Child Protective Services

Unfortunately, there are times when a biological parent is not willing or able to care for their child, and the involvement of CPS is imminent. 

Whether you are a relative, a person who has a relationship with the child, or a foster parent who has provided love and stability to the child, having an attorney to help you navigate the system is crucial.

At the end of the day, you may be the only person able to fight for the safety of that child.

Every circumstance is different, so you cannot rely on the outcome of someone else’s case or someone without experience to advise you.

Katie Flynn is currently involved a case regarding the death of a 3-year old that was under Child Protective Services. Read the full story here.

Too often we hear of non-parent caregivers that give up on fighting for the child as a result of bad legal advice or frustration with the system.

Our experienced attorneys at The Stout Law Firm, PLLC have several years of experience handling these cases, and the expertise that is necessary to understand the different aspects of a case involving CPS.

Some of the frequently asked questions when it comes to
dealing with CPS cases are:

Why Should I Intervene?

Filing a petition for intervention allows you to become a party to the lawsuit. 

If you are not a party to a lawsuit, you do not have the right to be heard by the judge.  You may be the person with the most information about the child but made to feel as though your opinion doesn’t matter. 

If you believe the child’s interests are not being adequately represented in court, it is necessary that you intervene to advocate on behalf of the child. 

Contact one of our experienced attorneys at The Stout Law Firm, PLLC to explain interventions and what options you may have.

When Can You Intervene in a CPS Case?

Once CPS has taken temporary custody of a child, the case is under a very strict timeline set out by law.  These cases should resolve within 12-18 months. 

Recently, there was a change in the law that requires foster parents and other non-parent caregivers to have the child in their care for 12 months prior to filing a petition in the intervention into the suit. 

This is troublesome because it means that the case may end prior to you being legally allowed to enter the lawsuit. 

However, there are alternative avenues you should discuss with an attorney well versed in this type of family law to help guide you in your specific case.

Relatives who fall within the third degree by consanguinity
(which would mean brother/sister; aunt/uncle; or grandparent of the child) who
have substantial past contact with the child have standing to intervene into a
lawsuit, regardless of whether the child has resided in their home within the
preceding 12-month period.

The worst possible feeling is to feel helpless when it comes
to protecting a child you love.  Contact
The Stout Law Firm, PLLC if you believe intervening into a lawsuit is the best
option for you and your family.

Termination of Parental Rights Involves Proving Two Elements

Ground for termination under Texas Family Code section 161.001 (b)(1);

These grounds include things including but not limited to:

  • Abandonment;
  • Endangering the physical or emotional well-being of a child;
  • Failing to provide support to the child;
  • Being convicted of a serious crime involving a child;
  • Being the cause of a child to be born addicted to drugs;
  • Failing to comply with court-ordered services in a case involving CPS.
  • The best interest of the child.

Too often people are poorly advised as to what would qualify for the termination of parental rights or are told by a CPS caseworker that they do not believe they have sufficient grounds to terminate. 

To be clear, caseworkers are not attorney and individuals should not rely on their interpretation of the law and how it applies to the facts at hand. 

This is a very complex area of the law, and not one many people are well versed in. 

Having the opinion of an experienced attorney with knowledge and skill in this practice are is crucial. 

Call or contact The Stout Law Firm, PLLC today to discuss
the specific facts surrounding your case and how we can help you achieve the
best possible outcome for the child in your care.

If CPS Wants To Return the Child To the Biological Parents, and I Do Not Believe It is Safe To Do So, What Can I Do To Prevent That?

You can intervene and file your own petition.  If CPS is the only party with any pleadings, there isn’t much that can be done once they don’t want to pursue restricting or terminating the parent’s rights. 

You would need to intervene in the lawsuit, so you have the right to ask for a different outcome and fight to protect the child. 

Let the experienced attorneys at The Stout Law Firm, PLLC work with you and allow you to have a voice in the case.

I Don’t Have Legal Standing To Intervene In a Case, Is There Anything I Can Do To Protect the Child and My Rights As a Caregiver?

Yes.  You can hire The Stout Law Firm to represent you as a consultant. 

We can advise you when it comes to navigating the CPS and court system to help you obtain the best possible outcome. 

Sometimes all you need is someone who has an understanding of these cases to help explain how to best direct your efforts. 

If and when you have standing to intervene in the lawsuit, and you believe it is necessary to do so, we can discuss filing a petition on your behalf.

Parental Rights Were Terminated by the Court, But CPS Wouldn’t Place the Child With Me.  Is There Anything I Can Do Now?

Termination of parental rights terminates the familial ties as well.  However, there is an exception to the limitation on standing to file a suit after the termination of parental rights has occurred. 

This exception applies only for a relative that falls within the third degree by consanguinity.

If you are a relative within the third degree by consanguinity, the Texas Family Code provides 90 days from the date the judge renders to file a lawsuit. 

Rendition is the day the judge verbally states what their ruling is.  If you are a relative within the third degree by consanguinity, and you were denied placement by CPS or the court, contact The Stout Law Firm, PLLC to discuss your options.

Is a Child You Love Involved In a CPS Case and You Need Help?

If you would like to discuss your case and your rights with one of the experienced attorneys at The Stout Law Firm, PLLC, please call or contact us to schedule a consultation. 

No one should feel helpless when if comes to advocating for a child. 

Katie Flynn

Katie Flynn was raised in a small town in Brazoria County, Texas and has resided in Texas her entire life. She graduated from the University of Houston in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science, focusing on child development and psychology. Ms. Flynn was licensed by the State Bar of Texas in 2009 and went on to continue working in the courts as an attorney ad litem for children and parents in cases involving Child Protective Services.

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