Get Help With Child Protective Services Cases
The thought of losing custody of your child/children to Child Protective Services can be terrifying. Whether you have just learned you are being investigated or a child has already been removed, there is hope. The attorneys at Arroyo Copland & Associates, PLLC, in Albany, New York, will work with you to find a quick resolution to your case that preserves your parental rights.
Have you been contacted by Child Protective Services regarding allegations of abuse or neglect? Even if you believe you are being investigated by mistake, it is important to have an experienced lawyer by your side before answering questions by an investigator. Call our attorneys now at 518-464-6000. You can also reach our firm online.
How We Can Help Protect Your Parental Rights
When it comes to Child Protective Services investigations, the sooner you call, the more we can do. When you meet with a lawyer from our firm, we will carefully listen to your situation and provide you with a candid assessment of your options.
Calling early makes a difference. If you call us at an early stage in the investigation and there has been a misunderstanding or other unusual circumstances that resulted in the case against you being opened, we will attempt to have the case closed before any formal charges have been made.
Mistakes that could lead to a child protection case include:
- Confusion about which caregiver was looking after a child
- Confusion about where the child is located, i.e., believe the child was in a secured house
- Accusations of failing to a protect a child when reporting abuse at the hands of a family member or family friend
- Allegations of abuse during a divorce
If you contact our firm midway through the investigation, but you have not yet had a hearing, we can step in and help make your case for the court at your hearing. We will fight to preserve your ability to keep your child in your home.
If your child has already been removed, we will work with you to help get your child/children back.
Understanding the State’s Process and Burden of Proof in Child Protection Cases
Many parents do not understand that Child Protective Services may remove a child from a home and place the child in protective custody at any time during the investigation process. State investigators are empowered to place children in emergency protective custody anytime they reasonably believe the child is in danger.
Children are often placed in foster care while the CPS offers services to the parents. Eventually, a Child Protective Services case will be referred to New York’s family courts system.
After determining where the child will stay while the case is pending, there will be a fact-finding hearing. The courts will use the information gathered at that hearing to make a determination about whether a child has been abused or neglected.
The burden of proof at a fact-finding hearing is very low. The state only has to prove that a child is being abused or neglected by a preponderance of the evidence. Preponderance of the evidence means more likely than not. Translated into percentages, that is only 51 percent.
If the court decides a child has been abused or neglected, there will be a dispositional hearing to determine what will happen with the child.