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Child Protective Services is involved, but we are not in…

Child Protective Services is involved...
Child Protective Services is involved, but we are not in CHIPS court. CPS wants me to get a diagnostic assessment from a psychotherapist and also a Rule 25 for treatment options after being a drinker. I am not court-ordered to do any of these things and we still have custody of the kids even though we can't keep them at home or visit them without supervision supposedly, we have not seen paperwork, and my understanding is that once we get any recommendations for treatment or counseling, we need to follow though as a means to get the kids back.But we are not in court for this, it is voluntary, and I'm afraid that whatever recommendations that are made could prolong getting the kids back, when I have already voluntarily detoxed and attended AA meetings and the kids were never harmed or anything. What would stop a judge from giving them back to us now if CPS decided to bring this to CHIPS court, and what cons would following through with those assessments do in helping? How could a judge force us to do these things to get the kids back, and if not, shouldn't we be able to have custody of them now?What do you recommend?
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10/16/2017
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,902
Experience: Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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The issue is that even though it is not in court, when CPS comes in and makes recommendations is that if a parent does not cooperate with the CPS investigator, then CPS goes to court and will get the court to force the parents to do things. So, even though at this point they are recommendations from the CPS social worker, if you do not cooperate then they will make this go to court and it will force you to hire an attorney to defend you.

They can force you to do things based on the potential harm to the children and as long as CPS can demonstrate that there is some potential for harm or they cannot verify if you have alcohol issues or mental health issues then they have a right to insist on those examinations. Failure to cooperate, which you have a right to do, would require you to go to the CHIPS Court regardless of whether CPS brings you there or whether you go to court to get an order from the court to that you should not have to subject yourself to those evaluations. However, I can tell you that if CPS presents even a little evidence that there is some potential to the claims against you, the court will err on the side of caution to verify with the examinations that it is safe for you to have the children.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I understand what you are saying. The sticky situation is that as their parents, we do not agree on the best course of action. I am at a point where even though it seems like they are pushing the requirements to the max as some kind of standard around here in general, just to cover their bases, I am willing to comply against my better judgment as far as what I think is necessary for them to be alleviated, but if my spouse is not willing to jump through all their hoops, (he feels they are pushing it too far), what does that mean? CHIPS, ultimately? He'd rather get an attorney.If we are low income, can we, (I mean, realistically), apply for legal aid, such as the Volunteer Attorney Program or sliding fee, (even that would be hard to afford), with any chance of defense, or will it have to come to the point where CPS brings us to court and then and only then could they help?And especially in a case that involves CPS, (state agency)? would something like legal aid (state agency)? be likely to represent us?Beside the legal aspects I just mentioned, since this has already been drawn out with waiting just to get rule 25's etc. (I'm still waiting to have mine because of their schedule being booked), if they recommend this or that, such as they recommended my spouse getting inpatient treatment when he had his Rule 25, (he was able to get his before mine for various reasons), now that it's been a while since that recommendation, and he has proven through UA's that he is clean, attended AA meetings, held his job as always this time, and cooperated in every other way except to seek inpatient treatment since then, would it be "acceptable" to ask CPS to let him have another rule 25 assessment done in the hopes that a lesser form of treatment could be recommended?Thanks for your consideration. This has been a terribly confusing, disheartening, and lengthy process already.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Typo error, I meant..."held his job as always for all this time," (meaning he's NEVER had a problem keeping his job, is not impaired from holding a commercial driving license and utilizing it fulltime).
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I guess one more question, if we did what we needed to have the kids back at home, does that typically mean CPS would have closed their case at that point or would there be some kind of probationary period? If so, what would that entail, and for what kind of time period? I realize it's hard to answer all of that without all the details, but just in general in MN, this is all new to me and I'd like a general idea of what to expect if you could. Thanks again.

Thank you for your reply.

Your spouse needs to wake up and realize that CPS is not playing games and holds all of the power. If he wants to spend money on an attorney to fight them, he has an absolute right to do so (you can try legal aid if they have attorneys available at the time), but he needs to be ready for a long and difficult fight and realize CPS is nasty and will make up evidence and will make up things about the two of you to try to win the case.

You can ask CPS for another assessment, that does not mean that they will do another one, but you can ask. If your spouse is seeking to dig in his heels, you better be ready for a drawn out court battle and better have an attorney to do so.

Generally, yes, if you do everything and they return the children, typically CPS closes their case at that point.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Family Law
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Experience: Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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