Home

Attorneys

Criminal

Employment

Legal Malpractice

Child Protective Services - CPS

Legal News Blog

Legal Links

Contact Us

UNGER & HERSHKOWITZ Attorneys At Law

CPS Houston Texas - Child Protective Services Harris County Texas

CPS Conroe Texas - Child Protective Services Montgomery County Texas

CPS Dallas Texas - Child Protective Services Dallas County Texas

CPS Austin Texas - Child Protective Services Travis County Texas

CPS Richmond Texas - Child Protective Services Fort Bend County Texas

CPS Angleton Texas - Child Protective Services Brazoria County Texas

8431 Katy Freeway, Suite 201
Houston, Texas 77024

Call Today for a
Free Consultation

Phone: 713-260-9645
Fax: 713-583-8476

We gladly accept Mastercard, Visa, Amex and Discover.

The Attorneys at Unger & Hershkowitz represent clients in the Houston Texas area, including Pasadena, Clear Lake, Katy, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Channelview, Conroe, Galveston, Angleton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Beaumont, Walker County, Bastrop County, Galveston County, Ft. Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Harris County, Waller County, Austin County, Fayette County, Grimes County, Brazos County, Chambers County, Liberty County, and Jefferson County.

TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES
TEXAS DEPARTMENT CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
TEXAS CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
TEXAS CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES

ONCE CPS ENTERS YOUR LIFE, QUICK ACTION MAY BE REQUIRED TO SAVE YOUR FAMILY.

WE HAVE LAWYERS READY TO ASSIST YOU 24 HOURS A DAY - EVERY DAY! EMAIL US OR CALL US NOW AT 713-260-9645.

CPS cases in Texas are often emotionally charged. If you have been targeted by CPS it may seem like they have unlimited power. Once targeted for investigation, you can be under their microscope for years, caught up in a maze of administrative blinds and obstacles. It's no wonder that the mere threat of CPS involvement is enough to make most people cringe. For this reason, if you are dealing with potential CPS involvement, it is important that you consult with an experienced attorney who knows Texas CPS Laws and who will fight for your family .

The Three Most Important Things to Keep in Mind if you are Targeted by TDFPS/CPS

1) Keep Quiet! There is no such thing as a casual or "off the record" conversation with a TDFPS investigator.

2) Take the accusation seriously! Your family's stability IS at risk.

3) Although you have the right not to let a CPS investigator into your home without either a warrant or a court order, your failure to do so could lead to court involvement. Therefore, you should contact an attorney immediately upon learning that your family is a target..

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

1. Do I need a lawyer if CPS isn't looking to terminate my parental rights?
Call 713-260-9645 or email the experienced CPS attorneys at Unger & Hershkowitz for a free consultation. We understand how traumatic CPS involvement can be, and we will fight to help you keep your children.

2. What is a "Show Cause", "Adversary" or "Initial" Hearing?
The Terms "Show Cause Hearing", "Adversary Hearing" and "Initial Hearing" are used interchangeably.

At the adversary hearing the Court decides whether or not to return your child. If the Court finds that there is a continuing danger to the physical health or safety of your child it will name CPS as the Temporary Managing Conservator. Essentially, this means that CPS has temporary custody of your child.

The adversary hearing is the only meaningful time that you will get to challenge the reasons why CPS became involved in the first place. This is because that during a termination trial, CPS will bring up other evidence that often overshadows the reasons for their initial involvement. For example, even if CPS did not have legitimate reasons to initially remove your child, it can still seek to terminate your parental right based solely on your failure to complete court ordered services (Fam. Code. §161.001 (O)).

THAT'S RIGHT - EVEN IF YOU DID NOTHING WRONG, YOUR RIGHTS CAN BE TERMINATED DUE TO YOUR FAILURE TO COMPLETE A PARENTING OR SERVICE PLAN.

Don't wait! Contact (link to contacts page) one of our experienced CPS attorneys BEFORE you walk into court.

3. What are grandparents' rights?
Grandparents' rights are the rights of grandparents to visit with or gain custody of their grandchildren. However, these rights are neither automatic nor absolute. If a lawsuit has been filed, it is up to the Judge to decide whether a grandparent has a legal interest in the case and if placement with the grandparent is in the children's best interests.

If a Suit to Terminate Parental Rights has been filed, it is important that you to act fast because if your grandchildren are in foster care, they are at risk for being adopted. The younger the child, the greater the risk.

But, remember, Grandparents do have rights under the Family Code. If you are interested in getting your grandchildren out of the "system" call 713-260-9645 or email the experienced CPS attorneys at Unger & Hershkowitz for a free consultation. We understand how traumatic CPS involvement can be, and we will fight to help you keep your family together.

4. How long does a CPS case last?
A suit to Terminate Parental Rights can last a year with the possibility of one, six month, extension. This period can be further extended to allow CPS to monitor a child's return.

If CPS has chosen not to file suit, there is NO LIMIT as to how long CPS can be involved in your family's life. That means that you could be asked to sign multiple safety plans and jump through countless hoops while working with Family Based Services. It is not unheard of for families to be "working services" for a year or more.

"How can that be possible?"

The answer is simple - because there are no Court orders, your choice to cooperate with CPS is entirely "voluntary", even though it doesn't feel like it.

