Child Protective Services

Defending Against Child Protective Services

Each state legislature has outlined a different set of regulations pertaining to the rights of families. As a parent or legal guardian, you are recognized as being the personal responsible for a child’s health, safety, and security while under your care. Being responsible for the child is a duty that you willingly assume when deciding to be a the full time care taker and care giver of a minor dependent. While bearing such an immense responsibility, certain protections are offered to ensure that you can provide and secure your family to the best of your ability. Knowing the grave importance of this role, Michigan laws go  to great lengths in order to protect parents’ rights to their child and family.

However, those rights can be lifted in certain circumstances. If a parent is accused of child abuse or neglect via a violation of a child protection law, those protections can dissolve. These determinations are made by assessments from the department of health, as well as Child Protection Services (CPS). Any potential violations are normally reported to these agencies, often by neighbors, other family, members of the public, or other people in the community who may have witnessed what they thought to be inappropriate or insufficient care of a minor under your supervision.

An allegation like this is of great importance and should not be taken lightly by any parties involved in the matter whatsoever. Because of the gravity of potential situations like this, entities like child protective services, the department of health, and the department of children and family services respectively take child abuse very seriously. Investigations may occur including contact via phone, in person visits to your home, or other contact with your children or others in your life.

While the intention should always be to protect children from harm or danger, these entities often act quickly and with a sense of urgency that can create an even bigger and more damaging sense of shock to children, parents, guardians, and anyone else involved. In their haste and under the guise of serving and protecting, the department of children and family services, or child protective services, will act quickly, and ultimately completely remove children from the care of parents or other adults that they may deem unfit, unstable or dangerous at the time of the initial assessment or home visit. The urgency in which they act with their decisions may seem noble and dutiful in the moment, and in their eyes. However, in the frenzy of trying to make rash decisions for families under pressure, these agencies often end up treating parents or guardians unfairly.

No matter the situation, your rights not only as a parent or legal guardian, but also as an individual citizen, must be protected at all times, by all parties.  When these values are not upheld, it is important to understand your rights as you move forward throughout the legal process.

When facing allegations of child abuse or neglect, your first thought may be how you will keep your family together. That feeling is valid, and know that the best and most effective way to move forward is by contacting a firm with attorneys that are experienced in handling cases like yours.

As a lawyer with experience in both criminal defense and domestic relations law, Jodi L. Hemingway has the skills and knowledge to represent parents and other adults who have been accused of mistreating or neglecting children. Her firm, The Law Office of Jodi L. Hemingway, PLLC, helps parents defend their rights and protect their relationship with their children.


Get The Legal Representation
You Need

If you are being investigated by CPS, or if CPS has initiated child protective proceedings, it is critical to enlist the services of a knowledgeable attorney who can advocate on your behalf. Prompt action is important. Call 810-237-1200 or use the online contact form on this website to schedule a meeting.

Hemingway Legal

Protecting Your Parental Rights

CPS must initiate an investigation within 24 hours of receiving a report of child abuse or neglect. It can coordinate an investigation with law enforcement officials or conduct its own investigation. In some cases, parents who are trying to cooperate with the authorities have their children removed from the home without due process.

If CPS feels its investigation reveals any evidence of abuse or neglect, it may require the family to participate in mandatory courses and request the family division of the local family court to take jurisdiction over the case. In cases, where it feels there is evidence of serious physical or sexual abuse, CPS may seek termination of parental rights. A hearing is scheduled, and a judge will determine whether this should occur.

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