Child Protective Services Lawyer
If you are suspected of child abuse or neglect, Child Protective Services (CPS) will be sent to investigate you and your home.
Hiring an attorney from The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt is crucial when facing these serious allegations.
Our Arlington, TX, law office can advocate for you, your rights as a parent, and the health and well-being of your child.
Our law firm serves families in Southlake, Westover Hills, and the entire Dallas-Forth Worth metroplex.
What Is CPS?
Child Protective Services is a government agency that is responsible for providing resources and solutions that help protect children from:
- Physical abuse or neglect
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse or neglect
CPS is part of the Texas Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS).
Parents to CPS?
Anyone can contact Child Protective Services if they suspect that a child's safety is in danger. Some individuals in frequent contact with children are considered mandated reporters and are required to report abuse concerns to CPS. Examples of mandated reporters include teachers, social workers, childcare providers, family therapists and mental health counselors, and people in law enforcement.
What Happens When
CPS Becomes Involved?
The Report and Investigation Process
CPS Evaluates the Reported AbuseCPS will evaluate the reported abuse or neglect. Going over the nature of the complaint, CPS determines if the suspected child abuse will require a formal investigation within 24 or within 72 hours.
CPS Interviews and Safety AssessmentA caseworker will go to the site of the alleged child abuse in order to conduct interviews with the children and parents. The investigator will also note the condition of the home and the dynamics of the household.
Assessment of Abuse or Neglect EvidenceBased on interviews with involved parties and observation of the condition of the home, the caseworker will determine if child abuse is actually happening. The case is closed if there is no abuse.
Protecting the Child From Potential HarmIf the caseworker determines that child abuse is occurring, CPS may require the parent or caretaker to work with the agency for remediation. If criminal charges are warranted, the abused child may be removed from the home.
Are You Facing a CPS Investigation? Contact Our Attorneys for Legal Advice
Reports of child abuse and neglect must always be taken seriously. Parents accused of harming their own children should contact The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt. Our attorneys have helped parents throughout Arlington, Southlake, and Westover Hills, TX, address allegations of abuse and child endangerment.
We care deeply about the rights of parents as well as child safety. Our team will help you understand your rights during the investigation process and how to work with Child Protective Services caseworkers without undermining your case.
If you live in Tarrant County and need to speak with an attorney about abuse or neglect allegations, contact our law firm today. You can also reach our office by phone.
Family Law Clients Share Their Stories Serving the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex
"Donna was extremely helpful when we needed direction protecting our children in a blended family dynamic with concerns of abuse and addiction." Jodi B, 5-Star Review
How to Interact with CPS Helpful Tips for Parents
Remain Calm and Be PoliteA visit from Child Protective Services can be scary, but it's important to remain composed while communicating with your caseworker in person, on the phone, or through correspondence. Avoid arguments and being confrontational since that can hurt your case.
Ask About the Complaint Against YouAsk the caseworker about the complaint filed against you. This will provide the reason for their visit and the charges you're facing. Knowing the complaint, you may understand why it was made, who made it, and if it was the result of a misunderstanding.
Write Down and Document EverythingAny time you are interacting with Child Protective Services, make sure to take notes. Document the name of the caseworker, their contact info, the times you were contacted or visited, your case number, what you were asked, and any info that seems important.
Refuse Entry Unless They Have a WarrantEven though you should be polite to the CPS investigator, you should assert your rights respectfully. Do not permit the caseworker into your home unless they have a proper warrant. You can still politely discuss the complaint with them outside of your home.
Speak With an AttorneyBe sure to speak with a lawyer about the CPS report, the investigation, and the allegations against you. The Arlington-based attorneys at The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt can review these details and offer guidance on what you should do next.
Dealing with False Claims and Accusations
An investigation by CPS doesn't mean the claims made in the report are true. Texas' Child Protective Services caseworkers are required to conduct investigations in order to ensure the health and safety of a child. Sometimes false or outrageous reports are filed in order to ruin someone's reputation.
An attorney from The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt can help you weather these false claims about your home, your parenting style, and your relationship with your child. Should a false claim of child abuse come up during a custody or visitation hearing, our lawyers will be able to offer the proper context for the CPS investigation so it does not adversely affect a ruling in family court.
Protect Your Relationship
with Your Child
Contact a Lawyer About CPS Investigations
If you live in Arlington, Southlake, or Westover Hills, TX, and have been accused of child abuse or neglect, The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt can offer legal guidance. We can review the process that CPS investigators go through and let you know what to expect. We can also note the nature of the report and how it may affect your divorce or disputes over child custody or child visitation rights.
Speak with attorneys who care. Contact our law office online or give us a call to request a consultation.
Call Our Law Office
Our Law Firm Is Here for You Lawyers Helping Parents in the Arlington Area
"...When one of our grown children approached my wife and I needing guidance regarding a custody battle with our grandchild, I knew immediately who I was going to contact for advice... I find it SO REFRESHING when people/businesses deliver on the promises they make - not because they do business together - because they care about getting the right results in the most efficient manner possible. There are many Family Law Firm options out there and as many unique situations to resolve. In my opinion, there is only one team/firm I would trust with both -Thank You Team Smiedt!" Scott Daniels
CPS Impact on Family Law Disputes
A report to CPS or repeated CPS investigations can be detrimental to your rights as a parent. This is particularly true if you are currently involved in a divorce proceeding or have disputes with a former spouse over conservatorship or possession and access to your child.
The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt can walk you through these concerns so you understand what is at stake.
Effects on Child Custody
If you have been the subject of multiple CPS investigations or have had your child removed from your home by CPS, this can be held against you in child conservatorship disputes.
Your former spouse may argue that your home isn't safe for raising children. Furthermore, your ex-spouse may attempt to become the custodial parent and sole managing conservator of your child, ending your co-parenting arrangement.
The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt can be a strong advocate for your parenting rights in these cases. We can demonstrate that you do care for your child and that co-parenting is in your child's best interests.
Donna and her team can help you protect your rights and ensure that you are not treated unfairly.
Effects on Visitation Rights
When safety and child welfare come up in visitation disputes, CPS reports could be used to limit a parent's possession and access. It could also be used to prohibit possession and access.
This could mean that all visits must be supervised by a third-party agency to ensure child safety. Access could also be limited to video calls or the phone rather than in-person interactions.
Our lawyers will advocate for you as a person and a parent, always noting that your presence in your child's life is in their best interest.
"...I don't know where my grandchildren would be without Donna. She has given them a chance to have a much better life and a chance to be loved and grow into well rounded adults. Donna is a very caring person that really looks out for the benefit of children and her clients." Jerry Johnston