases in Texas: The Final Stages of a CPS Case

Once you have made it to this point in your case, the judge will make sure that you understand how critical it is for your child to be provided with a safe environment to live in. This is the first time in your case that you stand a solid chance to have your child returned home to you.

At the Permanency Hearing, the court may set additional service plans, subsequent hearing dates, and a dismissal/trial date.

If your child is not returned to you at the first Permanency Hearing, the judge may schedule additional Permanency Hearings. This action gives you time to provide a safe environment for your child, get your act together, and complete any remaining steps in the service plan.

Is placement with a relative permanently now in your child’s best interests? What about putting your child up for adoption? These are all possible revisions to the service plan that a judge can order at subsequent permanency hearings.

The Final Step: Trial

The final step in the process of a CPS case is Trial. The first Monday after the first anniversary of CPS becoming the temporary managing conservator of your child is the last date that a trial can occur.

The Trial’s purpose is to create Final Orders in your case that state where your child will be residing and who will have conservatorship rights and duties associated with them. Your child can be placed in your home or with a relative of the child. CPS can be named the permanent managing conservator of your child- with you either having possessory conservatorship rights or with your rights to the child being terminated permanently.

A Story About a Former Client of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, Pllc

In Texas CPS cases, parents’ actions greatly affect outcomes. A case from New Jersey, involving a father and his teen son, highlights the need for active involvement.

The case began with the mother’s mental health issues and move to Texas. The father, unaware, found his son enrolled in a Texas school. This led to legal complexities involving CPS and New Jersey courts, challenging the father’s ability to cope.

The father, despite a good income, didn’t initially respond to CPS or participate in the service plan. His lack of engagement and rigid custody views negatively impacted the court’s perception. His inaction resulted in the child’s uncle and aunt becoming primary conservators, not termination of his parental rights.

This case stresses the need for prompt, proactive involvement in CPS matters. It warns parents about the critical role of engagement and following service plans in CPS case outcomes.

Conclusion

Family Law Cases in Texas: The Final Stages of a CPS Case

Now that you’re armed with knowledge about the twists and turns of CPS cases, it’s time to put your newfound understanding to good use. So, what’s the verdict, you ask? Well, it’s simple: Take charge! Be proactive, engaged, and committed to your case. We’ve seen how one father’s lack of participation and adherence to the service plan led to a less-than-desirable outcome. Don’t let that be your story!

If you’re facing a CPS case, it’s crucial to show up, listen carefully, and follow the court’s orders. Building a strong defense, communicating effectively, and demonstrating your commitment to creating a safe environment for your child are key ingredients for success.

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