A divorce can get complicated when there are children involved. As the State of Texas will always reiterate, the safety of the children is their primary concern. In many CPS cases, the CPS (Child Protection Service) will, specifically, want to interview you or your children.
This may cause some concern on your part. However, lawyers would recommend you to be calm as they share the nature and purpose of these interviews.
Are all children required?
The CPS will conduct an interview with any child old enough or capable enough to communicate and express his thoughts. This is necessary especially if there is even just a hint or allegation of abuse or neglect.
Where will the interview be conducted?
The venue of the interview can be any place where the child would be able to comfortably express themselves. The CPS would ask permission to conduct it in your house. If you refuse, they can have an interview at their office or the child’s school. The key element is that the investigator will talk to the child in private. This means even you, the parent, would not be privy to the conversation.
What exactly is a CPS investigator interested in?
In essence, the CPS investigator would want to find out if the welfare of the child is compromised. Once there was an incident, they can confirm whether the alleged incident actually took place. If it didn’t, they might ask the child what actually happened.
When there are no specific incidents and allegations, the investigation could begin with the general feeling of the child. Does the child feel safe and secure? The investigator would then probe the reasons behind the child’s “yes” or “no” response. It would then expand on whether they believe that their parent/guardian or parent’s new partner would be capable of abuse or neglect.
Preparing Your Child
The ideal way to prepare your child is to encourage confidence and honesty. Basically, you should ask them to tell the truth. It is unethical to coach the child on what they would answer. However, that does not stop some parents from doing it, or emphasize certain points and avoid others. Coaching, however, could easily backfire.
We should note that CPS Investigators are professionals who can easily spot signs of coaching. Needless to say, this will result in possible negative assessments towards the parent who attempted to coach the child.
There is no need to panic if there are no instances of abuse or neglect on your part. If there is, it is best to talk to your lawyer. The methods of CPS are designed to examine the child. This examination is not just verbal, but also with physical and emotional signs which will eventually unearth the truth.
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