CPS Cases/Child Abuse Allegations in Columbia
Attorneys Protecting Families throughout Missouri
Child Protective Services is a governmental department that oversees the protection and safety of children throughout the state. CPS is the organization called in if someone such as a teacher, family member, or physician suspects a member of the household is abusing a child. Unfortunately, no system of government is entirely without fault, and CPS may be called in based on false reports or even out of spite.
If your child has been removed from your care by CPS, you have resources at your disposal to fight the accusations of child abuse. Our skilled attorneys at Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices have more than 60 years of combined legal experience to offer your case.
Call us about the CPS allegations you are facing as soon as possible: (573) 279-1349.
Why Does CPS Take Away Some Children?
CPS was created to prevent child endangerment, even if a child’s parents or siblings are responsible. In some cases, a member of the public might be obligated to call CPS if he or she even suspects child abuse and has no concrete evidence.
Examples of why CPS would investigate your family include the following:
- Crimes committed by one or both parents
- Domestic violence calls
- Substance abuse in the home
- Child endangerment
- Reports of child abuse
If CPS decides your home is a danger to your children, you could lose your parental rights, and your children will be removed from your care. Once CPS becomes involved, you and your family will be under intense scrutiny. Speaking to an attorney as soon as possible is in your best interest if your family is at risk of being separated.
What Are the Repercussions for False Child Abuse Accusations in Missouri?
In the state of Missouri, there are potential civil and criminal consequences for making false child abuse claims. The parent who made false abuse claims might face the following:
- Be given supervised or limited visits with the child
- May be ordered to pay legal fees for the falsely accused parent
- Receive additional sanctions
The parent making the false claim is not only tarnishing their credibility but also showing that their child’s best interest is not of the utmost importance. In custody cases, the court’s number one priority is ensuring the best interests of the child. According to Missouri law, children benefit from “frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact with both parents.” Therefore, when a parent makes a false claim of child abuse, they are preventing their child from having a meaningful relationship with both of their parents. While often aimed at harming the other parent, a false accusation affects the child more than anyone else.
Where Does CPS Place Children after Home Removal?
CPS can be hesitant to remove a child from his or her home at all unless an agent seriously suspects a child is in danger. Because the agency wants to do what is in the child’s best interest, CPS will do whatever they can to avoid sending a child into foster care unless absolutely necessary. Before a child is placed into foster care, he or she might be placed with close relatives, or even the other parent if a couple is separated or divorced.
Likewise, CPS will hold a hearing to determine what is in a child’s best interests. Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible if you are facing a CPS hearing to determine your child’s placement. Having an advocate working on your behalf will be a tremendous asset in the hearing.
Call Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices Today
A child abuse allegation is a serious issue to deal with and must be handled with care. We understand this may be an incredibly stressful and frightening time for you and your family. Our family law firm has more than 60 years of combined legal experience to offer you and your case. Let us do what we can to make this as smooth a process as possible. We dedicate our practice to doing what we can to protect you and your family. Call us for a consultation, where we can go over your case with you and help you understand all aspects of your situation.
Further reading: Guardianship
Contact us at (573) 279-1349 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation today.