San Francisco, CA asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Probate for California

Q: CPS removed my son 12/9/2013, 2 days after his birth. I successfully closed my case and got him back 8/13/2015....

Then took him again 8/3/2017 and forced me into signing a voluntary temporary guardianship for my son to live with his paternal grandmother due to domestic problems and false allegations in a bitter divorce from his father. No drug test given, no criminal charges filed, and no proof to support their allegations whatsoever. I have not been allowed any visitation and was not notified of the guardianship hearing, nor was I offered any reunification services or INVESTIGATIVE / EMERGENCY REMOVAL REPORT BY CPS OR THE COURTS. I petitioned for visitation and was DENIED without reason even though my son's guardian was present and in favor of visits! What can I do now? I have documents supporting my active and loving relationship with my son prior to his removal, and CPS/COURTS refused to view them! I also have reports defending myself regarding the domestic issues in my divorce. Please help me get my son back... or at least some form of parenting time that consists of more than video chats!!

1 Lawyer Answer
Chris M. Bradford
Chris M. Bradford
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is unclear whether you are still in Juvenile Dependency Court or the Guardianship Court. In Dependency Court you are awarded your own attorney, as you probably know, and you would need to ask them what to do next which will depend on what has already happened in the past. You probably already know this, so this is probably not much help.

However if you are in Guardianship Court you are not automatically given an attorney. If you believe you cannot afford an attorney, you can try the Self Help Center for help with the forms to file requesting more time with your child..

All 58 counties in California have some type of Self-Help Center. You have to call them to see if they can help you with guardianship. I cannot speak for them. The people at the Self-Help Center help you fill out family law forms for free. BE SURE TO TELL THEM THIS IS FOR GUARDIANSHIP and they may send you to the Self-Help in a different place. They can’t do everything in family law, but they will help you with all the basics. The downside is that they don’t have a lot of time to spend with you, and often there is a line to get in to see them. The upside is that it is free. So if you have more time than money, go to the Self-Help Center for divorce, custody, visitation, paternity and domestic violence paperwork. But if you want a more thorough in-depth help, it is recommended that you see a family law attorney.

What it comes down to is that when you want the judge to order something differently, you have to file the correct papers and get a new hearing date to have your request considered by the judge.

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