CPS Parental Rights Termination
Did Child Protective Services take your children?
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) can seek to have your parental rights terminated when the investigating agent has reason to believe that you pose a threat to the safety and wellbeing of your children. In many cases, the rights of a grandparent will also be removed.
If someone has made a complaint against you to CPS, an agent will be assigned to investigate your case. Your home and your children will be examined for any signs that would point to evidence of child abuse or child neglect. When any such evidence is found, the agent will most likely move to have your children removed from your custody.
Laws Regarding Termination of Parental Rights
CPS may choose to petition the court for legal termination of your parental rights. The judge will rule against you if it can be proven that you have committed one or more violations of § 161.001(1) of the Texas Family Code, and that termination is in the best interests of the children.
Examples of actions that would constitute a violation include:
- Knowingly placing or leaving your child in an environment which could pose a danger to your child’s emotional or physical well being
- Engaging in conduct which poses a danger to your child
- Using a controlled substance in a manner that could be construed as placing your child at risk
The CPS representative will have to provide clear and convincing evidence against you, but a seasoned Houston child protective services attorney can help you by challenging any evidence. The sooner you take legal action to defend your parental rights, the better your chances will be of a successful resolution.
The Court’s Decision to Remove the Child
The state of Texas allows for CPS to remove a child from their home if their safety is at risk. There are several factors that a judge may examine when making this decision:
- Consent – If the parent consents for CPS to remove the child then no court order will be needed. An example of this situation would be when a parent wishes to receive help for mental health issues and needs CPS to take custody.
- Court Order – this may occur when a caseworker from CPS requests permission from a judge to remove the child from his or her home. The caseworker usually has found substantial evidence from their inspections that the child’s best interests are at stake. Keep in mind, if the child is in immediate danger, then CPS has the authority to remove the child before the court’s permission.
- Exigent Circumstances – As mentioned above, if the child is in immediate danger, then the CPS caseworker has the right to remove without parent consent. This happens during serious situations and the court hearing must occur on the first working day following the removal.
If the child is removed, your CPS caseworker will supply you with a document titled “Child Caregiver Resource Form”. It is mandatory to fill out and will allow you to write down the names of all the people who you feel can best take care of your child(ren).
Contact our law office today to find out more information and how our attorneys can defend your rights in these difficult times.
Child Protective Services Lawyers in Houston
At Slate & Associates, Attorneys at Law, we know how strongly you feel about defending your rights as a parent, and we will work tirelessly to help you fight the case. We have earned a reputation for successfully representing parents who were under attack from CPS. You can reach us at all hours, because we recognize that an emergency that threatens your family could occur at any time of day or night.
Contact a Houston child protective services attorney if you have been threatened with termination of your parental rights and want to do whatever is necessary to prevent this from occurring.