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CPS

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CPS is formally known as, in Texas, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.  CPS is different and unique in the process than any other type of case in Family Law.  There are different levels of CPS cases that can occur before a case goes to the Court for a request for termination of parental rights.  CPS has attorneys, either the county attorney or district attorneys, that file a suit for termination of parental rights against the parents.

Once the termination suit has been filed, there are strict timelines that must be followed.  Since terminating a parent’s rights is viewed quasi criminal, if a parent cannot afford an attorney, that parent may qualify for a court-appointed attorney.

If the court finds after the full adversary hearing that CPS should have temporary custody, then the Court will generally approve a service plan whereby the parents are required to complete services, such as parenting classes, drug and alcohol assessments, psychological evaluations, in an attempt to have the child placed back with the parent.  In rare situations,   CPS can request a fast termination trial and not offer the parent a service plan.

After the full adversary hearing, there is generally a hearing every three months with the Court to review the case, in addition to meetings with CPS at their office.  If at the end of the case, there is still no agreement for the child to be returned to the parent, there are options to avoid the parent’s rights being terminated.

These types are complex and require not only knowledge of the law, but also of CPS policies and procedures.  We have represented both parents and child in an abundance of CPS proceedings.

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