As attorneys who do a lot of family law, and a lot of CPS defense, we work with many parents who are at risk of having their parental rights terminated. Sometimes it’s a child abuse case that starts as a CPS investigation and grows to include the cops and criminal charges. Sometimes it’s a high conflict divorce that gets out of hand and allegations of abuse are made (usually with custody and child support as the motivators) and we have to step in and defend a parent against terrible accusations in the middle of their divorce.
Either way, over the years we’ve helped a lot of parents who are dealing with allegations of child abuse or neglect, and who are fighting to keep their kids. It’s a difficult and scary time for most people, and they have a lot of questions. So we’ve decided to put together this simple break down of what the process entails and what you can expect, to help make the whole thing just a tiny bit less overwhelming. But we want to remind you – we’re always here to answer questions and help you out if you want us to.
1. What should I do if CPS takes my child away from me?
If your child has been removed from your care by CPS, you need to call a lawyer immediately! If a petition has been filed with the court asking the court to take jurisdiction over your family, you need to call a lawyer immediately! In fact, the moment you know CPS is involved in any way, you should call us. Things can escalate quickly, and once your children have been taken by CPS, getting them back is not a quick or easy process. Prevention is ALWAYS better than cure!
2. Will I be able to get my child back from CPS?
Once CPS has taken your child with a court order, they will be placed in foster care, either with a relative of yours, or with a foster parent licensed by the state of Michigan. They won’t be able to come back home to you until the court decides that whatever issues caused the removal in the first place have been dealt with. And that’s assuming CPS doesn’t lobby for you to lose your parental rights, which would mean that your child never comes home again and you no longer have any legal right to them! So the sooner you get an attorney on your side, the better!
3. How does this happen? What can I expect?
CPS is required to investigate every claim of abuse or neglect. So if someone has accused you of harming a child in any way, CPS will open an investigation. If they believe that you’re not parenting your child properly or safely, the CPS worker may try to work with you to provide supports (like substance abuse counseling or anger management therapy) to help you be a better parent. You have to participate in these classes or you could lose your kids. If CPS believes your child is in danger, they’ll remove them and put them in foster care. If the danger to your child is believed to be significant, they’ll petition the court to have your parental rights terminated!
Having CPS involved with your family makes everything more complicated!
Join us next time as we discuss more common concerns about the termination of parental rights, and answer some of your questions. Until then, if you or a loved one need help with any legal matters that affect your family, from divorce and custody concerns, to child abuse allegations, The Kronzek Firm can help you.
Our skilled family law attorneys are available 24/7 at 866 766 5245. We have helped countless Michigan parents, whether it’s figuring out a suitable custody arrangement, working through the details of child support, or dealing with CPS during a child abuse case. Contact us today to set up your free consultation, and let us help you protect your family’s future.