Once Children Are Taken Into Custody, How Soon Will There Be A Hearing?
The first hearing must occur within 14 days of the removal of the children from your home.
What Are The Different Hearings And Reviews That Will Take Place And Their Timeframes?
Day 14: Adversary Hearing
The court will either enter temporary orders regarding the child or return the child to the parent, guardian or relative. If the child is not returned, CPS will be named as the temporary managing conservator and the court will set forth guidelines regarding the rights of the parties, visitation, child support, and services to perform (i.e. counseling, substance abuse evaluations, random drug tests, anger management, and parenting classes).
Before Day 60: Status Hearing
Court reviews child’s status, the family plan of services for the parents, and the permanency plan.
Before Day 180: Initial Permanency Hearing
The Court will:
- Return the child to the parents/guardians, or
- Place the child with a non-parent or relative;
- Evaluate the parties’ compliance with temporary orders and the services plan.
- Determine whether the current placement is appropriate or needs to be changed.
Before Day 270: Permanency Hearing
Same review as the 180-day initial permanency hearing (above). Every 120 days after the 180-day Initial Permanency Hearing, the court will conduct additional permanency hearings to evaluate the parties’ compliance with the services plan. The court may shorten but not extend the 120-day deadline for subsequent permanency hearings.
Before Day 360: Trial/Dismissal of Suit/Extension of Case
The court must enter a final order or dismiss the case. “Final order” is an order that does one of the following:
- Returns the child to a parent;
- Grants managing conservatorship to a relative or other person;
- Appoints CPS as the permanent managing conservator; or
- Terminates the parent-child relationship.
At this hearing, if the court finds extraordinary circumstances, it may also extend the time to enter a final order or a dismissal by an additional 180 days from the original deadline.
How Can Experts And/Or Doctors, Be Used To Get My Children Back?
Experts in CPS cases can include child abuse pediatricians, counselors, therapists, and drug experts. These experts are used in a variety of ways to discuss a parent’s progress in services or even the actual injuries a child may or may not have suffered. Drug experts can decipher drug testing and help make sense of what drug levels and substances are.
Can A Parent Or Guardian Who Loses A Final Hearing File An Appeal?
Yes. In Texas, appeals from CPS termination trials must occur on an accelerated basis. For an accelerated appeal, the deadline to file a notice of appeal is twenty days after the judgment or order was signed.
If We Win At The Hearing, Does That Mean The Children Are Returned Immediately?
Generally, yes. As soon as a parent is entitled to regain possession of their children, the Court will take all reasonable efforts to return the children to the parents immediately.
Will CPS And/Or The State Close The Case Against Me If I Win?
The investigation will be closed when CPS makes its final determination as to whether abuse or neglect occurred. A case closure letter is sent to all families indicating if CPS found the parents reason to believe for abuse or neglect, ruled out abuse or neglect, or was unable to determine if there was abuse or neglect.
For more information on Court Hearing & Process Involved In A CPS Case, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (903) 964-1122 today.
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