I haven’t written in awhile about the process we are going through. In going back and reading my previous articles, I realized how naive I was.
I thought that by being innocent of charges, that being an American and being free, voting and over 21 I would have the right to express my contempt of the charges brought against me and my husband. Little did I know that we are now caught in the grip of CPS. The mighty machine.
We have never spoken a word in court. It is all done by lawyers. The judge did ask my son, who reported us for abuse, if he was willing and happy to go home. He said we are working it out and he wants to stay at home.
And I did hire a lawyer with money borrowed from my brother. This lawyer charges by the hour and has done little to nothing for me. My husband has kept his court appointed lawyer who seems to have a grip on what is happening so I am looking to him to help us out.
First we had the jurisdiction hearing where the State is trying to get guardianship of all three children, ages 16, 14 and 4 years old. We would have physical custody but the State would keep guardianship. I am not sure what that is all about. But his lawyer, State paid, got the 4 year old taken off the case at our hearing. Meanwhile my personal attorney who we paid good money for has done nothing.
At the hearing, CPS’s attorney was irate. She said these kids are ALL effected by the ABUSE going on in our house. And that I am FAILING TO PROTECT my children against this monster! That is one of their catch phrases they use in every case failure to protect. What about all the years and tears and love that we have shared. If they were so worried about our children, why are they still allowed to live in our home?
Now we have another hearing in a couple of weeks. Dispositional, I think that is the phrase. But since my lawyer has little contact with me, I am at a loss for what is to come. At least our little one is out of the fray, for now of course. What good will they do to get custody of two teenagers who are happy in their home? I am in awe and dismay of the power of such an organization to wreak such havoc into peoples lives.
I thought I would be able to speak out and tell our side, but the lawyers are in control. And judges do not look kindly on emotional displays in the courtroom. So I will put my trust in my husbands lawyer and hope for the best.
Now they want both of us to go into Alcohol and Drug treatment programs. I think that is where the County makes their REAL MONEY. If they can dredge out any present or past drinking or drug use, they will recommend you to a program. My husband has been clean for over 5 years and he was recommended to a program after a clean drug and alcohol assessment. I was recommended for a program because my sons told a CPS social worker I drink beer every night. This also was BEFORE they got my clean drug and alcohol lab results. They didn’t even wait for the lab result I was immediately referred to a program after talking to a counselor located two doors down in the CPS building where I took the so-called assessment. What a joke.
We are taking the parenting class recommended and are in the fourth week. It is a good learning experience and the boys are balking that the rules are too tough! We have a rules chart and they draw cards when they don’t follow the rules. It is a good thing that we have implemented and I have met many wonderful people throughout this experience.
I always say everything happens for a reason, and that just getting through this has made me a better, wiser and tougher person. Just get a good lawyer because you will not get to say much in court. And they only have to have the preponderence of evidence to find you a bad parent. It is not like criminal court, which I have never been to. They have the rights, not you. Give it to a higher power and pray alot. Try not to worry and come to court prepared as well you can. We are not lawyers and do not understand all the legal terms. Do whatever you can to comply with the classes but do not make it easy for them. CPS is not out for your interests. They are there to build a case against you any way they can.
CPS has a lawyer working for them. This lawyer handles alot of cases and does not care who you are or your story. They are out for themselves. They will say nasty, horrible things about you to the judge to try to get them to get to rule against you and your family. You are a number, not a name. You need to be prepared and talk to your attorney and make sure they are doing what is needed to get your younger children removed from the case log if they are not affected by the so-called abuse of a teenager.
Be prepared also for the nerves. Just being in court can be nerve wracking. But think of all the love and care you have given your children. Do not be intimidated. The young CPS worker who wrote of all the so-called abuse was more nervous than I was! I shook his hand (yes I did I am a polite person) and I asked him why his hands were sweaty and he said he doesn’t go to court often. This child was forcing us into a situation he himself was unsure of. But the legal ramifications for our family was nothing to him. He was nervous that he was going to have to testify. We are all just people doing our jobs.
Be the adult and you can get through this. After all, taking a few inane classes and getting through this experience is what you are destined to do. Once that call is made, you have to follow it through to the gory end. And having your children home with you is the end result. No one is above having to face accusations made by CPS. The best and the worst parent may have to go through this, and it is my hope that both will learn from it. If you have any questions or comments I would be glad to hear them and start a discussion with the hope of eliminating the fear associated with dealing with CPS.
Love and peace to all Lexie