To make matters worse, most Family Based Service Workers will give parents a false sense of comfort by telling them that they needn't hire a lawyer because their children will be able to return home once the service plan is completed. If your Service Worker tells you not to worry keep in mind that the Worker works for CPS and not for you. The Worker is not going to tell you that additional tasks may be added onto the original plan or that if they learn additional information during the course of their involvement, completion of the services is not a guarantee that CPS will simply step away.

Call 713-260-9645 or email the experienced CPS lawyers at Unger & Hershkowitz for a free consultation. We understand how traumatic CPS involvement can be, and we will fight to help you keep your children.

5. Can CPS take my children I am a victim of domestic violence?
Technically, YES. A mother's rights can be terminated when there are allegations of domestic violence against the mother. However, because this dually punishes mothers, allows criminal prosecutors to blackmail women into cooperating with criminal prosecutions, and is supported by controversial and often conflicting evidence - it is not clear that such exposure actually causes emotional damage to children - any attempt by CPS to remove children based solely on allegations of domestic violence against the mother must be met by swift action. By consulting an attorney early on, you may be able to prevent CPS from being named your children's Temporary Managing Conservator in such a case.

Call 713-260-9645 or email the experienced CPS attorneys at Unger & Hershkowitz for a free consultation. We understand how traumatic CPS involvement can be, and we will fight to help you keep your children.

6. Should I call CPS if I notice that family members are not treating their children properly?
Calling CPS should be viewed as an option of last resort, as a call to CPS can generate unwanted intrusion not only into the life of the target of the complaint, but also the lives of that person's extended family. By consulting with an attorney first, a family can learn about alternative ways to protect their loved ones without the need for governmental intrusion.

Call 713-260-9645 or email the experienced CPS attorneys at Unger & Hershkowitz for a free consultation. We understand how traumatic CPS involvement can be, and we will fight to help you keep your children.

7. What rights do I have if I am Native American? (The Indian Child Welfare Act or ICWA)?
It is extremely important that you inform your lawyer if you are Native American as you may be entitled to increased protection under the Indian Child Welfare Act or ICWA. As ICWA recognizes the importance of the relationship of an Indian Child with his/her tribe, the application of ICWA gives a higher preference to family placements and makes it significantly harder for CPS to terminate parents' rights. These protections are so dramatic that it may even be possible for a parent to regain post-termination parental rights where the court failed to properly apply ICWA guidelines. If you think that ICWA applies to your case, to insure that your rights are protected, it is important that you consult an attorney who is familiar with the ICWA and its application in Texas.

Call 713-260-9645 or email the experienced ICWA attorneys at Unger & Hershkowitz for a free consultation. We understand how traumatic CPS involvement can be, and we will fight to help you keep your children.

For more information about ICWA, visit the Native American Rights Fund's (NARF) website at: http://www.narf.org/icwa/index.htm

8. Once a suit has been filed, does anyone represent my children? If so, what are their responsibilities?
Once a suit has been filed, the Court will appoint your children an attorney whose job is to provide legal services and who owes your children duties of undivided loyalty, confidentiality, and competent representation. In other words, the Attorney ad litem is your children's attorney and must represent the their interests. Texas Family Code sections 107.003 and 107.004 state that the attorney ad litem must:

  1. interview and advise your children in a developmentally appropriate manner;
  2. interview each person who has significant knowledge of the your children's history and condition, including any foster parent of the child;
  3. interview the parties to the suit;
  4. seek to elicit, in a developmentally appropriate manner, your children's expressed objectives of representation and follow those objectives during the course of litigation - so long as the attorney ad litem determines that your children are competent to understand the nature of an attorney-client relationship and that they have formed that relationship with the attorney ad litem;
  5. consider the impact on the children in formulating the attorney's presentation of their expressed objectives of representation to the court;
  6. investigate the facts of the case to the extent the attorney considers appropriate;
  7. obtain and review copies of relevant records relating to your children;
  8. participate in the conduct of the litigation to the same extent as an attorney for a party;
  9. take any action consistent with your children's interests that the attorney considers necessary to expedite the proceedings;
  10. encourage settlement and the use of alternative forms of dispute resolution; and
  11. review and sign, or decline to sign, a proposed or agreed order affecting your children;

A Court might also appoint a guardian ad litem, who is responsible for representing the best interests of your children. The guardian may be a CASA volunteer or even another attorney. Some Courts ask the attorney ad litem to also serve as guardian; this is called a dual appointment. Attorneys who are dually appointed will inform the Court of your children's interests but are free to advocate what they believe is in the best interests of your children.

Additionally, Texas Lawyers for Children and Texas Foster Youth, legal assistance and information to children who are in foster care.

Don't risk the future of your family by burying your head in the sand. If you are being targeted by CPS based on allegations of abuse or neglect, or you are being asked to present your child for an examination, or even if you are simply being asked to complete a Family Service Plan, you need legal representation - and you need it now!

Call 713-260-9645 or email the experienced CPS layers at Unger & Hershkowitz for a free consultation. We understand how traumatic CPS involvement can be, and we will fight to help you keep your family together.

Copyright © 2011 | Unger & Hershkowitz, Attorneys at Law | All Rights Reserved | Disclaimer | Sitemap

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Persons accessing this site are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.