How to Find Representation for Your CPS Case

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Individuals who find themselves being investigated by Child Protective Services (CPS) may be worried. People call CPS when someone is concerned that a child is being abused or neglected. People who find themselves in this situation need to find an attorney as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn where to find representation, what to look for in a lawyer, and what to expect a lawyer to do in this type of case.

What to Look For in an Attorney

If you are looking for representation for your CPS case, there are a few things to remember. A lawyer should be the best resource during a CPS case to answer questions and guide clients through the case. Look for someone who is recommended by a friend or family member. Clients need to develop a relationship with their attorney that’s based on trust. 

Before choosing an attorney, clients should interview them. In addition to sharing information about themselves and the case, clients should listen to the attorney. Ask questions. Use an initial visit to find out as much as possible about the attorney’s training and experience. Ask them for specific examples from their experience. Look for an attorney who is respectful and open. 

Ask about the attorney’s fee schedule. Ask what kind of work they will complete and what work they will pass off to their paralegal. There can be a lot of paperwork involved in a CPS case, and paralegals can do much of this work. Ask if the attorney is available after hours. Sometimes child protective cases can be stressful even after business hours. Clients may want to know how to reach their attorney after office hours.

What to Tell an Attorney

Begin by telling the attorney why protective services are conducting an investigation. Clients should not wait until the attorney has the paperwork from the office. Be truthful so the attorney can start preparing for the case. Share with the attorney any prior history with protective services, even if those cases did not lead to any findings of neglect or abuse. Clients should always be truthful about drugs and alcohol in the home, even if they don’t think it is relevant in the case. It is also essential to disclose any fighting or domestic violence

Attorneys need to know about a child’s other parents, even if they live in another location. Clients should provide as much information as possible. The other parent is usually the first person the child is placed with if they need to be removed from the home. If the other parent is a good option, ensure the attorney knows that. 

What to Expect from an Attorney

A lawyer should meet with their client early in the case. Lawyers have a responsibility to speak to a client before a court appearance. They will also meet with the other people involved in the case, such as case workers and court-appointed professionals. Attorneys should share any court documents with their clients, explaining their meaning. The attorney’s job is to advise the client, even if it is not advice that the client wants to hear. 

Individuals who find themselves in a case with Child Protective Services should ensure proper representation. They should work with a professional to sort through the legalities and provide the best chance of winning their case.

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