As an attorney working in family law, I can think of no more frustrating or sad sort of case than a CPScase. From the child’s perspective, it is alleged that he or she has been the victim of abuse or neglect at the hands of a legally obligated person to care for their best interests. From the parent’s perspective, their life has been thrown out of whack no matter if they actually abused or neglected their child.
If the abuse or neglect did occur, then their rights and duties associated with raising the child will rightfully be in question moving forward. If the abuse or neglect did not occur, that would not stop CPS from conducting a full-scale investigation and even involving the legal system to an extent.
A part of CPS cases that is not discussed near as much as parents and children's role is the impact the case will have on other family members, notably grandparents. We’ve all heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
This situation literally involves your family taking on the village's role when you are told by a court or state agency like CPS that you cannot raise your child, either permanently or temporarily.
While the child is fortunate that he or she has family available and willing to care for them, the grandparents are put in a position where the ultimate responsibility to protect the child’s well being is on their shoulders without much assistance, often from outside sources.
Today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, will focus on grandparents' issues in CPS cases. How a CPS case can become a multi-generational saga is an example of collateral damage stemming from a CPS investigation.
Grandparents as primary caretakers of children
Think back to your childhood and see if you can remember any friends or classmates whose grandparents were their primary caretakers. I’m willing to bet you can think of at least one child whose parents, for whatever reason, we're not in the picture, and their grandparents stepped up to the plate to raise him or her.
Why are grandparents so often thrust back into the role of primary caregiver for a child under eighteen?
In situations where parents lose their jobs, find themselves involved in time-consuming and expensive divorces, and other life-altering situations, grandparents can often find themselves in a position to fill the void left by a parent. Maybe the parent has to find work in another town and cannot be physically present as often due to traveling back and forth for work.
Parents who are going through a divorce also can rely on grandparents as a temporary caretaker until their lives are more or less returned to normal. What happens, however, if mom or dad become addicted to drugs and a CPS investigation is opened against him or her.
CPS involvement in a family’s lives may lead to grandparents becoming responsible for a child
If your son or daughter has an addiction to drugs and alcohol, a complicated set of circumstances may arise where he or she can no longer care for your grandchild due to CPS intervention. Any person can make a CPS report against your child if he or she has put your child at risk of serious physical or emotional harm resulting from their substance abuse.
If we take a look at CPS investigations across the State of Texas, there is a high probability that drug or alcohol abuse in some way has impacted the lives of at least one person involved in the case.
Persons who are addicted to drugs or alcohol become fully consumed by their disease and will act out in any way that he or she believes will allow them to satisfy their desire for whatever addictive substance their body calls out for.
Where does Texas law come down about grandparents in custody cases?
It may surprise you to learn that our state's laws do not necessarily favor placing children with their grandparents over any other similarly situated party. Rather than make known to a CPS caseworker that they are the primary caretakers for the child in question, grandparents will remain quiet and act as if the child has been living with his or her parents.
In so doing, grandparents can inadvertently miss out on services offered by CPS for the caretakers of children involved in CPS investigations who are no longer living at home.
It is natural for you as a grandparent to be worried about the grandchild's well-being in your care and for your child, who is possibly suffering from their own difficult circumstances on top of any pending CPS investigation.
To the degree that your worrying keeps you from learning about the law, how the law impacts your life, and other services available to assist you in caring for your grandchild, you are put in an even more difficult position.
Are you on a fixed income from social security? Are you only able to work part-time due to a disability you suffer from or that your spouse suffers from that requires additional care throughout the day?
These are the sort of real-life concerns that grandparents often have about CPS cases involving their grandchildren, where they have taken on the responsibility as the primary caretaker of the child.
There is no specific right for grandparents to have even visitation with their grandchildren, so you can imagine how the deck may be stacked against you in terms of ultimately winning legal custody of your grandchild. However, you do have the right to initiate legal proceedings on behalf of your grandchild.
If CPS has already initiated a legal case involving your grandchild, you also have rights in this context. All is certainly not lost, but knowing and applying your rights appropriately is crucially important.
Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC to learn more about grandparent rights in Texas.
The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, have served as effective advocates for Texas grandparents in southeast Texas and would be honored to do the same for you potentially. If you have questions or concerns about a situation involving you and your family, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
A free of charge consultation is available six days a week in which your questions can be answered.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “Child Protective Services E-Book”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- What to Do When CPS Asks for a Drug Test in Texas
- CPS and how The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC can help
- Take control of your child’s CPS case by following these tips
- How to stand up for yourself during a Texas CPS case
- How to prevent a second CPS investigation after your first concludes
- Family Law Cases in Texas: The final stages of a CPS case
- When can CPS remove your child from your home in Texas and what can you do about it?
- What to do if you no longer like your CPS service plan?
- In what circumstances could your child end up living with your relative during a CPS case?
- What can a CPS investigation into your family mean now and in the future?
- What to do if your spouse is being investigated by CPS in Texas for abuse or neglect of your child?
- Can CPS photograph your house and request your child’s medical records in Texas?
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 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.