CPS & Grandparents Rights
It’s not only the parent who suffers when there is a CPS case the child is also often confused and terrified when they are taken away from a parent. It doesn’t matter whether there is neglect or abuse, a CPS case can split up a family. The CPS often conducts a full investigation even if the neglect or abuse did not occur. Sometimes grandparents take their grandchild into their care before CPS is notified about possible child neglect. However, grandparents that do that often find themselves forced to take care of their grandchildren without any support.
Grandparents Caring For Grandchildren
Grandparents often step up to the plate to raise their grandchildren when the children’s parents cannot care for them. They are often thrust into this role when the children’s parents:
- Lose their jobs,
- Get involved in lengthy and
- Expensive divorces, or
- When parents have to look for work in another town or state
- Are addicted to drugs or alcohol or both
Drug or alcohol addiction is a disease that prevents parents from taking care of their kids. They become so consumed by the highs they get from the drugs and getting the money to buy those substances that they neglect the needs of their children.
What Texas Law Says
Just because parents cannot take care of their kids does not mean that grandparents automatically become the neglected kid’s primary caretakers. Grandparents do not have any specific visitation rights as far as their grandchildren are concerned. The courts may actually favour placing the child under foster care. For this reason, grandparents sometimes take their grandchildren away from their drug addicted parents and do not report the issue to the CPS. This only robs them of the chance to get any assistance from the CPS as far as taking care of the child is concerned.
What Are Grandparents Rights After CPS Is Called
Anyone can call the CPS if they feel a child’s health, welfare and safety is in danger. The CPS is often tasked with carrying out an investigation within twenty four hours after they have been called. This investigation may involve them calling the parents or visiting their home. Any evidence of abuse or neglect could lead to a police investigation, and the CPS may remove the child.
Grandparents have the legal right to be informed when the CPS is removing the child. However, the grandparents will have to lobby during a hearing to get to keep the children. That means that they have to legally join the hearing where the judge decides where the child will be placed, and visitation rights in the next one to two years as the case is pending. The grandparents can lobby to get visitation rights or temporary custody of the children.
The grandparents can also file an intervention lawsuit for guardianship to get legal custody of the child. This is the right move if the child’s parents are truly unfit. However, since this is a permanent move that involves significant investment of time and money, you need to consult with your lawyer for advice. You should also know that filing to get legal custody could destroy your relationship with your child who is your grandchild’s parent.