When Child Protective Services has been called into your family situation, it can feel like you are being charged with a crime. The truth is, a child abuse or neglect is not a criminal proceeding — it’s a civil proceeding in family law court. However, the consequences can be at least as severe as a criminal conviction. You can lose your children.
You do not have to face a CPS hearing alone. You have a right to have a lawyer on your side. If your children have been removed from your home, contact our family law attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kari Molnar represents parents in child custody hearings, as well as in negotiations with the district attorney and Child Protective Services. Call our office or contact us online to arrange for a confidential consultation.
What Happens at a CPS Abuse or Neglect Hearing?
Typically, Child Protective Services becomes involved with a family because someone has notified the department about suspected physical abuse, sexual abuse, lack of food, unsanitary conditions in a home, extreme disciplinary measures being taken against a child, or family violence. (Nevada will remove a child from a home in which domestic violence is occurring if the parents are not working to end the violence and to protect the children.)
Working with the district attorney (DA), Child Protective Services then files a complaint against you with a family law judge. The state must show probable cause that your children are in imminent danger in order to remove them from your home. If the state cannot do so and your children were removed from your home unfairly, your children will be returned. However, even if CPS returns your children, you may still be required to correct any issues that are putting your children in harm’s way.
If the state succeeds in showing that your children are in imminent danger, your children will be put in foster care until you are able to see to their care. In that case, your case will go to a hearing before a judge who will make a decision about what you need to do to get your children returned to you, or (more rarely) whether to terminate your parental rights.
Can I Get My Children Back?
Nevada law is committed to reunifying parents with their children whenever possible. If you are having difficulties seeing to the proper care of your children, there are a number of services available.
A lawyer can help you at several steps in this process. We represent parents immediately after their children have been removed, protecting their rights and making sure that any action the state has taken was not done unfairly. We can negotiate with CPS about what conditions you will have to meet to get your children back, a visitation schedule while you are separated, what level of supervision (if any) will be required during your visitation, and how often or whether there will be ongoing home inspections.
We have handled a number of CPS cases and have achieved dismissals in a number of them. We have also successfully negotiated safety plans to allow the return of the children. Our goal is always to get the best resolution we can for parents.
Contact our Las Vegas law office online or call today to arrange for a confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.