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RayAnswers, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  30 years as a family law lawyer .
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How to file a motion to modify temporary orders

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Can you provide me step by step details in filing a motion to modify temporary Orders; regarding Texas Family Code Chapter 263.403. I have completed all services requested by CPS and they plan on placing them in my custody but are stalling and I want to get them home before school starts. They have been out of family care since November 12, 2007. They were removed from my soon to be ex-wifes custody. I can not afford an attorney and was not in objection to the case when it started because she was accused and it still shows she has Munchhausen's by Proxy and Fictitious disorder. CPS has already said there is no way they will be placed with her. Their counselor is going to recommend 'weekend visits' and we don't have time. My boys are begging to come home and CPS is totally over worked here. I am nervous in filing because I don't want to do it wrong and make the Judge angry at me for anything. Please help!
Thanks for your question. I am going to give you what you need here but first am going to preach a little here. Please indulge me. I know what I'm talking about. Once upon a time believe it or not I worked with CPS/TDFPS in Midland. Small world I guess.

At any rate you have to decide here first if you want to make war on CPS. From what you present they are working with you here but too slowly. they are obligated by federal funding to attempt to return the kids to you here.

They are slow as all bureaucracies are here. But if you file on these guys you will back them in a corner here and all of a sudden they are not your friend. Challenging these guys can be risky. My experience is that they get their dander up and all of a sudden you are battling an agency with resources and time.Please consider not going down this road. If I was a betting man I would bet on them becasue you can't afford a lawyer and they can.

If you are past that hurdle then you have decided to go to battle with these guys. You need to find a copy of the State Bar of Texas Family Practice Manual. It is the form bible that all family lawyers use.

It will have your form motion as well as checklists here. You can find this at the county law library. You can't buy it because the bar only sells it to lawyers. Go over the checklist and is will take you through the motions. They are really too long here for this forum.

I wish you good luck. You should be able to copy what items you need here.
RayAnswers and 6 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
If you have any follow up please let me know, thanks..
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Wow - it is a small world!
I have written a letter to the Judge and CPS, the D.A. all objected against my request to be removed from this program called Project Adam (BIP); when I did "NOT" belong there. My counselor even wrote a letter of recommendation of Anger Management and the judge granted it.

I don't really think it would make war against them. I have asked them to do this themselves and they could stay involved longer to show I can provide a safe environment for my boys. Mind you, this is in their best interest; while CPS is supposed to keep that in the forefront of their mind, they're too busy having me still take random UA's, which is normal I guess. The deal is getting them home in time to adjust to a new home / environment and city (I moved over to Odessa and work for the City here) to "protect" them mainly from their mother; who this case was filed against. The new case worker doesn't know the history and does not have any rapport with me as I did with my last one (she went on maternity leave).

Isn't 100% up to the judge to decide if the kids should be placed back with me? After combing through the entire family code (huge as the bible) and more complex than criminal law I have studied - I found under Chapter 263 - Section 403;
MONITORED RETURN OF CHILD TO PARENT. Would be in the childrens best interest. It will be just as drastic to them as when they was removed from their school/home and put into a strange place. Wouldn't by filing this request be in their best interest? I did pretty well when I was permitted to question CPS/CASA and never got scolded by the Judge - everyone else has at least once! (like Judge Judy) her name isXXXXX and I think she goes by the law and what is best. I feel due to CPS have a high turn over rate and being on our 3rd case worker; and I've completed everything that was court ordered and then some; would you think I would have favor or is this really looked down on that badly? It's not like I am requesting the return of my children and terminate CPS involvement at all - I NEED them to stay involved for accountability and the services they will offer my boys; their mother really screwed their minds up.
Well if you want to file here give it a shot. You really need this forms manual. Internet forms for the most part are lousy and they just take your money here. This is an excellent easy to read form book here. Look up a motion to modify here. It will be for a regular custody case so you will have to plug in TDFPS or CPS or whatever they are called these days. I wouldn't worry so much about being perfect here. The court in this kind of situation wouldn't expect perfection.

