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Visitation During a CPS Case in Texas

In a Child Protective Services case, one of the most important concerns is how soon a parent can see his or her child if the latter has been removed from the house of the former.

If the Child Protective Services is granted temporary managing conservatorship, there are rules to be followed when it comes to the time they have to make the child available to see the parents.

This article will discuss how the visitation process will be, when will it be, for how long the period of visitation should be, and tips on how to take advantage of the time granted to the parents for visitation in the best possible way.

If Child Protective Services is granted temporary managing conservatorship rights because the parent has allegedly abused or neglected the child, the parent will be able to see the child not more than five days after the court grants the conservatorship rights to the services.

At this point, the services should be coordinating with the parents, with the help of a CPS caseworker, to plan out a visitation schedule to have prearranged for their visitation. 

The important factor considered in determining how often the parent can see the child is the individual circumstances surrounding the investigation. An instance is if the services has had the knowledge about an allegation of child abuse and their investigation obtains evidence that supports such allegation, it is possible that there may be no visitation unless the parent(s) undergoes counseling.

The well-being and safety of the child is of paramount importance, and in this case, there would not be any difficulties in convincing a judge to order a limited or supervised visitation. If it is a limited visitation, the judge can decide on the place of visit as well as on the person who will supervise.

Remember that the time a parent is permitted to visit the the child will be the only times that he or she gets unlike visitation in divorce involving custody cases  where the ex-spouses can agree on a flexible visitation schedule. Child Protection Services follows the court order strictly and does not deviate from it.

The reason for giving the parent only visitation that is supervised is that there are actual concerns for the well-being and safety of the child during these periods of visitation.

The main goal of the services is to make sure the child is safe, and this includes reducing the chances of parent acting violently towards the child. Visitation of the parent could possibly be terminated early because of inappropriate behavior of the parent towards the child. 

A parent will most likely travel to an office of CPS to undertake their supervised visitation sessions. The caretaker of the child, either a relative or foster parent, will take the child to the visitation session, and the parent will be the one who shoulders the transportation.

A room will be designated for the visitation time and games and toys that are appropriate for the age of child of will be provided by the services. These sessions have the purpose to strengthen the emotional bond between the parent and children. Caseworkers from Child Protective Services will observe the session through a one-way mirror that is next to the room. The parent should be careful in wisely choosing their actions and they should interact with their child in an appropriate and engaging manner.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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