A “ward of the state” is someone who, for any of a variety of different reasons, has become the direct legal responsibility of the state court. This situation can occur when a child is orphaned and has no family members qualified to act as guardians; when an elderly person loses all possible caregivers; or when a person is incarcerated on criminal charges. Unfortunately, there is another instance in which a child becomes a ward of the state: when CPS takes them from their parents and places them in temporary protective custody.
At Weiner Law Group, we are CPS lawyers who understand exactly what it means for Child Protective Services to make your child a ward of the state, and what it takes to get them back under your care. We look forward to helping you by explaining the process and working hard to oppose the CPS action that threatens to divide your family, possibly permanently.
What it Does Not Mean
If your child is temporarily a ward of the state because of CPS involvement, it does not necessarily mean that you may not visit them. Unless the court has specifically denied you that right (and it only does so in extreme circumstances), you are able to visit and talk with your child. In fact, you should do so as much as possible to maintain contact with your child and to show that you have an intense interest in regaining custody.
What it Does Mean
In the context of protective custody, your child is under the legal authority of the state. That means that you may not make legal decisions for the child (such as placing them under the guardianship of someone else) or remove them from the state. If CPS petitions to have your parental rights terminated and the court agrees, your child will become a ward of the state until it can find a qualified guardian to care for them. Unfortunately, this decision is final and you will have no further opportunity to regain custody.
If there is a possibility that your child will become a ward of the state, or is already in protective custody, it is essential that you get the help of a family lawyer. Trying to handle things on your own will most likely lead to disaster for your family. Let the experts at Weiner Law Group put their years of experience to work for you.
Call 702-202-0500 or fill out our contact form to get our help in putting your family back together.