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mmdesq, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 518
Experience:  Attorney with 13 years experience.
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As of February 2nd 2015 my son was unlawfully taken from my

Customer Question

As of February 2nd 2015 my son was unlawfully taken from my custody and placed into temporary custody of the Cuyahoga County Ohio Job and Family Services (CPS) based on false allegations made by my sister-in-law (my brother's wife) without any knowledge to me or an proof of abuse, neglect, or drug abuse effecting my the safety and well being of my son being present in our home.
My husband was being treated for a mental illness called bi-polar disorder at the time and also had an anger management problem, however, I did my best to manage his illness, maintain my business, and care for my son. My husband was never angry or violent towards my son, in fact the majority of our arguments happened while he was sleeping and we usually resolved them the best we could. We were also attending family counseling at the time and I always protected myself and most importantly my son by always having a safe place to take him or if needed I would call the police.
However, without giving me any other options or warning I felt blindsided and forced into allowing temporary custody to go to my brother and his wife. Originally, the meeting with the intake social worker was supposed to be at our home between the intake social worker, my husband, my son (now 2 years old 10/03/2015) and Myself. However due to the circumstances that week my brother and his wife were taking care of my son, Morgan, that week for a few days while I worked because my husband went to stay with his sister. But, the day of our meeting with the social worker I was suddenly surprised t find out the meeting was moved to my brothers home and then after that we have not had our son since.
This has not only severely effected my husbands mental wellness, it has also proceeded to severely effect my marriage and our progress in reuniting with our son has declined due to defensive and irrational actions from my husbands belief that he was solely being blamed for the problem and his family then instigated him to turn his back on me and start fighting against me, for no reason at all!
The one year mark is approaching quickly and we've also gotten a replacement social worker who has no idea about our case and is neglecting our case progress!
Since Lawyers cannot communicate with social workers and I am afraid to communicate to the social workers because they have lied to me and caused such hardship in my marriage and alienation between my innocent baby boy and his parents.
I thought the goal is to reunite the family, not tare it apart!
Please help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  mmdesq replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning,

I will try to best answer your question.

Dealing with CPS can be burdensome at best, ***** ***** nightmare at worst. Your experience with CPS is largely determined by the caseworker assigned to your case. They generally tend to be young individuals with limited life experience, high case volumes, and high turnover.

As you describe the issues they seem to be primarily surrounding your husband. If he has been diagnosed as bipolar that is a very treatable condition as long as he is compliant with the medication regime prescribed. If he remains compliant with his medication and counseling that would be the best way to prevent sister in law from obtaining custody. You can have your husband's doctor and counselor testify regarding his compliance with treating the bipolar issue. If your husband is unwilling to address the bipolar issue you will have a difficult choice between choosing to stay with your husband and possibly losing custody of your son vs separating from your husband if he won't seek treatment in order to ensure custody of your son with you as the primary parent. I understand this is a very difficult position. If your husband refutes the diagnosis of bipolar he will need a psychological evaluation stating he does not have the condition.

I was also concerned by your statement that lawyers cannot talk to case workers. This is not entirely accurate. If parents sign a release allowing an attorney to communicate with caseworkers then they are permitted to do so. However, this is an expensive way of dealing with a cps. I would recommend contacting the currently assigned caseworker by telephone, email or letter until she responds. If you do not have a response within 48 hours begin the same process with her supervisor. With these agencies the squeaky wheels get the grease. I would insist on knowing what is CPS plan, adoption or return to family. In order to do an adoption they have to make a determination that the child is dependent and parents are unfit. I would recommend having all communication with brother and sister in law by text message or email in order to prove what is said between you. If she is trying to steal your child you need to document everything. If it at all possible I would advise hiring a family law attorney with experience dealing with CPS, if you cannot afford one contact the court clerk's office regarding pro bono services available in your district.

I hope that this information and advice is helpful and wish you the best of luck in this difficult situation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has been evaluated, and does attend his doctors appointments for treatment and counseling! We have completed all of our case work but we have went from visiting our son three days a week for three to four hours each day now to one day a week for an hour each separated because the agency has now forced my husband and I to act separated!I do not understand how they can dictate whether or not we are aloud to visit our son together, let alone if we are allowed to remain married or separated just based on others disliking our difficult situation. My husband has become absolutely miss-informed to think that we cannot fight for our child as a married couple, he thinks we are required to remain separated and also thinks we mus t get divorced. I think the way this entire situation has been handled by the agency is illegal and has practically ruined our family and our marital relationship and our time with our son in his second year of his life!Is there someone other than the agency that i can consult?
Expert:  mmdesq replied 1 year ago.

Your option is to demand a hearing before the judge. You should also obtain counsel to represent you in this matter to ensure your interests are represented. The strongest part of your case is husband's compliance with treatment for medical issue. If he is compliant with all treatment requirements it is a mystery as to why DC continues to act as though he is not. You need to hire an attorney to represent you.