As a parent, typically you are in the position where any questions being asked of your child are being posed by you. These can be simple and everyday questions regarding what your child wants to eat for dinner or who broke the vase in the living room. Without a doubt, questions in the answers that children provide are a key part of the parenting relationship between you and your kids. However, you may find yourself in a position where you have concerns about questions that other people may be able to ask your children. Specifically, I am talking about a situation where CPS, Child Protective Services, can I ask your child questions about incidents involving abuse or neglect?
In many ways, this can be extremely disconcerting. Whether we like to admit it or not, being in a position where we can exert control over our children is a key part of feeling comfortable parenting them. With all the craziness that goes on in the world in addition to the normal stresses associated with parenting it can be a lot to take on in terms of responsibility. Being able to know that you can control the surroundings of your child to a great extent can be the only thing that makes you feel like you have autonomy over your child sometimes.
When CPS becomes involved in the life of your child it can feel like you are struggling to get on top of the situation. All your diligent planning and work that goes into raising your family can go right down the tubes when CPS comes knocking on your door. On top of that, the normal concerns that you probably have as a parent when it comes to being able to not being able to control the type of questions asked if your child can be extremely disconcerting. For that matter, how does CPS even get to a point where they can talk to your child without your permission? Is that even legal? These are the type of questions that we will do our best to answer in today's blog post. Namely, what type of questions can a CPS employee potentially ask of your child? What can you do to prevent those questions from being asked?
The bottom line is that there is only so much you can control personally in a CPS case. Make no mistake, although you are reading about this CPS subject on a family law attorney's website that does not mean that a CPS case is just like a child custody or divorce case. Rather, a CPS case frequently takes on characteristics that are more like a criminal case. You will not necessarily be accused of having committed any crime in your CPS case, but your ability to dictate the pace of the case as well as to access certain information and evidence will be more limited than you might find in a divorce or child custody case. You should already be able to tell that because CPS cases are not your garden variety family law case that you may need an assistant that goes beyond simple drafting of documents and attending mediation with you.
If you find yourself in a position where you need help regarding a family law case that involves Child Protective Services, then you should reach out to speak to the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Working with one of our experienced CPS defense attorneys can be the difference between your having a satisfactory experience within the case and ultimately suffering from a lack of proper representation. There are many differences between the kind of representation you will find with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan and other family law attorneys when it comes to CPS cases. Let's discuss some of those differences before we talk more about what you can expect in terms of questions being asked of your child within the case.
What are the main advantages of working with an attorney from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan in your CPS case?
Without a doubt, CPS cases can be among the most stressful and difficult for any parent to manage in all family law. We have already talked about some of the known differences between an atypical family law case and a CPS case. As far as I can tell, the most significant difference between your experience in a CPS case and your experience in a child custody or divorce case involves the party on the opposite side of the negotiating table from you.
I like to tell clients involved in divorce or child custody circumstances that hey family law case is an extended negotiation. Although the subject matter is incredibly personal to you and your family the fact of the matter is that at a certain point, your family law case will become a business transaction. This means that for better or worse you and your Co-parent or spouse will be engaging in extended negotiation with each other. For the most part, this works out well for all parties involved because for the most part settlement negotiations are usually successful in a family law case. Probably close to 90% of family law cases settle before the trial phase of a case. This means that, while you may not accomplish all your goals within the case, you almost certainly will accomplish some of your goals while avoiding the tremendous time and money costs of litigation in family law. new paragraph all the while, you will be able to negotiate with one human being whose facts and circumstances you are aware of.
This is as opposed to a CPS case where the folks you are negotiating with so to speak are a government entity that is not incredibly easy to work with. Whereas you can always pick up the phone and reach a Co-parent if you need to things do not work that way with CPS. It is not uncommon for you to try to reach out for weeks to CPS before you get a response back from them on a question about your child's case. All the while you may be worried sick about having your child returned home to you or whether you are going to be able to see your child anytime soon. The point I was making earlier in today's blog post about family law cases being more like a business transaction than anything else works better when the level of involvement is equal between you and the opposing party. When the government is the opposing party, they have far less to lose than you do and are less invested in the case. This makes sense given that it is your child and not theirs. They are doing a job and you are I'm trying to save your child from uncertainty and the possibility of a life without you and your family.
