I have sole custody of my 3 children. CPS recently removed them from me due to frivolous allegations. How much rights do I have if any? Because their biological father apparently is working in collaboration with CPS to get custody of one (1) child not all three (3). He has NOT been in the picture for 5 years, and my son receives SSI since he was born.
1 Answer from Attorneys
I'm sorry to hear of your situation. If your children have been removed from your care, Child Welfare Services has filed or soon will be filing a petition in Superior Court to justify that removal. At that time, you will receive notice of a hearing that you very much should attend. At said hearing, you will receive a court-appointed attorney if your income qualifies you for one, learn the allegations levied against you, and have the opportunity to request custody of and/or visitation with your children. If you do not qualify for a court-appointed attorney, or if you simply prefer an attorney of your own choosing, you have the right to hire a private lawyer. At that hearing, a temporary plan will be put in place concerning where your children will reside and with whom they will visit prior to the next hearing. That next hearing will be set out about 3 weeks from the initial hearing and will concern the classes and tasks you may need to take and complete in order to have your children returned to your care. Also, that hearing will discuss the children's circumstances during the next 6 months.
Situations involving Child Welfare Services are very difficult and confusing, and I suggest that you work closely with your court-appointed or private attorney to rectify this situation. Although difficult, many such situations end well, so I wish you the best of luck. These situations sound scary, but motivated parents and good attorneys tend to go a long way towards making things better.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.
Best of luck,
Paul A. Swiller, Esq.
1901 1st Ave., Second Fl.
San Diego, CA 92101
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