Welcome back, and thanks for joining us for the wrap-up of this four part series on what to expect when CPS petitions the court to take your kids away. We’ve already discussed how the trial happens, and what to expect if the allegations against you are dismissed. Now we’d like to take a look at what you’re up against if the Judge decides that you’re guilty of abusing or neglecting a child.
What happens if you’re determined to be guilty?
If the Judge or jury decides that your child was abused or neglected, a dispositional hearing will be held. This is where the court decides what needs to be done in the wake of the decision about your guilt. Dispositional hearings are supposed to happen within 28 days of the completion of the trial.
At this hearing, the court typically does one of the following things:
- Dismisses the petition and issues a warning to you,
- Orders your family to cooperate with in-home services suggested by CPS (like parenting classes, substance abuse classes, or anger management classes),
- Orders you to leave your family home and live somewhere else so that your children are safe,
- Orders the removal of your child, and has them placed with a licensed relative, or in foster care (however, this step often happens before the hearing – sometimes even at the very beginning of the process!)
- Orders you to pay child support,
- Terminates your parental rights (however this would only happen in a case where the petition filed by CPS was for a termination of parental rights)
What about the family reunification plan?
If the court decides that your child was abused or neglected, (unless they’ve terminated your parental rights) CPS is still required to create a reunification plan! This means that they’ll create a plan that you’ll have to comply with in order to be reunited with your child. This could include any number of requirements, including parenting classes, substance abuse counseling, regular ‘drops’ to check for continued sobriety, and supervised visitation with your child.
While your child is under the jurisdiction of the court, the court is required to perform regular reviews of your case. Ideally, this is so that the court can determine if the family needs additional services, is benefiting from the current services, and whether or not the children can be returned to their family.
Protecting your family against CPS requires lots of experience!
If you have any other questions about the court process involved with a CPS petition, or what happens after CPS accuses you of abuse or neglect, contact our skilled CPS defense attorneys immediately at 886 766 5245. Our experienced CPS defense attorneys have spent decades defending the families of mid-Michigan against invasive and overzealous CPS workers. We’ve helped keep many families together, and have protected many accused parents from false accusations. We can help you too!