This is the backdrop of an atypical CPS case. If it sounds like you are at a disadvantage compared to the state, then you would be correct in many ways. It is not as if CPS will have anything personal against you or your family it's just that the reality of the situation is CPS is doing its job to the best of its abilities with major limitations. You will wake up during your CPS case in the first thought in your mind will be that of your child. The same cannot be said for CPS. To make this a fair fight for you and your family you need to be able to work with an experienced attorney who is not afraid to push the agency to make sure that your child is given every opportunity to return home and that your relationship with him or she is maintained to the greatest extent possible. That is where the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan can step in and provide an important service for you and your family. Hiring an attorney is it short-term investment in the long-term future of your family. What the Law Office of Bryan Fagan will do is keep you in constant communication with your CPS case worker. He will not be in the dark about what is happening next to your case or whether you are meeting all the obligations outlined in a safety or parenting plan. Our office has decades of combined experience working with CPS on behalf of families just like yours. We know how to structure a case in terms of arguments to have your child returned home as well as how to help you maximize your time within the case itself.
If you need assistance with attending anger management or parenting classes, learning how to better Co-parent with an ex-spouse, or anything in between, our attorneys have the level of experience and know-how that you need to be able to improve your life. Family law cases are not all about ignoring or burying your head in the sand when it comes to issues in your relationship with your child. Rather, you may have legitimate issues that need to be addressed within your case. One of our attorneys who works with you in your case will be able to build a relationship with you, your caseworker, and your family to be able to ensure that you put your best foot forward when it comes to building a case for the return of your child. You may be surprised to learn that there is a lot you can do 2 quickly and effectively and a family law case involving CPS. However, you need to be able to advocate for your rights while managing the case alongside CPS. Working with one of our attorneys is the best way for you to do this we have a great deal of experience and can help families just like yours sort through the difficult process involved in managing CPS cases.
If you have ever tried to get ahold of someone and they will just not return your call, then that is a huge part of a CPS case. CPS caseworkers are typically overworked and underpaid. They may have the best of intentions when it comes to working with you and your family but they have limits to how much time they can spend on your case. You and your attorney from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan cannon will forge a great relationship where the two of you can work as a team 2 ensure the accountability of CPS towards you and your family.
Finally, the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are no strangers to the courtroom. If your case requires ongoing legal representation, then our lawyers will not shy away from advocating on your behalf inside the courtroom. You can contact our attorneys today to learn more about the level of expertise that we have in CPS cases and to talk about to successes of our clients in these cases. We want to be able to serve our community and provide an unsurpassed level of advocacy for our clients. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your family in a difficult and trying time.
Questions that CPS can ask of your child in an investigation
There are certain circumstances where CPS can gain access to your child even against your permission. Typically, this can occur in a circumstance where they are allowed into your home by an adult or someone who appears to be an adult in age. Once inside your home, a CPS caseworker can ask questions of your child that relate to a determination involving abuse or neglect of him or her. Here is a little bit of information on how CPS can come to contact your family in the first place.
CPS receives anonymous reports daily regarding alleged acts of abuse or neglect. These reports are anonymous meaning that you will not be able to know for certain who made a report. Once a report comes into CPS caseworker or investigator will be assigned. In that case, a worker or investigator will reach out to your family to determine whether you are willing to talk to them about the report that was made. There is nothing mandatory about your speaking with CPS at any point in your case. One of the great benefits of having an attorney from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan assist you and your family in the case is that you can learn about what circumstances may exist where you are better off not talking to CPS about their investigation of you and your family. Otherwise, GPS will take the information that they learn from you can anyone else interview and began to build a case to see whether enough evidence exists to issue a finding of abuse turn neglect. Oftentimes CPS will run into cases where they simply do not have enough evidence to decide one way or the other. On the other hand, they may also collect enough information to determine that no abuse turn occurs.
If CPS does determine that abuse or neglect did occur then the next step would be for them to decide whether or not to try to remove your child from the home or to allow your child to remain in the house while you work through a CPS parenting or safety plan. The parenting or safety plan oftentimes involves you attending courses geared at becoming a better parent or simply fixing issues in your home that have provided a level of danger to your child. This could be something like fixing a broken step on the stairs or even asking a family member to leave the home if he or she has abused your child in the past. new paragraph all the wild, CPS may have an opportunity to ask your child questions based on their age and maturity level about the alleged abuse or neglect. CPS may even attempt to contact your child at their school but cannot interview them without your permission.
The older your child is the more in-depth the questioning will likely be. On the other hand, if your child is younger then he or she will likely be asked more simple questions in a general sense so that the CPS caseworker can learn more specifics about the situation and get a general sense of whether abuse or neglect is likely occurring in your home. With so much at stake and so much out of your control in a CPS case having diligent and responsive representation is of the utmost importance.
Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
if you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.
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- In what circumstances could your child end up living with your relative during a CPS case?
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas CPS Defense Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding CPS, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX CPS defense Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our CPS defense lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles CPS defense cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.