Another alternative here is to ask to talk to the supervisor of the case worker. Each unit has one. There were two child welfare units in Midland and two units in Odessa. This may have changed here, it's been a few years.

At any rate like the military the supervisors and the program manager are the brains of the operation. I would suggest writing them a letter and requesting a meeting first. I would tell them what you are telling me that you have done what has been requested, you are frustrated with the lack of progress or transistion and you are considering taking independent legal action.

See what comes out of the meeting. This is what lawyers do, they try to make peaceful progress and then if that doesn't work you file your motion.Get some chiefs involved here, maybe they will see the light here.

Meanwhile get your forms and work on this. You decide after the meeting if you shoud file here.Either way you are some days from having resolution of this. I understand it is hard to be patient here. Agencies are like a big aircraft carrier, they have momentum of their own, they don't change direction or anything else rapidly.

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to RayAnswers's Post: Thanks for the info. I have involved the supervisors and program director (I'm on my 2nd supervisor; and know her better than the case worker and this supervisor is new on the job) - extremely high turn around rate within "the department". I know the judge will give them a major chewing out for not following the law even though there is really nothing they can do about people quitting CPS and/or getting pregnant :P. I have had meetings and went as far as requesting the attention above the program directors head in Austin - I believe they're the "Consumer Affairs" division within the Department - kinda like Internal Affairs within a PD. Nobody would 'ever' call me back and I have every single attempt documented and recorded on tape. Is there not a template on filing a motion to modify a temporary order? I guess I could just go off what the D.A has done and file it.

I accept your answer, though it did not answer my question; however you showing concern in me being cautious is acceptable. I appreciate it. If you by chance think of anything and Midland/Odessa pops into your head - please feel free to email me [email protected] -

*please note - I am very aware of the law book you're referring too; I've asked another attorney I believe that's in Corpus that has answered my questions but told me how to title things and the "requirements", etc... but this was something different; otherwise i would not be asking this question. I know to file it to the courts / my wifes attorney / the D.A. / and the kids Attorney ad litem. I just need to know the procedure of effect in filing a motion outside the realm of the courts or D.A. doing it.

Thanks for the info here. There is no template here. Look for the forms manual. It's what real Texas Lawyers use. I think the pm's boss is in El Paso although it may be in Abilene now. There are layers of management I believe between Midland and Austin. The agency is in some turmoil.

The commissioner of TDFPS is "retiring" because of the polygamist fall out here. The legal staff and a lot of other staff are still camping out in San Angelo because of that ongoing whole mess.

Turnover is a real problem. All state agencies have two kinds of people these days. New ones and old ones. There is nothing in the middle to keep them there. The old ones like me are counting the days until retirement. The young ones get burned out and move on real fast.

I think their office is on Wall Street. It was on Big Springs when I lived there back in the day.

Back to your motion. The test here will be the best interest of the child. You have good arguments for this change or modification of custody. I really enjoyed helpng you. If you have questions just ask for me and I'll try and help you out.Good luck....
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to RayAnswers's Post: Thanks Ray!

They're on Wall Street - and their Consumer Affairs dept. is now in Austin (512) area code; so I am guessing there :) You sound like a really cool attorney / guy that has been through the ranks. I really appreciate the info - and actually you've provided more of a counseling answer vs. "I wanna be a hard core - on my Father Rights" type deal.

Keep going strong and a major thanks to you for being out there to help people like me.

*I am a Webmaster - so I do the 'internet' thing and believe it has a major future. You would trip out on how we've done things here and how I've helped the PD bust people on the internet. However, I am only 34 years old - already gray - which reminds - I need to cut my hair shorter so it doesn't show! :) Again - I thank you.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Tried to accept - but this should work... I upped it to a whopping $18 - maybe get ya a pizza or something :) thanks Ray!
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I paid like a $75 fund here - and let me know if you didn't get paid and I'll do something to make sure you did. I cancelled my paypal account (community property!) but I can throw a few bucks back your way for your time. I did accept and my balance shows zero now - tried to apply $20

Thanks again. Let me know how it goes and if you need anything just ask..
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to RayAnswers's Post: Thank you.

Did the payment go through?
Thanks no problem...