The Goal Of CPS Mediation In The State Of Texas
What Is The Goal Of CPS Mediation?
A Child Protective Services (CPS) mediation aims to avoid the emotional and sometimes traumatic experience of having a child protective services termination trial. Instead, CPS wants to go to mediation before trial, hoping that the parents, caregivers, or relatives, and the Department of Family and Protective Services can agree about that child’s custody.
In addition, they hope to resolve who the children will live with and what kind of visitation, possession, and access the child’s parents will have in the future.
How Does A CPS Mediation Work, And Who Generally Is Involved Or Is Present At The CPS Mediation?
CPS mediation is not much different from traditional Family Law Mediation, except for the fact that there tends to be a few more participants. In a CPS case, an official from the Department of Family and Protective Services, (otherwise known as CPS), is the person who filed the lawsuit, making them the petitioner.
The petitioner’s attorney would be present, as well as a representative from the department who is present to participate in the mediation. Additionally, there is a court-appointed special advocate or a Guardian Ad Litem to advocate for what they think is in a child’s best interest.
The child themselves would also have an Attorney Ad Litem, who’s appointed by the court to represent what the child wants. Then, we have the parents or the caregivers involved along with their court-appointed or privately retained attorneys.
Like in a traditional family law case, the goal of mediation is that all the parties come together and work with a mediator to resolve whatever issues are in dispute. Typical disputes include:
- Where the child lives.
- Who takes care of the child.
- Who has access to the child.
- What provisions need to be included in the final order to make sure that the child is safe in the future so that CPS doesn’t have to get involved.
- And more…
How Long Does CPS Mediation Generally Take?
CPS mediations are very case specific and frequently depend on how many children are involved. So, for example, suppose there is only one mother and one father, and they have one child together. In that case, a CPS mediation can typically be completed in a half day mediation session.
But suppose the grandparents are also involved, or the children have different fathers. If several fathers are concerned, we have many parties that need to agree in various instances for specific children, which can often take an extended day, or longer.
What Happens If We Cannot Resolve The Issues Through CPS Mediation?
If you can’t get an agreement mediation, then trial is always the backup. The trial could be a bench trial straight to the judge or a jury trial before a jury. Of course, it’s important to remember that trials are open to the public. Some very private family matters will be on display for the public who wants to come and watch. So, trying to reach an agreement when you’re at mediation is another motivating factor to avoid that trial process.
What Is Your Firm’s Role In CPS Mediation Cases?
Attorney Christina Wade Perrone offers her services as an attorney ad litem – a lawyer appointed to represent a child who might be in foster care or in a situation where CPS has removed them from their home.
Additionally, there are times when Christina is appointed to represent the parent who’s lost physical custody of their child.
Finally, Attorney Christina Wade Perrone is qualified as a mediator. As a mediator, she can gather both sides with the hope that she can help them to reach an agreement in their case before they have to take it to trial.
For more information on The Goal Of CPS Mediation In The State Of TX, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling (903) 964-1122 today.